Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Waiting for the Tide, Who Am I, Remembering a Dream

(Picture by James Christensen)

I am a fan of James Christensen's fantasy art. Here's a sample of his art that I named "Waiting For The Tide," to accompany the poem I wrote in May 2006.

Give me the Sea
By L D Sledge

Oh set me afloat
in me friggin boat
upon the foamin' brine
I'm a mean old coot
and I don't give a hoot
about your bleedin' lubber's whine

I'll take me tea
Myself and me
and what I say is true
I'll sail away
One fine day
onto the salty blue.

Meanwhile I'll wait
in this landed state
to take me for a ride
I really hate
this landlubber fate
I pray for an early tide.

When I die
I pray that I
will swim with Davy Jones
In the deep
Is the place to keep
me remainin' mortal bones

Soon far out upon the sea
all that you will see of me
will be tiny speck of sail
Than I'll be home
The world to roam
with the porpoise and the whale.

So kiss it while you may me lass
the time is now and soon will pass
I feel me tide a risin'
A mariner man will come and go
and dock his dingy with the flow
As soon you will be a realizin'

I may be old
but I've been told
I've wood a plenty for the fire
We've got time
For a lovely rhyme
I promise to inspire.

So pipe me aboard and you'll be surprised
We'll still be a sailin' even when the wind dies
I'll leave you a smilin' when me anchor is raised
Trim me sails and swab me deck
Fix me jib so I'll leave here correct
I'll monkey up the gallant and sing your praise

Soon I'll be gone with the swellin' sea
But you haven't seen the last of me
This voyage has just begun
In the topsail I'll be singin'
In the wind I'll be a wingin'
Look for me beyond the sun.

As a kid in my little remote country town of Castor, in the northwest quarter of Louisiana, I dreamed of being a sailor for some reason. I would fantasize standing on the rolling deck with the wind whipping in my hair (I had hair then) and the salt spray soaking my shirt, or skinnying up to the tops in the crows nest, wheeling side to side in the swells and rock of the ship. What dreams we had as kids.

Here's a couple of old poems:

Who Am I?

I have pulled the oars as a galley slave
I have ridden camels across the waste on the silk road
I have ruled empires as Sheik and Pharaoh
I have marched with Hannibal across the Alps
I have bored skulls in china, as physician to release the evil spirits
I have sung the songs that swayed empires, as solomon, Hing Tsue, and Ragga
I have slogged through swams in search of baubles on Arctuous
I have dealt and died a million deaths
from sword, disease and famine
I have won, lost, laughed cried
and taunted my enemes, boredom and death.
Look into my eyes
You will see eternity.


(I had a dream of dancing with a lady who must have been ninety or more)

Remembering a dream:

I danced with her last night
Her skin was smooth
drawn over hands
with blue veins
Pretty hands
Now Old
Still feeling
Still reaching
Still dancing
Her eyes were blue
I knew she has grandchildren
who adore her
and her body was solid and firm
from workout and dance
Life was in her
Like slow fire
It burned
and will burn on and on.

I didn't mean for this blog to be a poetry blog, but I have written hundreds of poems I am finding in the looseleaf binders that contain those half million words of shortstories, essays and poems, and will share some on these blogs.

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