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Friday, July 24, 2009

NOW VOYAGER, A Poem In Four Parts, Part II

A Poem In Four Parts,
Part II

But before one dream ceases another appears.

I see the birds of the air keep still.
Those who were eating did not eat,
And those who were conveying material to make nest,
Did not convey it, and before me opens a scene
Of low surf beaches upon which are long ships,
Vessels whose hulls have center masts
With single, rectangular sails, blood red,
And from gar boards up are stakes, broad-axed
Hewed, each board a color its own,
And each board nailed one upon the other,
The sides of those ships appear,
Like the bands of rainbows, red, orange, yellow,

Green, blue, indigo and regal violet.
Color upon color runs the length of keels,
Which themselves are crowned gold
Each has its own fierce, dragon-head prow.

Rudders are mounted at right, and within each craft
Upon rows and rows of chests sit oars men.

The ships are set to sail,
Yet the entire assembled host
Seems as if stuck in stone,
Like sculpture done in high relief. Nothing moves.
The waves have stopped, they break not.

What a night! It is,
It really is, what a remarkable night!

Never before have I beheld,
Have I seen such Technicolor panorama.
The closed world of family and friends
It falls to vision from other time and place.
My bedroom warms. And a seemingly true,
But sixth sense intimates Spring,
I bear witness to a prelude,
The dream carries me and I sense the long days,
The glory of Scandinavian summer awakens before me.

Light, bright, bright day dawns, and it thrills me.
I ready for adventure. I am happy,
I am exhilarated beyond normal human confines.

And, then, a bearded visage looms before me.
It is strange, it wears a helmet,
The likes of which I had never before encountered,
A four part iron dome with a sharp spike atop,
A braided chain surrounds its eye sockets,
It gives a spectacle-like appearance to the visor.

Down the back of this visage’s neck,
Mounted from the edge of his helmet,
A chain-mail curtain falls
Directly to the shoulder of a thick, hide tunic.
A strap from ear guard to ear guard
Runs behind his beard, holds his helmet in place.

He says, 'Action! Please!' At once, as though
My dream be some kind of cinematic construct,
I hear birds of the air singing, those who were eating,
Eat, and those who were conveying material

To nest, convey it.

The shipyard has come to life, the din now terrific.
On horizon's plane I hear low thunder.
I see the spray of waves sparkle in the daylight.

I wonder do I sleep or do I wake?

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