Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Sultan, a Goddess, and Me

Woody Guthrie, a great Road Warrior, box-car law breaker
wondered who could guess the secret of the Sea
who am I to him, unknown poet
to not yet forgotten ghostly sage?
but I’ve heard a story perhaps Woody missed
of a Sultan, a goddess, and me

My wedding story is borrowed from the ocean’s blue
a brand new tale of a timeless age
The goddess has secrets unbeknownst to mortal human
of murky clarity hidden plainly but deeply
written on no dry page
but in a dotted land of mystics and charity
is spun an ancient story of love and glee
where honest people make minimal wages
the tale of a man privy to such secrets
of life and adventure unimaginable to we

His wife the sea goddess holds him in her cage
but once a month at the full of the moon
she paints the Sultan her mermaid cartoon
She collects from the shore her funny prince
a tourist of the sea
the would be King of a magical land
reduced to this impotent rage
but what fascination must lie in his eyes
before he’s returned to the place that is dry
and hailed as King is this former buffoon

The secrets he holds he does so close
he tells us only what not to wear to the sea
this alone is what makes him a sage
and gives him his historical page
his secrets of the sea
but I’ll tell you this one I overheard
from a talkative royal loon
were the Sultan a President of the United States
his secret would tell like this:
we spend more on searching for phony skies
than understanding what we see
with our own naked eyes

Perhaps this is the secret of the sea

[I wrote that in 2000 while I was in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia. It was inspired by this song and stories I learned in this place and things I read about this place. Hard to believe it was seven years ago.]

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Cool! I love the phony skies line!
"we spend more on searching for phony skies
than understanding what we see
with our own naked eyes"

Woody Guthrie was amazing. Your poem is amazing too.
It's amazing! And I'm very glad you kept it all through those 7 years.

I hog things I should't save and threw out the things I later end up needing. Regretting I ever disposed them... goes for a lot of my writing...
Like much of your work, this is a neon-lit assault on the senses.

I will need to re-read this a few times before I get close to getting it.
Seriously, that was fantastic. You're very talented
Between Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Looks like you're establishing your own country.

Yes, this was damn good. The lines flow into each other, like waves. Good poem.
Hi all, My wife and I are off to celebrate the Canada Day long weekend, along with her 30th birthday. I'll be back here Monday or Tuesday, hopefully with something to say.

Mytopia: thanks for coming by; I like that line too,

Singleton: amen.

Josie: Have you read Bound for Glory? One of the best books ever.

HOD: I could never throw away anything I did creatively, even if it sucks in retrospect.

Toast: it is a little abstract so take it as it comes to you - as to what it means your guess is as good as mine.

Ms Smack: ah, you flatter me. I like it.

Ivan: Those are probably two writers whose works I should familiarize myself with (especially if I'm copping their style).

Eric: thus the secret of the sea called poetry, tee hee.
Now add prophet of the future events to your resume. It has all happened in the land of the buffoon.
It might be seven years old, but it’s still going strong.
My mind just drifted away to the mythological era.
Happy Canada Day! We all watch the festivities in Windsor and observe it all in grand fashion. It's nice to travel abroad...
by bridge or tunnel...
TWM: yeah but i think nostry-damn-us beat me to it.

Crash: wait'll it hits 12.

Eric: Thanks for the C-day nod - it's always great to get a Monday off.
I was introduced to Guthrie in 2001 and you know, I haven't followed up what was an initial interest back then.

THANKS ! I'll be re-lighting that interest this week.

Have a great time !
yeah you go ms smack, and also check out the mermaid ave. albums by billy bragg and wilco, the latter of whom i think you like already. they took a bunch of woody guthrie lyrics, the tunes for which had died with him, and put it to their own compositions of music. the results are gorgeous, and inspired this little poem of mine.
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