Away with the fairy he goes,
Rowing, rowing through mist and fog,
Rowing, rowing into the great green sea –
Better than Nepenthe, better than dreams.
Through dark chasms,
Through roaring seas,
Rowing, rowing; rowing deep
Rowing, rowing into the heart of everything.
All of this he does,
And for all of this he weeps;
All for one last dream,
A dream about his lost Nadine.
Time he cannot waste,
He must hurry, must make haste
Before the emerald ship sails away
And leaves him stranded in this torturous place.
And every night he moans,
And every night he screams,
Forgotten, forsaken, forlorn;
Reduced to a crumpled heap by the Wailing Wall,
Clawing and calling for his darling Nadine.
Clawing and calling for the lost Nadine
Who rests under the sea
In a little chapel of seashells and maritime debris,
Who rests under the sea.
The bottom of his glass glows green,
The furious fire in the hearth, bright and red;
His hand, trembling alabaster and cream,
His heart, stone cold and close to dead.
One flick of the wrist,
All down in one swig;
A fluorescent flood invades his mouth;
He suppresses a shout,
And it pours down his throat.
With tremulous lips he utters,
Now and then with fear he stutters,
Begs the fairy in babbles and mutters
To take him to his love;
She accedes with wings aflutter.
And off he goes into the night,
Without inhibitions, without fright,
Accompanied by wild hope and shimmers of green light,
Rowing, rowing; his heart pounding, burning bright.
His head slowly unravels
As mighty Thor his thunder straddles,
Gasping, gripping; on he travels;
Yet the gentle fairy does not struggle.
Fever overcomes him swallow after swallow;
He blindly follows
And wallows through the hollows,
Wallows through the hollows,
Trying to staunch the smarting sorrow,
But try as he might
He only clutches at the shadows.
Amidst the broken sobs,
The fairy’s flight suddenly stops;
With tender wings his tears she mops
And with soothing whispers his fears she halts.
Abruptly she plummets into the black below,
Missing the sirens and the jagged rocks
That cause her charge such strenuous woe;
Dodging, dodging imaginary foes,
Dodging, dodging most of misery’s blows.
Falling, falling to the churning void,
Sinking, sinking he cries out in senseless joy;
Crashing, splashing and smashing
Miles and miles away from the silent shore.
A million memories fleeing, flashing,
Thoughts and feelings like titans clashing,
Trying to capture days of yore –
Hoping to regain his happiness forevermore.
Having done this a thousand times before,
Having chased the stupor and conquered it like a Lord;
He has lost his mind, has lost his wife, has lost control –
Little does he know he won’t be coming back no more,
Little does he know he won’t be coming back no more.
And right before his tear-stained eyes –
Baffling and startling his addled mind,
The fairy’s follies blurring his sight –
Stands Nadine all dressed in white.
Nadine, Nadine all dressed in white,
All haloed in dawn’s gray light,
And hallowed by the majestic might
Of Poseidon at her side.
The Lone star of that midnight sea
With Poseidon at her side,
The light of his soul,
The clarity of his mind,
The peace in his heart,
With Poseidon at her side.
Her smile a flash of white in a sea of aquamarine,
Her lovely gaze and pearlescent face
a testament to their faraway summer plight.
Words like flowing wine pour forth from his throat,
Bliss thunders and hammers in his heart
Driving out the cold;
His hands reach out to his darling Nadine
Who stands on a pile of wreckage
Amidst trails of urchins and gold.
But despite all his words and vows
Nadine remains silent and simply smiles,
Ignoring his pleading, his why’s and how’s;
Anything and everything she has heard before,
But no amount of begging and cajolery
Can make her move from her blessed spot
on the ocean floor.
Nadine, Nadine rooted to the ocean floor,
Knowing, knowing it cannot be like it was before,
Nadine, Nadine not moving from her marine throne;
He wants her and needs her
Like a soothing balm for his aching core.
With a shapely hand she calls her love,
The hand moving, moving like the waves above;
The little hand is picturesque,
The subtle gestures arabesque,
The meaning of her movement could have been mistaken
for nothing less.
He moves forward and ignores the rest.
Mindlessly following his love’s command,
His feet shuffle, shuffle on the ocean sand;
A million miles away from time or land
He hacks at the distance with stumbling legs and his heart’s demand.
Never does he think his wife’s too far
Even when the longing threatens to tear his soul apart,
One tiny push from the fairy is all it takes
To carry him to the end of the line
And stand with his Nadine
Finally seeing eye to eye.
And when the distance is next to none,
one body wants to envelope the other one.
Nadine’s hands float up and brush his sides,
His arms, fleshy snakes around her waist
Reclaim what was once lost at the water’s edge;
Her small hands unclasp the necklace around her supple neck
And hand it to the man who sighs and cries
For one last touch of her pallid fingers
Or any vestige of a fading smile.
Extending his clammy palm
He accepts Nadine’s token with glee and pride,
With teary eyes he examines the necklace
Of the woman that makes his heart sigh;
The seashells and the pearls gleam strangely
in the vast chiaroscuro of rising sea and fleeting night.
A sad grin possesses her mouth,
Feather lips form in a kiss
And rest sweetly on his weathered brow;
The sting in the kiss eludes his bouncing soul brimming with bliss,
His heart is full and his senses dulled.
From far away the fairy smirks
Creeping, creeping, its mind pondering a solid thought:
To steal the Earth Shaker’s forked scepter
And burying it in the lover’s heavy chest
All the way home.
And so the treacherous fairy succeeds
In wounding his chest and slashing his dreams,
Blood drips and absinthe leaks
Out of the gash in his heart
As the emerald spawn’s laughter rings and reverberates
Through the breadth and depth of that vast green sea.
Laughing, laughing the fairy takes leave
As he curses and bitterly weeps,
His dying body floats away from his Nadine
Who waves goodbye from her spot on the floor of the sea.
Nadine, Nadine waving goodbye from her altar under the sea,
Nadine, Nadine fading into the breeze,
Nadine, Nadine sinking back into her grave of shells and debris.
Floating, floating away from the ocean floor,
He’s rising, rising back to where he was before;
His strength is deserting him
As the crashing waves take him back to his empty home.
With his last breath his body emerges;
The surf breaks and the reaper surges,
The alcohol in his spilled blood his sins purges;
Death quickens her steps as his life with her finally merges.
Finally he is back before the burning hearth
Where the descent into madness once did start;
Where he started a hobby then made it an art –
Where he drank and drank till the sweet sister did him part.
His body is slumped on his favorite chair,
Death’s trails have long since chilled and hang upon the air;
The empty glass slips from his hand,
It crashes and smashes into tiny pieces
As small as grains of sand.
The fire in the hearth still rages on,
The light reflects and bounces off
the glass shards on the hardwood floor;
The flames will shine on
until the embers die,
Never to be fanned again by the one who turned them on.