Lost at Sea and Supposed Dead

Here’s a photo of the Zambak, a newspaper clipping (incomplete) about the episode with a picture of Mari on the cover, and some e-mail exchanges explaining more of what happened.

There is a fuller story he sent me on 25 Dec 2013 that you might enjoy.

The Zambak

Patrick wrote the following back-story:

Here is the boat I bought for 500 dollars in Izmir.  The first day out, after getting her fixed up, a storm tore up the mainsail and blew us onto a sand reef.  The captain of the fishing boat who pulled us off lost a finger in the winch.  We (bandmaster Billy Bielmeir and I) spent the night in the bar of a safe harbor, while helicopters and rescue people searched after the storm cleared. The next day we tied up what was left of the mains’l and using that and the jib, we limped back to the yacht club in Izmir.  Meanwhile the newspaper AKSAM had reported us lost at sea and supposed dead.  The photo shows Mari receiving the news.  Continue reading “Lost at Sea and Supposed Dead”

Beside the Dardanelles

The Black and Marmara seas breed gypsy souls
Among the Turks.  The brown and umber shoals
Of shade, beneath the parrot green or blue
Feathered waves, shivering to spew
Onto land with raucous breakers, flicker dark
And light like wrinkled, laughing eyes.  The blades
Of sun in slashing arcs like Dervish swords
Go mad in colors that the nomad hordes
Had never dreamed in barren hills by Bor;
Here by Troy each man becomes a song
Of red and yellow like the single birds
Whistling in the open air as they  soar
Toward the pines at Hissarlik where goatherds
meet at dusk, a dusty harlequin throng.

Izmir, 1962

Elegy

Grandfather’s bred brother
Was a black leather Bible:
Each day to heaven
Was begun and ended
Between onion skin leaves.

He boldly led
A life of Sundays
Of rollicking sermons
And week-long revivals loud
With trombones and banjos:
A leaping preacher
Was his carnival:
A joker who knocked them down,
One to a ball.

(Never a night
Fewer than a hundred
Rolled down the aisles
To the altar.)

But now let the congregation
Remove its hats.
The steadfast preacher has preached his last.
Hum the chorus once more while we wait;
Won’t anyone else come here and kneel?

The stone in the ground
Is no tribute to the man.
He was one to shout glory
To the rafters and railings
Each day the door was open.
Never was he so still as the granite
At his head saying:
      Rest in Peace
Forever.

New York, 1962


Here’s the poem as I first found in his files, date unknown. I subsequently found the electronic version posted above.

Elegy