The Second Mariner

On the swift ocean current calm,

With my hair flowing like the leaves of the Palms,

With a crew of over two hundred men,

Running about like wild pigs in a pen.

 

A thick fog begins to rise from the sea,

A very bad omen wouldn’t you agree?

With blocks of ice putting us to and fro,

A white-washed bird hovering low.

 

Could this be without a doubt,

The Mariner’s Rime come about?

But why here now, of any day,

Did the Mariner choose us to stay?

 

Centuries forth, with vessels of steel,

And an Iron Maiden giving repeal,

With no other thought, I raise my gun,

Three rounds fired for each of my sons.

 

As the snowy bird does fall on its head,

The pure white feathers now stained red,

The crew looks on in shock and awe,

The fog recedes and air turns raw.

 

At first the crew believes it’s a good sign,

But I know that darkness will come in time,

And as the stage does surely set,

Life and Death each one I’ve met.

 

As the angels arrive from the heavens,

This floating slot machine missed all sevens.

All my crew fell down dead,

With blood pooling beneath their heads.

 

Then Life looked down upon me,

Shook her head only to leave me be,

For then the nightmares soon began,

For me there was no promised land.

 

For years on hence I spread the tale,

Of Life and Death on wind and sail.

Not one soul dared turn an eye,

Not even daring a polite goodbye.

 

Now the curse has begun to fade,

I wish to end this escapade;

I want redemption for my sin,

The holy bird’s blood on my chin.

 

So further I travel every time,

Muttering the Ancient Mariner’s Rime,

Was I not the first to be cursed as such?

Coleridge has made me think as much.

 

As I walk once again in an inn,

I spot an old sailor speaking through the din,

Of a tale quite so similar to mine,

Almost fully, line by line.

 

No one listened to his tale but one,

Which was myself with a meal now done,

I spoke with him and asked his age,

He seemed to have lost count after each page.

 

The man wrote stories of his curse,

Like a woman obsesses of what’s in her purse.

He remembers the script, every word,

The passerby think he’s clearly absurd.

 

I tell him he’s not the only one with this fate,

Though I admit, I am a bit late,

He takes in every word I say,

Then nods his head and goes on his way.

 

Now here in the present day,

I speak to those who I may,

Where so few know the tale itself,

The Rime now on a dusty shelf.

 

Where it is no longer read,

So even now, my legend, dead;

But forever I continue my quest,

To get the penance that I request.

 

And soon enough or so I hear,

I will be free to ascend with family dear,

So now I bid thee a swift farewell,

As I spread my tale and wish all well.

 

 

Review:

This is a poem based off the thought of the events of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner repeating themselves in the current day. I used descriptive imagery of the time period, such as Iron Maiden and the boat the narrator traveling on being made of steel. Another difference is that the poem actually makes reference to the original work by Coleridge. The narrator appears to be following a different path, focusing on making sure others hear his story, though none truly listen. The sailor narrating the poem was based off my brother, who is currently in the US Navy.

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