8 August · Na-Bolom Institute Library

Flames crackle in the convent's old fireplace.
Anthropology books on the walls.
Scholarly titles flicker, a lamp is lit, rain drums on the
cobbles, potted trees past the window drapes.
We give a reading of poems & stories to a small cluster
    of attentive travelers.
Afterwards someone brings spirits in a big kerosene tin.
It's been stewed with pineapple and
curious rainforest spices. Quickly drunk, I sit and read
Bartolomé de Las Casas, his brief appointment 1544
Bishop of Chiapas–

      "All Spaniards seeking
          absolution must
              free their Indians
      and make restitution"

'til he was yanked back to Spain.

Andrew Schelling | Evergreen Cloud Forest
Contents | Mudlark No. 9