Oct 27, 2021 • 5M

The Apprentice's Sorcerer

A Rewrite of The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Adam Powers

Adam Powers
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The Apprentice's Sorcerer

Adapted from The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Can you tell me… what in the world it is that makes many people so fond of lying?…"- Lucian of Samosata’s “The Lover of the Lies”

Our old sorcerer has disappeared
And for once he’s off my back
Spiritworld has him holed away not here,
But my spell designs shall soon track.
Upon hearing a spoken astral noise
Saying incantations I know
Heard in my Sorcerer's old voice
Where my magic spell did show:

Rise, rise onwards
    Heat every
    Extract earthly
    Toxins rushing,
    Raising raizing-power stronger
    Swirling whirlpool current gushing.

More than our old wood friends are needed,
Back on this planet plane with rising seas
Rooted long before our Sorcerer's spell was seeded,
Grown into tools bound from trees
Transformed into legged creatures,
Seeming to lock-in a course you’d see
A darkness with toxic and controlling features
I felt coming for me

   Rise, rise onwards
    Extracting every
    Thriving earthling
    Carbon crushing,
    Careless capital controlling
    Swirling whirlpool current gushing.

I'm scrying to see him, on shores chanting, changing
Peering there! He's at the tide already,
Conducting lightning with his hands tracing,
Dumping polluting hexes fast and steady...
Shoring up what we must hasten!
With how it makes water over-spills,
And how fast the water basin’s
Boiling over-full he fills!

  Halt now, heed me!
    Take more careful measure
    Hiding the world like a treasure
   Has far too much begotten!
    What climate change is near me, fear me.
    What my Sorcerer’s words have wrought on!

Oh, the words we need must be our Sorcerer’s
To transform creatures to transform once more!
Oh, but instead he continues business as usual faster
Rising seas burning broomsticks as never before!
With ever the new carbon and torrents
With his greedy gorgon magic fed,
Oh, and one in one-hundred year currents
Every five-years now pour upon my head!

  No, no longer
    Can I trust him,
    I will fight him!
    This isn’t just spiteful!
    My grief and rage grow stronger.
    What a mien, my power feels frightful!

Brood of hell, you're also mortal!
Shall you take our whole house under?
Taking us over thresholds, passing portals
Streaming in more water rushing with thunder.
World and woods accurst by sorcery,
Uncontrollable climate chaos fueled with will,
And woods that had been with us against supremacy,
Will once again have to stand with us tall!

    “Will nothing Apprentice, ever appease you?
    I will heat, drown, and freeze you,
    Extending my sorcery I will whack you,
    And your weird world and weak woods
    To own it all I'll sever,
    With a cascade of crises I'll crack you.”

My Sorcerer appears incanting enchanted waters dragging
Now I interrupt throwing my own storm upon him!
Take that, oh goblin of lies, now you'll be sagging.
SPLASH! THWACK! the extremes have undone you.
When suddenly a good wind blows, unruly
Sliver of a cyclone knocks us split, between.
Hope now more than ever only rises truly,
When all can breathe easier and free.

  Whatever betides me!
    Just stop lying to me
    No matter how gloomy,
    Dark clouds climb like towers
    The woods are inside me.
    Help me, help, renewable powers!

Levels continue rising, with wet and wetter weather
In the whole wide world immersed in lying,
What a flood that naught can fetter!
Oh Sorcerer, now do you hear all the crying? -
Oh, Lover of Lies NOW you feel remorse?
Sir, our need is more than sore.
Now the spirits that you summoned
Cannot be banished with your commanding roar:

  “To the dark and lonely
    World, in the corner, the antidote to all lies is truth
    So to transform your courage from doom
    Be light as a spirit
    Return by will, find magic in nature only
    And the earth, now I finally hear it.”

— Adam Powers


Let me know if you like this — or not! I tried recording what the read-through should sound like but failed to do anything fun/distinguishing with my voice to differentiate between the two voices in conversation in this poem. Gotta get better at voice acting for that. It’s definitely easier to see the different voices in the images I’ve included — where the text is orange, that’s the Sorcerer coking up climate catastrophe, where the text is black and blue, that’s the p.o.v. of the Apprentice. I’m guessing it’s most likely you’ve come across this story from a D*sney Property — the Fantas*a sequence. Maybe that helps create the visual, maybe it just puts the DUMda DUMda DUMda orchestra score in your head, but generally I wanted to invert the story of the Goethe poem and write from the perspective of the youth Apprentice who was just left to clean-up amid stacks on stacks of magic, while the old white bearded dude is busy wrecking the world.