Creative Writing Wednesday: “Lament of the Celestial Cowboy”

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Creative Writing Wednesday
Tags: , , ,

It’s Wednesday again, and a great wail has gone up, echoing across the multiverse, for Ian Johnson has sat down at his computer, and begins to write on his lame blog…

*ahem*

Happy Wednesday, everybody. Our particular installment is… older. It’s actually my first genuinely published piece, and it dates back to… (checks)… August, 2009. When I was still in high school.

Yeah, yeah. It was just two years ago. Shut up. It’s the oldest work of mine that I feel comfortable sharing.

Laugh it up, sausage-toes.

In any case, this poem was originally a dream. I mean that literally– I dreamed this poem into existence. I woke up one summer morning, and there it was in my head. I’d never had something like that happen to me before, so I wrote it down, just as it had come into my head.

It was a strange experience, and honestly, it felt pretty good. I happen to like this poem– it’s not great, but hey, none of my poems are, and it’s one of the earliest of my works that I can remember reading without cringing. So that’s a good thing.

A few details about this poem: the “come ride with me” refrain was, I think, inspired by the Muse song “Knights of Cydonia”, which is six minutes of epic rock awesome, and a song I’d been listening to a lot that summer. It inhabited my brain, and so when I dreamed this poem, my subconscious mind somehow put it into the poem.

I envisioned the Celestial Cowboy of the title as sort of a fundamental aspect of the universe. He’s not a typical “space cowboy” like Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds. He’s more of an anthropomorphic personification of gravity– like any good cowboy, he oversees herds, and in this case the herds he oversees are atoms and planets and stars. I liked the idea of stars as being somewhat similar to cows, and this “Celestial Cowboy” being the being that herds them into galaxies and globular clusters.

In any case, I feel like this poem has two main points: explore the universe while you can, because you won’t always be able to; and don’t be afraid of death, because when we die, our component atoms go back to the universe, and we become part of something new.

It’s a blast from the past, in any case. Hope you enjoy it.

~ Ian

Lament of the Celestial Cowboy

 

Come ride with me, come ride with me, across the inky skies,

Through silvery ghosts of galaxies and faraway divides,

Ripped away from matter and beyond our feeble minds;

Come ride with me, come ride with me, and see what we can find.

 

Come ride with me beyond our world, beyond the cold twilight,

Beyond the dead transitions between day and night,

And when you die away, when the hurdy-gurdy’s done,

Come ride with me, come ride with me, beyond the setting sun.

 

Come ride with me, my friend, through darkness and despair,

Through the voids between galaxies where nothing is there,

Past nebulae and pulsars and supernova lights,

Come ride with me, come ride with me, through endless seas of night.

 

Come ride with me past planets and through infinite space,

You’re tired of this world, my friend, tired of this place,

And when your eyes turn dim and dark, when the battle’s lost and won,

Come ride with me, come ride with me, before the morning comes.

 

Come ride with me away from here, across the celestial nave,

We’ll fly like light and darkness, like particle and wave,

And when your eyes grow cloudy and you die into endless night,

I’ll cut you into photons and transform you into light.

 

Come ride with me, come ride with me, across the inky skies,

Through silvery ghosts of galaxies and faraway divides,

Ripped away from matter and beyond our feeble minds;

Come ride with me, come ride with me, and see what we can find.

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