three provinces and their king / nic sebastian

the seafarers

he is our king he is
sweet he sails
among us and draws rope
as we do gives many names to the sea
as we do

then he leaves us he goes up
to the mountains (we know nothing
of the mountains)

the mountain folk

he is our king he climbs
to us in snows and the eagle
names him as he names
our babies on the table-land

then he leaves us he goes down
to the plains
which are far from us
and not known

the plainsmen

he comes to us and walks
among cattle as we walk
the yellow grass
of the plains speaks
his name as it speaks ours he is our king

but he leaves us he goes out
to the sea which is wet and
storm-ridden and is not
what we know

the king

we have no wars
we have named
the sea the mountains
and the plains

the foreigner

the ships the sea shanties the courage
of your sailors
are beautiful your kingdom
is justly proud

the king’s mother

woe is
this kingdom


Nic Sebastian hails from Arlington, Virginia. She has two sons and travels widely. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Lily, Autumn Sky Poetry, Mannequin Envy, Poems Niederngasse, Avatar Review, Anti- and elsewhere. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale (