|2'x4' Mixed Media on Canvas|
I don't know how many of you who read this blog like poetry but it's something I've always enjoyed writing. I wrote the following poem many years ago, when I was living on my sailboat Dreamer II and I painted the whimsical picture at that time as well. I had a lot of fun and took a lot of liberty painting a caricature of my very well-endowed wife. The poem, believe it or not, is based on a true story. One of my sailing buddies, at the time, told me about a friend of his who was looking for crew to sail across the Pacific from Victoria. Apparently his friend signed a fellow on who he thought was a little odd because the man told him the reason he wanted to crew for him was because he was going to marry a mermaid. He just laughed it off, thought it was a great joke, until over half way across the Pacific, the weather sunny and calm, after taking a nap he went up on deck to take his turn at the helm. His shipmate was gone; he'd disappeared, not a sign of him anywhere. Hmm...makes a person wonder if he jumped overboard to marry his mermaid? (The poem sounds best spoken like a pirate.)
THE SIREN AND THE SAILOR
Har! C'me 'ere and set a spell,
'Cause this old salty dog o' the sea
Has a yarn to spin, a tale to tell
That'll keep yuh in awe and ecstasy.
'Twas a clear night such as this,
A sliver of a moon in the sky,
The sea as flat as a plate of piss;
When I heard a maiden's melancholy cry.
At first I thought it a trick,
A light breeze through the riggin' and sails;
So I gives meself a good hard kick,
But I 'ears it again, 'er mournful wails.
It sounds as if she's cryin'
Alone, adrift on the endless sea;
A castaway on a raft dyin'
'Til I hears 'er voice call clear to me.
I squinted through the darkness
Across the star reflected sea;
I'll be blow'd! For off in the blarkness
Stood an isle and its maid o' mystery!
Voice as soft as an angel's,
She hallooed out to me by name.
Agin me logic, agin me will,
I steered the boat closer to test 'er game.
I could scarce believe me e'e!
She stood stark naked on a rock;
Smilin', 'er long arms outstretched to me
Beckonin', "Come ashore an' 'ave a wee talk."
Tell me. Do I look like a fool?
On second thought, don't answer that;
Not 'til on the tale I've thrown more fuel,
Don't make y'ur final rule on this chat.
I ached for those slender arms,
Her coquettish smile of desire;
To be enveloped within her charms;
Set my body, my very soul afire!
She promised love ever more;
Days of laughter, nights of pleasure;
Even marriage by the seashore,
One I could trust an' forever more treasure.
As the vessel neared the shore
Close to imminent disaster,
A silent voice deep within my core
Said, "Wait! What's the rush? Y'ur still the master!"
Turnin' 'er hard back on course
I yelled, "One day, I will return!"
Instantly overcome with remorse,
I never chanced a look back o'er the stern.
In the darkness of the night
I heered 'er melancholy plea.
"Oh sailor, sailor, why take flight?
I'll always love you. Please come back to me."
Those words, "I'll always love you."
Have haunted me o'er the years;
"Please come back to me." Tis sad but true,
I gave up love in search of other spheres.
The captain looked mad to me,
Quite completely out of his realm;
As he stood starin' 'cross the sea,
One hand o'er his eyes, t' other at the helm.
He was dressed in tux an' tails,
A silken scarf about his throat,
His starched shirt gleamin' white as the sails
Flapped loosely in the breeze below his coat.
For awhile he was silent,
And then, almost in a whisper,
"Mate! Do you hear that soulful lament?
There! There! Now it sounds a little crisper.
Listen! She's callin' me name.
Step lively mate! Take holt this spoke!"
No sooner did I grab hold the same,
He was over the side doin' the stroke.
As he swam away he said,
"If yuh want the longytude,
It's under the pillow on me bed
Written side b' side with the lattytude."
"Hah! As if I'd come back here.
This place is a source of madness.
But wait! What's that sound, that lilt I hear?
Can it be my name, spoke with such sadness?"