Flung to fill the Empire’s rim,
No route to India but the West Indies’ spoils,
The fur trades run, tobacco tilled,
Emeralds mined and cotton milled:
Four cardinal points penned in another Roman will.
Passed to shores where who belongs?
Power is ranked at sea.
Mechanical enterprise provides guarantees,
Until it serves itself like its creators
Who served themselves before all else;
Now the lesson divinity endured
From the void to the separate will,
Control is wrested from the centre,
Serves the incarnate vessel still.

© ross 2020
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