A new poem from Sir Run Run Shaw, XVIII, Poet Laureate of the Far East and Micronesia, acknowledged master of impossible rhymes and regular literary contributor to Syrian Perspective.
ODE TO INDECISION; PRINCE HAMLETOV IN TARTUS
Confessions of a confused Phlebas
The Shades of Baal pass o’er its waves like cormorants on the prowl;
Ishtar’s smile is but a hint to his sly scheme; as inscrutable as an owl.
The Great White Sea conceals our fate infolded in his lurid scowl
Not wont to act, for but a moment, by dint of his wriggling jowl.
In Muscovy, from whence you came, are there secrets to disembowel?
To divine the future from such coiled guts leaves odors rank and foul.
We read the omens quite astutely; but find them so much dung and drivel.
That New World hag, her German slag, do ought but carp and snivel.
And what of Albion? Will it stand for right? Or, as ever, squirm and swivel?
As though no God hath tarried there, bequeathing Britain to the Devil.
And you, Oh Prince of Fleets, your ships do seem to bloat and shrivel.
So stop the hemming, and cease the hawing. Stop being so damn civil!
Here in Canaan, we cower craven at the sound of Thor and Thunder;
Our greatest woe is media snow; hot air which augurs blunder;
Let not Geneve give ye a cause to let thieves tear Aram asunder
Or grant them leave to make us grieve at the sight of our own plunder.
Each day we scan your brow, to read your meanings, but still we wonder
Are you the genius we think you are, or just a head up-filled with dunder?
(Malta, November 2012)
This poem has been included in Sir Run Run Shaw’s masterpiece diwan: The Upanishads of Ennui.