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Poem: "The Captain of Capistrano" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Captain of Capistrano"

Here is today's second freebie, courtesy of new prompters DW user Finch and technogeekslass.  It was inspired by a prompt from my_partner_doug which led me to wonder ... what if, in some dimension far far away, Zorro and Captain Jack Sparrow were the same person?




The Captain of Capistrano



It was said that Spanish California
was a wonderful place to be rich
and a terrible place to be poor.

It happened that a young patron
fell in love with a peon,
but there came a terrible storm
and they were discovered
by outraged patrones who slew the peon
before the lovers could run away together.

So he sold all of his holdings
and bought a galleon
which he named Toronado
for the tempest that destroyed his life.

He donned a black mask and cape,
armed himself with sword and pistol,
but more deadly than either
was his rapier wit.

He made fools of soldiers and merchants,
sailors and noblemen, twirling away
with a laugh and a swish of his sword.

The Spanish settlers came to know him
as Capitano Juan de Capistrano,
while the Americans called him
Captain John Swallow.

He became the scourge of the Pacific,
black ship appearing out of nowhere
to blast a cannonade through its hapless targets.
He swept over the deck, gathered tax money
and treasure and other cargo,
then vanished into a bank of fog.

Oh, the Spanish fleet tried to follow him,
more than once -- only to wash up
on the beaches of Capistrano
at the next high tide,
driftwood covered in strange marks
that none could decipher.

The gold doubloons reappeared,
pounded back down to bean-sized nuggets,
in the hands of the Indios and the peons.

Sometimes, it was said,
a great black galleon sailed
even over the land --
but surely, those were just rumors.

* * *

Notes:

Spanish California refers to the time of the Spanish colony on the west coast before the territory was ceded to America.

Patron means a rich or noble person.  Peon means a peasant, usually an indentured worker.

Toronado means Tornado.

Capistrano is famous for its swallows.

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7 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
thnidu From: thnidu Date: April 3rd, 2013 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
"The hour is come, but not the man!"

(Susan Cooper, Greenwitch, #3 in The Dark is Rising sequence.)

Edited at 2013-04-03 05:07 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 3rd, 2013 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I remember that book. Hardly anyone recognizes the series though. Very Paganesque stuff.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: April 3rd, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay!

For my money, one of the best YA fantasy series around.

(For other readers: The quotation is from a scene in the book in which just that happens, IIRC: a ship, perhaps indeed a black galleon, sailing over land.)

Edited at 2013-04-03 05:33 pm (UTC)
starcat_jewel From: starcat_jewel Date: April 3rd, 2013 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Very nice! Wasn't "Tornado" the name of Zorro's horse? (It's been a long time since I saw the show, and have not seen any of the movies.)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 3rd, 2013 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

Indeed it was!
From: siliconshaman Date: April 3rd, 2013 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
The same person maybe not, but in canon they certainly could be half-brothers without any stretch of the imagination. [and that would be a meeting!]

Do like this one though, the pirates of the pacific get no recognition normally...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 3rd, 2013 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

That was part of the original inspiration, the dearth of stories about Pacific pirates.
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