"A Fable: The Prince Of Tides" by Charles Plymell
Charles Plymell reads "A Fable: The Prince Of Tides" at Ecstatic Yod Books in Florence, Massachusetts on August 12, 2001. Video by Laki Vazakas.
See also http://poetry.about.com/library/weekly/aa072799.htm
“The Prince of Tides,” A Timely Fable by Charles Plymell
As disturbing as the event was, more so was wading through the real tears and bathos of last week's news and hearing the need of a nation to create heroes and myths. That is the poet's job, and Charles Plymell, a nation's poet, responded. Since I heard it last Wednesday night, I can't stop thinking about Charlie's fable, we're honored to present it here.
In 1909 in Albany, NY
Carl Jung, marveling at the birth
of our technological culture,
observed: “All that is frightfully
costly and already carries
the germ of the end in itself.”
The Prince of Tides The King of the most powerful land was preparing his reign of peace, freedom, and equality for all his people. The Queen was preparing for birth of the new Prince. But there were problems. His armies were engaged in a conflict they could not win. The young did not want to fight the unknown enemies that the old had made to keep power. Much to the Queen's dismay, who was busy rearing the new Prince, the King had also fallen under the spell of the Sex Goddess who ruled in the Make Believe World.
In order to draw attention from his problems, he promised his people and the Goddess something impossible. The Moon was inviolate and pure through all the millennia. It was the symbol of an untouched heavenly body. On a hot July day when the seas of the earth were hazy his spacemen set foot on the moon and played a sport. For beings from Earth, landing on the moon was the greatest of all feats, but other Heavenly Bodies grew angry and sent a tremor through space.
The others ordered the moon to multiply the earth beings until they poisoned themselves with their sciences, inventions, and technologies that they thought would better their race and protect themselves. The toxins made them act strangely and kill each other in inhuman and unpredictable ways. The other Heavenly Bodies also put a curse on the Sex Goddess who died mysteriously, reportedly taking her own life. The King was assassinated, his brain stolen, and the event so obscured that the Queen and her people would never know the truth. The toddler Prince saluted his father's horse-drawn casket. The king's brother was also assassinated and tragedy befell more of the family.
The Prince grew into the handsomest and most desired by all peoples. Even a Princess from another country came to visit him. The millennium was drawing to a close. Strange events happened more frequently. The Princess' great beauty was crushed by a new lifestyle of high-speed technology and metal. With his wife and her sister by his side, the Prince flew his new sleek-wing'd technology into a July haze just a few years after the Queen had died. Before the new millennium, in the same month the King had made the moon his conquest, fabulous remains washed ashore in silent pieces where the Queen had once played with the child Prince while the King governed his people.
Cherry Valley, NY
July 19, 1999