Sunday, December 12, 2010

Painless You May Never Go Home

Kakdumi, submarine king
Seeking husband for peerless daughter Revati
Waited patiently for Brahma as Ghandarvas play
Twenty seven cycles passed, all suitors, family, and memory gone
Descended to this primitive age, no choice left
Accept the hand of Balarama, avatar of Vishnu

Cuckoo Namjil, bird singer
Soldier well loved, visiting your faraway queen
On winged horse hidden from familiar eyes
Clipped of its wings and life by jealous maid
In your grief take its bones
Leave your country the horse-headed fiddle

Oisin young deer, Fianna warrior poet
Followed golden hair Niamh to the Land of Promise
White horse hooves over the waves back to Erin
Three centuries passed, all heroes, gods gone
Broken girdle hurls you to the ground before saintly Patrick
Molder to bones on the beach of your country

Urashima Taro, youthful fisher
Chased cruel children from the shell-slashed turtle
Married scar-slashed princess of Dragon God Castle
Three centuries passed, all people, village, names gone
In your grief pry off the lid and release a cloud of age
Leave your bones on the beach of your country

Wang Chi, hardy woodcutter
Lost in the woods finding a handle for your great axe
Stumbled upon the Go playing immortals, watched stone against stone
Ate a date from wrinkled hands, felt no hunger or thirst
Centuries passed, handle, family, friends but dust
Return alone to your country

Rip Van Winkle, simple rambler
Poor children hungry and wailing wife
Wandered among ghosts of Hudson and his crew
Played nine pin, got drunk on ghostly brew
Twenty years later awake and return
Reunite with grown children in your new country

All these lives and many others
Tell you that for love or life you may well roam
But painless you may never go home

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