Neil Banks lives in Bray, County Wicklow. His poems have appeared in The Stinging Fly. His fiction has been published by The Sunday Tribune, RTÉ Radio and others, and he has been named on the Fish shortlist.
By tram, back in time, twenty minutes west,
to Fourteen ninety–seven: Lisbon to Belém,
from where men sailed, east for India, in Caravels.
This vast monastery — Jerónimos — was ordered
built to celebrate great success, safe return,
the changing of the world for good. Entombed within
I discovered Vasco da Gama — Explorer —
resting now, and the poet Camões — Recorder
of voyages and such. If it isn't written down
it didn't happen. It's written here in stone.