Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Saga of the Ancient Mariner

by Ailill

Oh Tiresias, mystic orator,
seer into the heart of
Odysseus, tell us of the travails
of that ancient mariner.

Why do these tales of the sea
lend themselves to such prose
and prosody?

Shamanic Odyssey to the core
of the story, new twists in a saga
re-spun like leavened bread over-done.

Reborn on the eve of the storm that held
the ship fast; Poseidon, heart set in stone,
grasped it with his moss covered talons,
tearing off the mast, before he bore
it under.

Awakening from his slumber, no stranger
to the anger of the deep, both cursed
and blessed, he bailed from the deck, thrashing
the sea toward the lifeboat just freed.

Gaining a-hold, lifting himself onto
the boat, grief tearing into his soul,
he began to cry out from his heart
as he thought about the crew that had
been lost, the journey with its costs.

Baring down, the waves, a mighty whale, lashed
his boat with the snap of its tail. The winds
howled like a lion on the prowl, paying
no heed to his despair.

Lifeboat adrift, not permitted to rest,
worn out, floundered about, tossed and turned
a stray amidst the crests and troughs of wild
waves. Not accepting his lot, in spite of
the gods; visions of Penelope and the warm
hearth of home, beloved abode, inspired him
with the will to stay alive.

From desolate depths, dolphins called out
to him, wailing siren songs day and night long

of visions of comrades once lost, sensing
double cross, jealous he was still alive,
while they did not survive. From the muck
of graves haunting, nostrils wept the smoke
of saucer eyes, and gnashing fangs,
nagging the dreams of restless sleep.

For days he rode out the waves, at the crossroads,
spirits invoked, sending prayers to the sky,
asking why his life must be sacrificed,
what had he done wrong, what must be atoned?
Within sins grew in magnificence,
looking into self, he questioned beliefs
once held.

His agony, symbol of our inner-
most hemorrhage, cleaving apart, leaving
its mark upon our souls,

asking to be freed from this misery.
But the sea, no remorse in its bones
for this man alone; its mind ruled by
heart hardened Poseidon, merely tossed
him up onto the bare rocky island.

From her cave Calypso, that hypersexual
witch hag crone, seducer of men’s souls,
beckoned, enchanting spells invoked, enticed
with visions of youthful bloom, every
seaman’s fantasy, feeding into vanities.
He followed upon her summons

to landscapes of imagination.
Visiting him day and night, phantom
ghost arms held him tight, deluding
of limitations.

Spectral wonder, with thighs of thunder,
revealing mysteries down under;
the embraces of this sultry seductress,
feeding off life’s breath like a black widow
succubus, mistaking his agony
for ecstasy only she could give.

Her captive, relationship fictive; she
whispered fantasies into his ears making
him sing her songs for seven years.

Despair, side-note to a steamy affair,
kept him ensnared. In her cave, his body
began to waste away, alarming Athena,
Goddess of Wisdom;

coming to him, walking the beach,
she reminded him of the promises
he meant to keep. Realizing he was
a victim of hallucinations, he began
to weep for Penelope and his long lost home.

From his mind he forced Calypso to relent,
alone once again, he crafted a raft
and cast it out onto the ocean.

Trial over, bound for home and the arms
of Penelope, this was merely
the beginning of a trail of events
in a tale without ending.

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