Distant Siren

Siren Song

alone is a far way to go

just to sit

by the sea

to hear a guitar’s

random chords on waves

salt numbing fingers

seagull swooping

from distant rock-face

echoing the broken string

out-of-tune with damp

humming content

up & down the reaches

of beach disappearing 

into the enclosing fog

with reason saying go

romance saying stay

till all you can see

are your feet on the trail

to the ocean’s edge

then back to the rock

claimed as temporary home

<>

seeming like hours

the fog drifts away,

you can only throw

a guitar so far

and the sound that it makes

as it hits water

as the bridge breaks on the rocks

seems more fitting

than the fingers found

with still no purpose

but some finality;

too dark now

even to watch the pieces

playing in the waves

the wind picking the trees

more moonlit howling,

it might be time now,

now that you’ve drowned

in the only gift

you felt you had to give

Nov 17/75

Another mythological reference with the title – sailors lured by the irresistible songs like the narrator here is lured by not only the music but the seduction of the romance of being alone by the waves. This is almost a movie moment of our sad hero pining away wrapped up in thoughts & emotions he is afraid to articulate. Perhaps the melodrama of the echo is all he really wants anyway.

There is some real in this piece – I have sat by the ocean, have watching my footprints in the sand washed by the waves, have felt contemplative as I was lulled by the in and out of the water. I have even wandered away from a group of friends just to sit & enjoy the image.

I had the image of sitting the rock, playing guitar & the first lines came to me. This echo of music echoes though many of the pieces in the collection as well. Thus the title Distant Music – things not quite heard, not quite seen in the fog. I still like the transition in the first line ‘alone is a far way to go’ – that takes the abstraction of ‘alone’ & turns it into a destination as opposed to an emotion.

The piece touches on the essential loneness of creativity. Often a choice has to be made between social life & creative life, a choice that isn’t always that comfortable or easy to maintain. One has to be a part of the life around them but at the same time solitude is where imagination finds outlet. I’ve written in groups, but it’s only a step to working things out alone. Unlike musicians there are no writing quartets 🙂 but musicians usually practice in solitude.

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.

paypal.me/TOpoet 

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