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Old 07-22-2018, 08:50 PM
Jan Iwaszkiewicz's Avatar
Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Default The Killers of Eden

This is folk poetry in accentual ballad format re-lineated. It is based on a strange case of symbiosis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer...den,_Australia

http://www.australiangeographic.com....-of-eden,-nsw/

All comment appreciated.

I think it is very close to being finished hence my posting here for polishing.


The Killers of Eden

Rushoo! Rushoo! We ran and cried. The Killers are in on the flood.
We’ve got the luck of a making tide to free the boats from mud.
There’s a flop-tail and a breach, look at that broken fin.
Old Tom is out beyond the beach he’s brought the Killers in.

C’m aaawn! C’m aaawn! Run as fast as you can!
Run like the Devil from the rising sun, no whale will wait for man.
Break out the oars and shake a leg, grab the harpoons and the float.
Someone fill the water keg and get it aboard the boat.

The waves are full of muscle and spill, the sets all come from the south.
Come on lads and pull with a will let's clear the river mouth.
The dawn is false and the water’s black, it’s boiling beneath the stern.
Haul on your oars with a cracking back and feel your muscles burn.

The sun’s now split the ocean’s rim, the sea still holds the night.
Old Tom’s below and though it’s dim he glows with a ghostly light.
We keep our eyes on his greenish wake and follow his gleaming trail.
It leads us out beyond the break where the Killers have our whale.

We spur the flanks of dappled waves, our gunwales awash with foam,
our oars are bent like barrel staves as we pull away from home
She blows! She blows! Bring the bow around
Keep your eyes on where she goes when she begins to sound.

Pull! O pull! She’s getting away, her tail is rising fast.
Starboard! Starboard! Damn the day the chance we had has passed.
Stay, now stay, and ease your oars. she’ll soon be in our reach
Get the harpoon ready because the killers will make her breach.

Pull! O pull! The harpoon’s away, the cast was good at last.
Snub that line around the stay let’s see if the flukes are fast.
The line pulls tight and pins the bow the strain begins to tell.
we’re slammed around and plough the sea, locked in a race to Hell.

Streaming with blood she blows with a wail and no-one can look in her eyes.
She sounds again with a bloody trail but the Killers make her rise.
Get me in close, now’s the chance, the odds for once are good.
I’ll go for her lungs with the killing lance and drown her with her blood.

The lance is in, the blood is free, she swirls in curtains of red.
Her life bleeds out into the sea and soon she will be dead.
The Killers will eat her lips and tongue, the float will mark where she lies.
We'll come back when the whales have sung as they do when one of them dies

We bob on a sea that's quiet at last, aching down to the bone.
Too tired to go and break our fast it's strange to be here alone.
We lean on our oars filled with regret which isn't that good because
knowing of all of the blood that we've let, the Killers in Eden are us.

Last edited by Jan Iwaszkiewicz; 07-22-2018 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:40 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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Wow. "Banjo". Bonzer!

The rhyme sings; it took me on a ripping ride and I loved every minute. I'm still a bit breathless.

Moby-Dick meets the ancient mariner: Old scores/enemies (the broken fin) and the terminal, terrible regret, but without the easy sermon spelt out.

I love the detail of the Killers (the book-knowing of their old Spanish name) and the studied floating of the capital "K".

The change of gender puzzles me but I don't want to go there, the narrative doesn't give me time. "There he is" and "Thar she blows" are spun into a cocoon of tradition and narration that holds the story steady as it goes.

I respond deeply to the ending with a quiet "yes". Yes, we are. Alas, we are.

I see the difference between letting and shedding but I long for the consonance/assonance of the latter in the last line. Why did you decide against it?
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:40 PM
Stephen Hampton Stephen Hampton is offline
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Default deep cutting requires deep healing time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Drysdale View Post
Wow. "Banjo". Bonzer!

The rhyme sings; it took me on a ripping ride and I loved every minute. I'm still a bit breathless.

Moby-Dick meets the ancient mariner: Old scores/enemies (the broken fin) and the terminal, terrible regret, but without the easy sermon spelt out.

I love the detail of the Killers (the book-knowing of their old Spanish name) and the studied floating of the capital "K".

The change of gender puzzles me but I don't want to go there, the narrative doesn't give me time. "There he is" and "Thar she blows" are spun into a cocoon of tradition and narration that holds the story steady as it goes.

I respond deeply to the ending with a quiet "yes". Yes, we are. Alas, we are.

I see the difference between letting and shedding but I long for the consonance/assonance of the latter in the last line. Why did you decide against it?
Dear Jan and Ann

I like this, and would echo what Ann has writ.... except maybe "Alas".
One could rightly call me an Ishmael, being a hunter and fisherman almost from birth. However, I have never killed a living organism (plant or animal) without a legal, justifiable reason. Most of the protein, vitamins and minerals I require for healthy (normal omnivorous) human living I purchase from the grocery store.... in effect paying others to kill and harvest my food. Having been cut deeply in surgery, I know full well the pain and suffering that ANY organism must feel when such wounding occurs. Therefore, I would not inflect such pain (personally or by proxy) on any living thing.... if it were not necessary for my personal survival, and that of others under my care. Being a living organism requiring the consumption of other living organisms in order to live a healthy human life (good food is good medicine and vice a versa) I do not think ill of any fellow human organism for doing the same. Of course animal husbandry and agriculture must be done correctly, and conservatively, without abusing any natural flora or fauna. Otherwise, human civilisation will ultimately suffer, and could even collapse into another darker age. Forgive my rambling here. Now, still being in recovery....think I'll read Moby Dick again.
Sincerely,
Stephen
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:48 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hey Jan,

This is marvellous rollicking stuff in that Robert Service/Banjo Patterson style that you are very adept at. It reminds me of this old ballad done here by The Dubliners

https://youtu.be/6IVtbVSOs5Y

And here, with even more piratical rumbunctiosness, by The Pogues

https://youtu.be/gtdnJBQyQJU

Is there a reason that S2L1 is short? However I elongate 'C’m aaawn' it seems to be 4 beats, rather than 7 and doesn't sound quite right as a result.

Edit: Hmm. I suppose if I were singing it, and stretching out the 'C'm aaaawn' it would work. So yes, as you were.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 07-24-2018 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:05 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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The voice characterization, narrative and steady stream of visuals are riveting, breathtaking. I'm not even sure I read the whole thing. But I'm ready to read it again.

I wanted to say at least that much -- What else is there to say?

What Ann said:

"The rhyme sings; it took me on a ripping ride and I loved every minute. I'm still a bit breathless."

Me too.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:26 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Jan,

It always takes me a bit to read longer pieces on the Sphere. This was well worth the wait - lovely, old-fashioned storytelling. I'm sorry for the whale's death, but so are your narrators. The language is rich and alive - let me just quote "a making tide", wonderful phrase, and which rings true. It seems to me you have a habit of language like that, in a Seamus Heaney sort of way.

Cheers,
John
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:36 AM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Hello Ann,

I am sorry that I have not responded sooner my life is rarely on an even keel which I guess puts me in the majority.

I am glad that you enjoyed the ride.

Gender? we went from Old Tom the Killer Whale to the cow whale victim.

I had not thought of using "shed" bloodletting was in my mind.

Yes Genesis had the right of it and we do not change.

Thank you, regards,

Jan
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