Land, or a mountain-shaped cloud 

sighted by Edward Davis, buccaneer 

near the coast of Chile (maybe Peru)

and never seen again.

Dampier thought it could be

the missing continent 

its high mountains and untapped mines 

expected to yield silver and gold,

new spices and drugs,

richer than New Holland

with its desolate coastline

and annoying flesh-flies.

Captain Sam Wallis and his ship Dolphin 

searched eleven days

discovering Tahiti instead.

Ship’s master, George Robertson

saw it in the distance

the long wishd for southern continent. 

By his estimation, the crew

of a long canoe leaving Tahiti at sunrise 

     could reach the continent by sunset: 

the same trade wind will

Bring them back next day if they want to come. 

He’d seen double canoes arriving,

penned sketches in his journal

of an impressive, fair-skinned people 

bearing great resemblance to the Jews.

Perhaps the missing continent, 

Davis Land and the Jewish enclave 

    were one and the same.

de Bougainville,

having read Dampier and de Brosses 

    and armed with Vaugondy’ s map, 

found no trace of it.


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