1.

The sea is its own
language
and judge.

The seadog who
bought H
chose

the fourth
day of the Patriarch
to return home.

2.

He rang the bell that summoned H
and set down
a sheep’s head.

He said, “You look cozy,
brother, but
have you never dreamt of power?”

3.

A judge requires but one
qualification:
the will.

On the night of Midsummer Day,
the Ramsey
dropped anchor,

and the captain came
ashore
enveloped in dust.

In the market, young men
shouted
like mongrels

around a colossal statue
wearing
a goatskin cap and nothing else.

4.

The door of
the Saddle Inn stood
open.

H and the captain
made
their way in, and

big strangers
watched as they
lay down in the gloom and silence.

5.

A coolness came to H out
of the dark.
He passed down

a byroad in
his mind
to the mountains of the Patriarch.

6.

His dreams had
been woven with
torture. The collar

about his neck
had torn the skin much like
the valley was

a circular abrasure where
a fetter had
worn away the earth.

7.

He had been born
again
to a man with the head of a horse.

8.

An ear was in
his hand.
He had stolen something.

No, murdered
somebody.
The man lay with

the shank of his pipe hanging
loosely from his
lips. “Father,” cried H.

9.

He rose from bed, took
a dark
lantern, and went to

the courtyard.
The man with
the horse head was gone.

The hilltop fires had
smouldered down.
By daybreak, the Ramsey would be sunk.