I am reading Rime of The Ancient Mariner(said marry - ner)while looking out at the bobbing boats of the Mariner (said maree - ner) from the breakfast table. If my name was Marie Nuh then I’d be Marie Nuh on a Mariner (marree – ner) reading about an ancient Mariner (marry – ner). Such are the great and deep thoughts that occupy my mind.
The sun is reflecting off of the windows in the breakfast hall of The Granville restaurant and I am baking nicely. I’m transfixed by the story, bewitched by the tale. I’m transported, and to read it here of all place’s, by the glassy bay.
It’s about a man cursed to forever tell the story, trapped by a betrayal (his own) and the penance. He has learned to cast a spell to tell his story. Like any good storyteller.
It is a nature poem too, in many ways: The albatross and the reckoning. It is many things. It's a poem about climate change, that we must look after earth and the nature within it because if we don’t, if we take the crossbow to the albatross, nature will turn against us with an almighty wrath.It is both religious and Pagan not unlike the wedding ritual at its heart.
As I finish at the breakfast table Hal Wakethe festival organiser strolls in to say hello. He has a warm and organised presence. I gush about theMariner and he welcomes me to the festival.
Damn it is civilized to let an artist have a free day to recover from jetlag so he can sit by the sea and read poetry. It never happens. But it’shappening here. Hal is one of the great literature festival directors in the western hemisphere. Sounds grand but its true.
A short while later Morganics and I step out into the city the sun has risen and the light is golden and crisp. The city awakes and we drink in coffee bars and chat about “spoken word” scenes around the world; New York, Australia, London, Canada, New Zealand, all places we’ve both been to.
We are definitely doing the male bonding thing: lots and lots of laughter, mutual respect and deep talk about the nature of spoken word, it's pitfalls and new generations. Male bonding is important and the older I get the less I do it. The other poets will be arriving tomorrow. Can't wait.
We step into a gallery of first nation art, aboriginal art? And the gallery staff tell us that this is were Damien Hirst buys first nation art for his home in England. Spending time around this art makes you stoned. The Totems are incredible and have all the resonance of the story held inside the cedar wood. The story of The Ancient Mariner is here too.