Drew Hetzel: The Return of the Ancient Mariner’s Crew

Fall '10 TOC

Five luckless hunters, sitting astride Alice’s restaurant table 2,
Did munch and chomp and fairly chew
On the rump and flesh of their silent stew –
The Ancient Mariner's Crew!

I sat nearby and watched –
Their carnage knew no end.
They ripped and tore and slopped and gulped
As only bumpkins ken.

A deep disgust did churn my bile
And force me to avert my gaze
To where I saw my own denial
And reason set ablaze.

“A veggie burger!" I boldly dispensed
For one and all to hear,
Though in my heart, their recompense
I did for certain fear.

I felt a pain shoot deep inside,
But could not place the mark.
‘Twas wholly wrong of me to chide
Those buzzards on a lark.

To my horror all the hunters turned
Like puppets on the string,
And in unison, with toothy grin
Their throats were wont to sing–

A raspy, fluty voice from food-filled gob
Echoed from hollow chests,
Its intent was clear and near to gibe,
And reached to the albatross’ nest—

”’Twas on this earthly day so foul, two century ago,
Your soul an albatross did shoot with nary a dismay,
But now we’ve come to see thy woe,
Our souls by yours delayed.”

Into my gaping maw they crammed
That veggie burger down,
”’Tis fitting just rewards for the damned
That now you have been found.”

Assured me they, their aim was won,
To release me from the curse,
“The albatross is dead and gone
And your fate won’t be worse.”

I wrote this on the parchment here,
Before I did expire,
In hope that future hunters hear
Of words that would inspire:
“A veggie burger tastes just right,
Though may not make it down,
And though my youth knew such might,
Like the anchor with its crown,
I could not see in day or night
So I shot that big bird down.

“If I could have just one more chance
To erase a life of sin,
I’d take a hard-line moral stance
As a vegan vegetarian.”

An albatross is bitter fare indeed
This be warned that you may henceforth take heed.

:: TOC ::

Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
© 2012 Naropa University