Anyway. I'm not a fan of the holiday that may or may not be upon us so I'm going to focus on one I accidentally neglected. A good friend, K., turned 21 on June 17th, and I didn't do anything major for her. To make up for it, I now present to you an ode I wrote for her. It currently enjoys the wide circulation of about 30 readers of the UNH undergraduate literary journal.
THE WRATHFUL POETESS
Upon the seas the Dread Dutch Queen
Set sail in a cursed brigantine
Accompan’d by four-score-and-six
Young, nubile males, (as sailor-men).
They roved the wide Sargasso seas
For nary on five hundred years
When other ships were dead, were gone
The Dread Dutch Queen kept sailing on.
And who could tell just what she sought
What treasure of these seas had brought
A pretty girl to sell her soul
Becoming the Dread Pirate Queen?
Her visage terrorized the shipsThey couldn’t find their treasured tomes
That carried all the Nouveau Rich
(Who suddenly were quite distraught
To find their credit cards were hot).
Of Shakespeare, Milton, Sherlock Holmes
Of Steinbeck, Heller, Ginny Woolf
Of Carver, Hesse, (and a few
More thousand authors, more than you
Or I could ever know or read).
The Dread Dutch Pirate Queen, she took,
Devoured every single book.
It came to pass that on a ship
A boy, (whose name I must ellipse),
Came to the Dread Dutch Pirate Queen,
Face streaked with tears, hands rat-tatling,
And asked her, voice soprano highThe Dread Dutch Pirate Queen looked down
And clear: “Madame, Dread Pirate Queen,
My Mam told me of your dark tricks.
But why, Madame? What need you fixed?”
And saw the boy’s impassioned frown.
It was, (they say), the only time
That she took pity on mankind.
“Long, long ago, and far away
My name was Kirsten Platona.
I longed to see beyond the stars
Beyond the moon, further than Mars
Aurora Borealis’ glow
The secret of a flake of snow
And so a priestess sold my soul
Until I can it all behold.”
The boy stood still a time and thought“I’ve feared nothing, and never do;
And then he asked: “Madame, but what
Has kept your voyage all these years?
Why do you read these books? In fear?”
I’ve seen the things I wanted to.
Another reason keeps me here
Tied to this earth – a task to do
I must write all I’ve seen and smelt
I’ve tasted, touched, and heard about
The love of four-score-six seamen
The scorn of all my victims past
I cannot rest until I’ve writ
Life into one perfect sonnet.
But once I have, and soon it’ll be
I’ll be Death’s wife eternally.”