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Robin Ouzman Hislop

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  Dirge of the Ferryman
by Robin Ouzman Hislop
Sunday, August 31, 2003


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Recent poems by Robin Ouzman Hislop
•  Far from Equilibrium
•  Laminations in Lacquer
•  Dream of Uroborous
•  A Witch for Halloween
•  The Way of All Shadows
           >> View all 169


[As homage to Coleridge, whose writing on Kubla Khan was interrupted by the arrival of a visitor from Porlock and never resumed except for the extant verses ]


Part 1.

1.)

i.

After lightening strikes it returns to the dark tremor from whence it issues, its naked music unleashed for an instant on the concealed land which flees as a spectre through its light.

ii.

Those who reach the isles do in a blink of an eye.

iii.

You are within the mirror eye, a flash in eternity in a movement beyond its existence, nearing the distance.

iv.

Glimpsing island boundaries with their cries of pass on as they disappear concealed in flight.

v.

Darkness pierces your sight.

vi.

In the chasm there are only echoes, where their voices once called now is yours alone, a shout in the abyss that none will hear but the echoes.

vii.

A river of blood must have bones, ballast for the barge & every crossing must be borne on its dirge & though none will be remembered, none are the same.

2.)

i.

Yet see those other seas, voyagers of the albatross to these same citadels, the same siren song that brings storm & lightening, brings also eternal wandering for they are your three memories.

ii.

You follow in the footsteps the wind prints on your dreams & they follow you as they find you, in every turning there is doom but you cannot choose, for none are remembered after the isles.

iii.

The threshold is nigh, the instant awes, this is the crossing.

iv.

You are in the eye of the mirror a glass isle between earth & sky.

v.

Blink now.

vi.

In the virgin light scatter the nine calico moon masques of Scaramouch* from white to ash from ash to white on the wind.

vii.

White on the waters these are your tears in their passing as tears must fall.

3.)

i.

On this sea you hale all voyagers but none can see you for none but you can see them.

ii.

They lay siege to the isles & the isles lay siege to them.

iii.

Already they walk among the ruins Kubla Khan´s fallen Xanadu.

iv.

These too, you must pass through.

v.

They hoist flag & sail on unknowing the fallen is borne with them, unknowing even as they enter the portals of life again, lost.

vi.

Here stood Kubla Khan´s Xanadu fallen before you even in your reaching, or perhaps again arising on that next horizon before you.

vii.

Those who reach the isles do in a blink of an eye within the mirror eye, a flash in eternity in a movement beyond its existence, nearing the distance, for lightening strikes but to repeat the tremor of darkness to which it returns.

Part 2.

1.)

i.

Dirge of the Ferryman.

After lightening strikes it returns to the dark tremor from whence it issues, its naked music unleashed for an instant on the concealed land which flees as a spectre through its light. Those who reach the isles do in a blink of an eye within the mirror eye, a flash in eternity in a movement beyond its existence, nearing the distance. Darkness pierces sight in the mirror eye, a glass isle between earth & sky in the blink of an eye. You follow in the footsteps the wind prints on your dreams & they follow you as they find you, in every turning there is doom but you cannot choose for none are remembered after the isles. Those who reach the isles do in a blink of an eye within the mirror eye, a flash in eternity in a movement beyond its existence, nearing the distance, for lightening strikes but to repeat the tremor of darkness to which it returns.

Dedicated to the visitor from Porlock

*

The allusion to Scaramouch is as the Kings venerated fool, as in Lear, or poet, legend develops this theme into shadow player to the king as one of the nine lives he has to live, always in the role of a clown, each century after its full moon. In this content the name originates from middle eastern medieval Europe translating something like white clown’s masque.

Copyright Robin Ouzman Hislop 2003
All rights reserved.

Such is My Humanity


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Reviewed by Vesna Vanessa
Darkness pierces your sight.
I am in awe of this line..My god it depicts the state of many a soul whilst still in the human vessel..alas...

Excellent...

Vesna
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