A vast cloud of dark smoke began
to rise from the harbour as Captain
Swing made his first foray away
from dry land. He was the idol of
his followers. Looking up, he could
see some of the stars, a sickle-moon
& the clouds scudding by on the
wind. There is a profound suspicion
of intellectuals to start with, yet I
can't get the image of a young
child playing a bassoon to an
earthworm, out of my head. It was
not exactly an offensive act but such
a scene of despair dissolved into
a macabre kind of comedy. By an
unhappy coincidence, the Captain
was already planning his departure,
when a strained creaking sound
made him look up. It was the last
recorded incident of the voyage.

Whenever he stopped, we would
exchange ideas with the utmost
seriousness. These were repeated
over & over by musicians scattered
around the room. As a debunking
exercise, this had much to offer,
but it overbalanced into strained
hysteria. I was acutely conscious
of the flood of eroticism which
seethed all around me, yet we
take our technological world, &
our memories within it, very much
for granted. Pirates can suffer high
levels of stress in environments
where alcohol & drugs are
widely available.