Beseech the man in white!

A voice in me screamed

Nothing, but darkness and light

My body is dead, I deemed.

I was a black pirate,

Proud of the men, loving of the sea;

Lauded as a tyrant:

Had looted all that I could see.

The ship tasted salt

From hull to deck;

The woman did it, they said

Brought sad luck.

I had seen us fall,

Thirty of us all.

Yet, here I walked alone

With no rum or bone.

Beseech the man in white!

A voice in me screamed

He appeared through a halo of light,

“Are you God?” I jeered

The man in white smiled, his head low

And asked me to step in

To the soul of a fat, white cow.

Insulted, I barked, “Send me to a lion”

“But you are,” said he, “lion and cow”

I bothered not to bow,

“Where is my crew?” I posed

“Oh you are here,” was his reposte!

“From dogs to cats,

From birds to bats,

Vultures to snakes,

Women to men — where are they all?”

“From your mates to your wife,

The sons you left, girls you churned

All that you took, many a life

And the captives you burned;

Your masters - the lot,

The slaves that you bought,

Those that did you respect, the few

All, none but you!

The shepherd, and all that followed,

The warrior, and thousands he killed,

The medic and the many she saved,

The whore and the men she took:

Only two in this world here

One me, and the other you.

This, until you become me

And I become you.”

All was I, and I all

Every man, woman and dog, short and tall

Through my eyes flashed every high and low

Meekly, I sent my soul to the cow.

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