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11X14 oil on canvas by Gica framed (19"X22.25'') Completed 7April2015

"THE TURTLE WITH THE GOLDEN SHELL" (A Poem)

 

PROLOGUE:
THE GODS OF OLD GATHERED AND CONFERRED,
IN LABS, CONCOCTING PLANT, AND FISH, AND BIRD.
THERE WAS NO LIMIT TO THE THINGS THEY SAW,
EMPOWERED WITH COMPLETE COMMAND OF ALL GENETIC LAW.

WITH WHAT JOY THEY MUST HAVE CONJURED THEIR CREATIONS,
WITHOUT CONSTRAINT OF INFERIOR IMAGINATIONS!
THEIR MASTERPIECE WAS, OF COURSE, THE FIRST OF HUMAN KIND,
AND EVERY CHILD BORN SINCE THEN IS PRODUCT OF THAT MIND.

BUT IN LABS, EXPERIMENTS OFTEN GO AWRY,
FASHIONING FLAWED FORM OR FACE, THAT PAINED THE GODLY EYE,
MANITAUR, HALF MAN, HALF TAURUS, UNICORN, OR HORSE WITH HORN
CHIMERA, MONSTER, INEPT, UNFIT, ILL-CONCEIVED, AND GRACELESS BORN.

THINGS SO HIDEOUS ON OCCASION,  WERE CAST INTO THE VOID,
 INSIDIOUS ABERRATIONS WHICH HAD TO BE DESTROYED,
OTHERS SIMPLY LACKED PERFECTION, WERE IMPROVED AND MADE TO FUNCTION,
ALL THEY NEEDED WAS CORRECTION, AND A GODLY UNCTION...

THROUGH THE AGES, MEMORIES REMAINED AND STORIES BREWED,
OF CREATURES MYSTICAL AND MAGICAL WHOM THE GODS ESCHEWED,
NOW MYTHS AND FAIRY TALES WE CALL THEM, PASSING ON AS FABLES,
LEGENDS OF THE MISTY PAST, WHEN THE GODS WORKED AT THEIR TABLES:

ONCE THERE WAS A TORTOISE WHOSE CARAPACE WAS GOLD,
WHOSE SPLENDOR IN THE SUNLIGHT  INCREASED A HUNDRED FOLD,
AND LIT A FIRE BURNING, FLASHING REDDISH YELLOW HUES,
IN EVERY VIEWER'S EYE AS SUNBEAMS SCATTERED AND DIFFUSED.

HE WAS A LIVING STATUETTE, A FORTUNE ON FOUR LEGS,
THE GODS COULD NOT HAVE CONTEMPLATED BETTER THINGS FROM EGGS,
FOR EVERY TIME AN EGG BROUGHT FORTH, A GOLDEN TURTLE HATCHED,
AND ADDED TO THE WEALTH OF GODS, A WEALTH ELSEWHERE UNMATCHED.

THE MYTH ONCE TOLD OF EGGS OF GOLD AND A PLAIN OLD GOOSE WHO LAID THEM,
MAY STRETCH OUR FAITH TO DISBELIEF IN THE TALE AND THE GODS WHO MADE THEM,
GOLD IS, OF COURSE AND ALWAYS WAS, THE CHOICE OF GODS IN METALS,
BUT THE GOD'S OUTDID THEMSELVES BY CHANGING EGGS TO GOLDEN TURTLES.

IN GODLY MAGNANIMITY THEY PROVED THEMSELVES UNBOUND,
BESTOWING PRECIOUS BULLION TO THOSE CRAWLING ON THE GROUND,
WHO HIDE IN MUD AND TROD ALONG WITH AGONIZING SLOWNESS,
SURPRISINGLY THE GODS  THUS HONORED HUMBLENESS AND LOWNESS.

PEOPLE LOVE THEIR RICHES AND THEY THINK ITS GRAND TO WEAR THEM,
BUT IN TRUTH THEY CAN BE CUMBERSOME TO THE ONES WHO BEAR THEM.
THEY PROVED ENTIRELY BURDENSOME TO  THE LOWLY TORTOISE,
WHO BORE WHAT TO A HUMAN WOULD CRIPPLE, AND DISTORT US.

IN THE CORNERS OF THE TEMPLES AND THE FORESTS OF HIGH PLACES,
HE STRUGGLED HUNTING BUGS WHILE BRINGING SMILES TO GODLY FACES,
AND TO ADD TO HIS DISCOMFORT, SUMMER HEAT AND WINTER COLD,
BROUGHT NO PLEASURE TO THE TORTOISE WHOSE SHELL WAS SOLID GOLD.

SO ONCE TO SPARE HIMSELF THE WEIGHT AND SEASONAL EXTREMES,
THE TORTOISE VENTURED OFF THE LAND AND INTO LAKES AND STREAMS,
BUT OVERCOMING ONE HARDSHIP, ONE TROUBLE, ONE MORE HURDLE,
HE CEASED TO BE A TORTOISE AND BECAME WHAT'S CALLED A "TURTLE".

AND EVEN THOUGH EQUIPPED TO SWIM, THE TURTLE FOUND HE SANK,
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED HE DEDUCED, HE HAD THE GOLD TO THANK,
THE GREATEST GIFTS WE SOMETIMES SEEK, LONG BEFORE WE'VE GOT 'EM
TURN OUT TO BE BUT DETRIMENTS, WHICH DRAG US TO THE BOTTOM.

FROM HIDDEN DEPTHS AND WEIGHTED DOWN , THE TURTLE CRIED IN ANGUISH,
PLEASE SAVE ME FROM THIS GOLDEN CROWN, THE CAUSE OF WHICH I LANGUISH!"
FROM HIGH UPON THE MOUNT OF GODS, FORTHWITH THEY KNEW THE CREATURES PAIN,
AND GATHERED THERE ON HIS ACCOUNT CONFERRING ONCE AGAIN.

IT DIDN'T TAKE THEM LONG TO REALIZE THE WRONG THEY'D DONE,
SOME CREATURES SIMPLY CAN NOT RUN THE COURSE THAT OTHERS RUN,
WHILE GODS AND HUMANS RELISH THE HIGH PLACES AND THE RICHES,
OTHERS WHO PREFER FAR LESS, ARE MORE AT HOME IN DITCHES.

 

WITHOUT A HESITATION OR A MOMENT'S INDECISION,
WITHOUT SCORN, OR RIDICULE, JUDGMENT OR DERISION,
THE GODS AS ONE PUT FORTH THEIR HAND, AN UNDERTAKING VITAL,
TO COMPENSATE AND RECREATE THEIR CONCEPT OF THE TURTLE.

THEY TOUCHED HIS SCUTES, THEN FELL AWAY EACH TURTLE'S GOLDEN SCALES.
AND IN THEIR PLACE AT ONCE THERE GREW WHAT SEEMED LIKE FINGERNAILS,
AND LEFT UPON THE OCEAN FLOOR,  MEDALLIONS WITHOUT MEASURE,
TODAY THEY'RE SOUGHT BY SCUBA DIVERS HUNTING SUNKEN TREASURE.

THE DEEP SEA TURTLE SWAM AWAY, RELIEVED OF ALL HIS BOOTY,
AND THOUGH NOT GOLD THE TURTLE STILL RETAINS A CERTAIN BEAUTY,
RETURNING TO THE SHORELINE ALSO YIELDED SOME IMPROVEMENTS,
THE NEW SCUTES ACCLIMATED WELL TO ALL CHELONIAN  MOVEMENTS.

EPILOGUE:
THE MORAL TO THIS STORY SHOULD BE OBVIOUS AND YET,
HOW MANY OF US KNOW INSIDE BUT EASILY FORGET,
THAT WEALTH CAN BE AND OFTEN IS LIKE WEALTH IN GOLDEN TURTLES,
THE VERY THING WHICH SAPS THE STRENGTH AND STEALS THE LIFE OF MORTALS?
Copyright 18 June, 2009
Joseph and Jessica Gambino
All Rights Reserved

(Autographed Copy of this poem by the author included in sale of painting)

"The Turtle With The Golden Shell"

SKU: ItemNumber2039
$2,175.00Price