King of the Seven Seas

(Well, when the NaPoWriMo prompt today was for superhero poems, I knew I was game for it. I’ve actually wrote one this year already for TV’s Green Arrow. And, technically, Rodimus Prime is a superhero. Not to mention the free verse I wrote for Carmine Infantino, the illustrator of the Silver Age Flash. So why this particular one? Let’s say I wanted to pick a superhero no one would likely write a poem for… and Vibe was too obscure. You can have your Batmans and Iron Mans. This one’s for you, Arthur Curry.)


Like comets streaking through the sky
An airplane plunges to the sea.
Resigned, they fear the end is nigh
Their grave: ten leagues from Mauna Kea.

But, lo, a strange sight churns the waves!
A pod of whales swim close and swift.
These noble creatures, bold and brave,
Join up to form a landing strip.

I summoned them by mental call
For I’m the mortal they call King.
I’m there when troubled luck befalls
The safety of all living things.

Son of a man who lit the beam
Protecting ships from jagged shore
And an exiled mermaid queen
Whose heritage I once ignored.

Yet oceans held tight on my soul;
Its undertow too swift and strong.
I ventured forth like knights of old —
A hero’s call, my siren’s song.

Uneasy on my brow’s the crown
Not bred was I of royalty.
A lighthouse keeper’s son, deep down,
With pride in humble ancestry.

I thus send forth my finny friends
To stop foul pirates and their kind.
To darkest depths, my crown defends
The oceans from vile sorts of crime:

Bad men who in mad science play —
From island labs, their monsters breed —
To tycoons wrecking coral bays
Through eco-damage born from greed.

I don a suit of bright scale mail
While perched on a seahorse’s back.
The barracudas, sharks, and whales
At beckon call press the attack.

With Neptune’s trident in my hand
The waves roll through some mythic source
I drive back evils from dry land,
The seas’ sanctity enforced.

So thus is Arthur Curry’s reign
The Seven Seas sworn to protect.
I leave, with might of hurricanes,
My villains stranded and shipwrecked.


(Artwork scanned from old issues of Adventure Comics, drawn by the incomparable Ramona Fradon.)

(EDIT: And just for fun, here’s a fan video I made for Ookla the Mok some half a decade ago for their song, “Super Powers”. Incidentally, they also composed the song, “Arthur Curry,” which does not have the verses I wrote but does include tasty samples of the 1960’s Batman theme and the 1970’s Wonder Woman theme.)

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