The Ancient Mariner

UPDATE: The Ancient Mariner was published in the September 2014 issue of The Malaysian Naturalist, a quarterly magazine published by the Malaysian Nature Society, the oldest and largest homegrown environmental NGO in Malaysia. The magazine is sold through subscription and also available on newsstands. To find out more about MNS and the Naturalist, visit www.mns.my.  🙂

—————————————————————————————-

Here is the fourth poem in my social commentary series. Hope you like it. 🙂

The Ancient Mariner

She swims the oceans tirelessly
By instinct, she navigates the waters
A skilled veteran mariner, truly

Legends of her, the ocean whispers
Her courage and grace, admired by all
Countless battles won; triumphant survivor

Tales of her and her kind enthrall
Told as folktales to children of all ages
Her victories could fill a noble hall

Stories written of her filled millions of pages
Some true accounts, some fiction
Her conquests and successes outdo mages

An inspiration for many a generation
Her survival has now been threatened
Problems must be addressed by nations

The ancient mariner’s ranks have been decimated
The ocean has become a minefield
Her home with dangers riddled

Trawlers and fishing nets to increase yield
Egg collection for consumption continue
Will the polluted beaches ever be healed?

Beaches with confusing lights of every hue
Black market demand for hawksbill shells unabated
Dangers to the ancient mariner, to name just a few

Leave her eggs to hatch in the sand, uninterrupted
There’s no data to support the claims
The purported benefits are not validated

Leave the ancient mariner to fulfil her aims
Her world, we should let her reclaim

An original poem by
Khor Hui Min
26 July 2014

Turtle hatchling who dug its way out of its nest at Ma’Daerah Turtle Sanctuary, Kerteh, Kemaman, Terengganu. It will be released later at night.

Turtle hatchling who dug its way out of its nest at Ma’Daerah Turtle Sanctuary, Kerteh, Kemaman, Terengganu, Malaysia. It will be released later at night.

Message 

Sea turtles are ancient creatures who have roamed the planet’s oceans for a very long time. They have been around since the age of the dinosaurs, along with the sharks and crocodiles. They are unique because they are air-breathing reptiles who live in the sea. Once the little hatchlings emerge from their eggs and head out to sea, they will remain in the sea indefinitely. The adult females will only return to the beaches where they were born to lay clutches of eggs once in a few years. The adult males never come back to land.

Imagine if a turtle comes back to lay eggs on her beach only to discover that a busy resort has been constructed on it, or it is a popular tourist spot flooded with confusing lights at night, or that it has been polluted beyond recognition. These are just some of the hazards that sea turtles have to endure to lay their eggs safely. In addition, sea turtles drown every year because they get entangled in fishing nets. Unable to come up to the surface to breath, they die a watery death.

So, do your part to help the turtles. Keep your nesting beaches clean and free of obstructions. Don’t flood them with lights at night. Last, but not least, don’t buy and eat their eggs. Don’t let the sea turtles go the way of the dodo.

Poetic style

This poem was written in the style of a terza rima – an Italian form of poetry first used by Dante Alighieri.

A terza rima consists of stanzas of three lines (or tercets). It follows an interlocking rhyming scheme, or chain rhyme – the middle of each stanza rhymes with the first and last line of the following stanza. However, there is no set length to this form, as long as it follows the pattern as follows:

ABA
BCB
CDC
DED

The last stanza will be a couplet rhyming with the middle line of the previous stanza. In this case, EE.

So here is my poem again with the rhyming scheme shown:

The Ancient Mariner

(A)  She swims the oceans tirelessly
(B)  By instinct, she navigates the waters
(A)  A skilled veteran mariner, truly

(B)  Legends of her, the ocean whispers
(C)  Her courage and grace, admired by all
(B)  Countless battles won; triumphant survivor

(C)  Tales of her and her kind enthrall
(D)  Told as folktales to children of all ages
(C)  Her victories could fill a noble hall

(D)  Stories written of her filled millions of pages
(E)  Some true accounts, some fiction
(D)  Her conquests and successes outdo mages

(E) An inspiration for many a generation
(F) Her survival has now been threatened
(E) Problems must be addressed by nations

(F) The ancient mariner’s ranks have been decimated
(G) The ocean has become a minefield
(F)  Her home with dangers riddled

(G) Trawlers and fishing nets to increase yield
(H)  Egg collection for consumption continue
(G) Will the polluted beaches ever be healed?

(H) Beaches with confusing lights of every hue
(I)   Black market demand for hawksbill shells unabated
(H) Dangers to the ancient mariner, to name just a few

(I)  Leave her eggs to hatch in the sand, uninterrupted
(J)  There’s no data to support the claims
(I)  The purported benefits are not validated

(J) Leave the ancient mariner to fulfil her aims
(J) Her world, we should let her reclaim

To read more about the terza rima poetic style, visit the Young Writers’ Website.

Advertisements

About khorhmin

Freelance writer. Poet. Blogger. Facepainter. Potter. Photographer. Shutterstock contributor. You can follow me @MinKhor.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Poem, Terza rima and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s