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 Jun 2020 Pyrrha
JGuberman
Given the chance
We would all help George to breathe

And Ahmaud to complete his run
And leaving a bird watcher to bird watch

In the hope that he sees that rarest sighting
That still remains to be seen,

A life uninterrupted
where he doesn’t have to be concerned about his next breath

or the weight of one-sided history
Bearing down on his neck,

Or a virus
Filling his lungs with poison

A cytokine storm of oppression
Cutting life spans short

Leaving us without viable treatment,
As It’s stated matter of factly  

“we might have to live with this for the foreseeable future”,
And four hundred years on

there’s still no vaccine  
For separate and unequal treatment

In an injustice system
That’s become genocide ad seriatim?
 Jun 2020 Pyrrha
galaxy of myths
Perhaps I like Greek mythology too much that I create my own curse like in their poetry. How Calypso was cursed to fall for heroes who stumble upon her island, but they'll leave after. And here I am, cursed to be in a circle of unrequited love. Loving people I couldn't have, and being loved by people I couldn't love back.

-m.b
 Jun 2020 Pyrrha
Sophia Granada
Sweet-lipped Psyche's pale white skin
All the men in Greece dragged in.
And the poor girl's dark brown eyes
Led Aphrodite her to despise.
For Psyche truly was a beauty,
Reputed as brighter than Aphrodite.
If Aphrodite was a dark red rose,
Of which we've written poetry and prose,
Psyche was a pure-white Aganisia
For which they wrote a deep-sea saga.
But she knew it was sore unwise
To find herself level with a Goddess' eyes.
The only proof needed for Psyche
Was the sad fate of the maiden Arachne,
Who challenged Athena to a weaving contest,
And though her tapestry was judged the best,
It was she that ended as the melancholy loser,
For Athena punished her with the life of a spider.
And so it was that Psyche knew
Aphrodite wold claim her life too.
So Aphrodite sent her son,
The lovely, winged, holy one,
Whose golden arrows fly at night
And relieve bored lovers of their plights.
She sent Eros to shoot his arrow
And pierce it through to Psyche's marrow,
Then set before her a crocodile,
The scaly terror of the Nile,
With which she'd fall in love straightway,
And then she'd come to rue the day.
For crocodiles have no love to give,
So it would eat her, and she'd cease to live.
On the sleeping Psyche Eros descended,
Long before the night had ended,
In whose dainty breast to shove
A golden arrow poisoned with love.
He prepared to bury it to the hilt,
But a drop of love on him was spilt,
At the moment he saw her eyes, dark brown,
Look to him and stare him down.
Then Eros went back to his mother
And told her he could not wed another
Who did not shine quite so brightly
As his sweet-lipped brown-eyed Psyche.
So spiteful Aphrodite cursed
Psyche through her red lips pursed,
That the girl would find no husband
Among God, animal, or man.
And Eros this so greatly angered
He could no more with arrows linger
At the foot of lovers' beds
To foster love in their young heads.
The entire world then ceased to love
Whether it walked on foot or hoof.
Whether it swam or flew on wing
It could not love nor gain others' loving.
When love no longer circulated,
Aphrodite it aggravated
To see her temple lying bare
And to feel the gray growing in her hair.
She told Eros he'd have what he desired
If only he would kindle love's fires.
So at the mountain, Psyche's family offered her
And she was borne away on the back of Zephyr
To Eros' golden gay abode
That he and his ghostly servants called home.
In the golden rooms she wandered by daylight,
But she lay with Eros in the dark when came night.
She knew not who her darling was,
But called her ignorance a test of trust.
Never to look upon him by day,
She continued in this way,
Until she longed to visit her family,
Which her husband granted her gladly.
But he held her, and he warned her
Not to let her sisters persuade her.
"They may try to tear you away
By telling you gruesome stories." he'd say.
Then, trippingly, from Olympus she jumped down
To walk the streets of her hometown.
She told her sisters her whole story
And they turned it into something gory.
"He could be a serpent," they'd say,
"Fattening you up for the day
When he can pop you in his mouth and eat you"
Unfortunately, she took their words as true.
"So, when he comes to you at night,
Just gaze on him by candlelight!
If he's a serpent, use this knife,
And you'll no longer be his wife.
But make sure not to spill the oil,
Or his waking will cause great turmoil!
We'll find out about that young buck!
Use the candle, the knife, don't spill, and good luck!"
She walked back to the palace at their behest,
Butterflies banging within her chest.
Could the faceless man with whom she'd spent her nights
Be revealed as a serpent by candlelight?
She did not have to wait for long
To prove her treacherous sisters wrong.
As she lay in the great soft bed,
The instructions tangled inside her head,
And lighting the candle, she almost fumbled,
But when she saw his face, she truly stumbled!
Eros' beauty knocked her senseless,
Leaving mortal Psyche defenseless,
And causing her to spill the oil, which smoldered
On Eros' godly golden shoulder.
He, awaking with a start
Was disappointed to his heart
That Psyche cold be so unfaithful
And make a decision so egregiously fatal.
Then, jumping from the casing, he flew
Out of Psyche's lustful view.
And she, for her part, suddenly found
That from the palace she'd been cast down
To a field of which she had no memory,
Or very dim, if she had any.
In despair, she began to flounder,
Then resigned herself to wander
Until she came to a temple edifice,
Which was, on Earth, Aphrodite's face,
And begged the unseen Goddess hear her out,
Trying her patience with childish whining shouts.
Aphrodite, trying only to divert,
Cast a basket of grains down to the dirt,
And told the weeping lovely malcontent
That if she sorted the grains 'fore day was spent,
She just may see her sweetheart once again.
All she had to do was sort the grain.
But Psyche, though her fingers were dainty and thin,
To separate the grains could not begin,
And sobbing, lay upon the stony floor
That was as cold as the Goddess had acted before.
The ants, which had been drawn to the golden grain,
Bore her load and relieved her of her pain.
In their famously sure and straight black line,
They each picked up a piece of grain so fine
That it might with ease pass through a needle,
And into order they the sweet grain wheedled.
Then at the very setting of the sun,
Aphrodite found the task was done,
And though she praised the poor girl outwardly,
Inside she felt the bloom of hate for Psyche.
So she set her down on one side of a stream,
Where on the other was a field of green,
In which lived Helios' golden sheep
From which she was to obtain some shining fleece.
Then Aphrodite left her there to play,
And flew to Mount Olympus far away.
But Flumen, God of Rivers, raised his head
To warn sweet Psyche from his riverbed
That the sheep were so fierce, if she but pulled one hair,
They'd all turn on her and eat her then and there.
It was better if she waited 'til midday
When the sheep lay down to sleep the heat away.
Then she could cross where the river rushes,
And pick the wool that had got caught in the bushes.
So Psyche followed Flumen's good advice,
And for Aphrodite's cruelty she paid no price.
Aphrodite's blood boiled when she saw
That Psyche had survived it after all.
Again, she tried to send her to her death
And charged her to collect water from a cleft
Which mortal humans could not enter,
And in which serpents would surely spend her.
But now it was an eagle came to her aid,
Who stormed inside and flew between the snakes,
Then picked a pouch of water in its beak,
And back out of the cleft to Psyche it sneaked.
Aphrodite, at her dastardly wit's end,
Devised a horrible place for her to Psyche send.
"Psyche, caring for my ailing son
Has drained each drop of beauty, every one,
From my former glory of a face.
Therefore, I command you to that place
Where Persephone dwells. Then you must beg
For some of her beauty, just a tiny dreg.
Then you may have my son, I give my promise,
As holding him from you has marred my face."
Then Psyche, with tears streaming from her eyes,
Decided the only way there was to die.
In what she had appointed her fatal hour,
She climbed up to the top of a high tower,
But her melancholy was so disturbingly great,
All the Universe moved to it abate,
So that the very tower she climbed upon,
Awoke and spoke to her as if a person.
"Psyche, there is a way to the Underworld alive,
So that you need not from my roofing dive."
And to the Underworld the tower gave her
A route and some directions just to save her,
Then it sternly warned her that not of meat,
Nor of anything but bread in Hades could she eat.
So she followed the Tower's path back down
And disappeared into the heaving ground.
And when she found herself before Persephone's throne
She asked to take a parcel of her beauty home,
Which the emotionless Queen of the Screaming ******
Without word placed in Psyche's quivering hand.
The hardest part of the impossible task being done,
Psyche headed back up toward the sun,
And, reasoning that she was to see her beloved before nightfall,
Decided to use some beauty from the parcel.
Inside she found not beauty, but a stifling sleep,
Which forever in its clutches would she keep
If Eros had not chancely happened by,
And wiped Persephone's sleep from Psyche's eye.
Then, carrying her on his back, he barged
Into the Hall of the Olympian Gods.
He bade them let him wed himself and Psyche
And disregard the protests of Aphrodite.
Then Jupiter, indeed, allowed it obligingly,
For he was a man who greatly enjoyed a party.
Ambrosia she was given so to seal
Her immortality and place her among the surreal.
Then after many years of love and laughter,
Psyche bore Hedone, their lovely daughter.
This is how the beauty of the Human Soul,
Triumphed over the beauty of lust and gold.
All this Eros and Psyche had to take.
All this they endured for their love's sake.
They demonstrate the purity of love,
That is admired by Gods above.
In the end, it is the pure Mariposa
Who is more deserving of ambrosia.
 Jun 2020 Pyrrha
Graff1980
Cassandra
 Jun 2020 Pyrrha
Graff1980
It never ends, fragments of visions collapsing upon themselves painfully. Her swollen eyes opening, and bursting with orange fire. Then closing just as fast. In between those agonizing seconds she sees everything. Thousands of years cycling over and over. Visions of visions within visions.


Cassandra saw her city razed to the ground. The wall which once stood firm against the onslaught of enemies crumbling with the ravages of time. She closed her eyes. When she opened them again she saw her own grief. Her cousin had fallen in battle. She closed her eyes again, and scratched at her itchy eyelids.



Ten weeks passed without a blink, not even a fraction of an opening. She was disciplined, but the longer she fought the more her eyelids would burn. One blink to ease the agony and she was forced to see her father’s skin. A purple mass of dead flesh bubbling swelling, exploding, and rotting, with maggots squirming in out and around till flies formed and flew away. Another corpse left out in a burning city. One among many denied a peaceful death. Buildings crumbled to dust, the bodies became one with the earth. Cassandra cried without opening her eyes. Her father stroked her long soft curls, whispering reassurances. “It’s all right my child.”


Another three or four weeks passed. She had become blinder than Tiresias the blind prophet. Unable to recall if that was a story she had heard, or would hear in the future.  She sobbed spilling each and every sorrow she could. Every tragedy yet to come. Her father smiled gently placing a warm cloth upon her brow. “Shush my child these nightmares will fade soon enough.”


The young girl opened her eyes again. This time a years’ worth of history unfolded. She saw soldiers gathering arms. Battlements born of the Bronze Age burning with righteous rage. Steel blades clanging against bronze shields in preparation for war. Boats fully loaded departed.


She closed her eyes once more. It would be another two months before she opened them. In the meantime she pleaded with her father to leave the city. Day in and day out begging, sobbing, and screaming until she was sent away.


It was becoming harder and harder to keep her eyes closed. There was a burning force aching to escape. She managed five more weeks until she could bare the pain no longer. As her new sisters bathed her pale dry skin with the sweetest scented oils the young girl recited all that she saw and felt.


The first footfalls of the first soldier’s feet to touch the beach. The feel of the sand as it swirled in, out and around the soldier’s sandals. The general howling commands. The green eyes hungry for battle. The faces contorted in controlled rage. All that intensity burning under the once civilized façade. She closed her eyes again.


Cassandra sat silently in exhaustion, as the sisters slowly brushed the knots out of her long brown hair. They brought her a blindfold, which allowed only a small comfort. This time she only managed to resist for two weeks. The vision came upon her with such force that she cried out and collapsed.


Now the city was burning. Citizen screamed as they ran in terror. Brave men rushed forwards to be impaled on the spears of other brave men. Arrows swallowed the moonlight picking at the earth and scavenging for some bare flesh to devour. Blood ran like red rainwater. Streets streamed thin crimson pools diluted by warm summer showers. The stench oh, the stench, it made Cassandra ***** up chunks of soggy bread and half-digested beef mixed with red wine and stomach acid, while she tried to force her eyes to close.


Finally, she closed her eyes again. The sisters tried to sooth her sorrows, to no avail. Within a years’ time the young girl lost the ability to close her eyes. Cassandra eyeballs slowly burnt out until there was nothing left but charcoaled eye sockets. By the next year she could no longer speak. Cassandra became paralyzed by the futility of her existence.


In her mind the war had come and gone. The sieges were no longer an issue. She no longer felt the urge to cry for the dead. What was, will be, and what will be cannot be undone. What cannot be undone has already happened. Apollo had cursed her. Her beauty had enraptured him, her wit had charmed him, but her will had enraged him.


She was only thirteen with brown eyes and long hair of rare quality, soul so powerful that almost anyone who met her could feel its energy. She shamed the gods with her purity, and unwillingly ensnared their affection.


At first Apollo came with strong arms and tender words. Wooing to the point of painful pleasure. Her eyes could not handle such radiance. His skin burned as his chariot burned. Hair golden flames, skin solar yellow, eye orange as the sun. Each kiss burnt like the worse fever, taking her against her will, savaging her sanity. As if, as if being a god gave him the right to take such liberties.


Apollo viewed her early rejections with whimsy, believing them to be some cute token of her modesty. A god can afford to wait, after all eternity was on his side. After the first hundred no’s his affection gave way to anger. Until his desire could not bear rejection any longer.


At last he cried out to Cassandra. “I will have you or else.”


With a firm but fiery hand he swept her up.  Forcing his mouth against hers. Parting her pursed lip with his powerful tongue.  He shoved his tongue into her mouth, until tears streamed down her cheeks. She could not resist with words, because her mouth was occupied, so she took the only action she knew available to her.


She bit down as hard she could. Lava spewed from Apollo’s lips, roughly singing the inside of her mouth. Without realizing what was happening she swallowed. Her skin began to glow, tiny childlike limbs lengthened and tightened. From her eyes radiated the most powerful light ever seen by man or god. For a moment Apollo cowered beneath the awe of her power, stumbling backwards to the ground dumbfounded.


Regaining his composure he slapped her aside. Scowling in rage “How dare you. You. You worthless *****.”


Her lips parted now of her own volition. Her voice raged with a deep and powerful resonance. “How dare you, you whimpering fool.” The power still flowing inwards filled her with confidence. “I see you for what you are. A tool, a man made invention.” The radiance of her skin was slowly fading. “I see too much now.” She cried out in an ******* fury. A smile crossed her lips. “I see what will become of you and your ilk.”


With strength previously unimagined the young girl thrusted her small hands out throttling Apollo’s throat. He trembled in fear. “You cannot hope to contain the power of me. I am generations incarnated. Passing power from one age to the next. I will not be enslaved.” Her skin began to blink, her voice loss much of its force. “I am Cassandra, and you a merely a passing phase. I will tell the world of all I have seen.”


The last bit of godly energy faded from her skin. Cassandra collapsed. “I still see it all, and you will never touch me again.”


Apollo brushed bits of earth off his person. “See all you want, I care not.” He lunged for her. A flash of thin white light flung him back.

Confused, Apollo rose. Glaring he screamed “You may see all now. It is a gift my blood has given you, but soon it will become a curse. For no mortal wishes to believe that the fates have already written their story. They will ignore you, and in doing so you will find that this power you have gained will be for naught. Thus will be your curse to see all, with no power to stop it.”


Cassandra’s eyes opened wide, seconds split into eternity. She felt the passing of all those around her. She felts time’s stench and rot all around her. Her skin would wrinkle to a certain degree but she would be eternal. She saw cities rise and fall. Some to rise again others to be forgotten. She saw herself seeing each of these visions again and again. She lived her immortal life over and over, events unchanged be anything she said.


The only real comfort was that she saw Apollo wither away. As the old gods fell to ruins weakened by the rationality of new gods, then the rationality of structured reason. Then came the rise of something new and better. Reason with abstraction, abstraction with order, a cycle of energy which emboldened and empowered man. She chuckled.
“Go away little godling.”
And like the little thing he was, Apollo ran.
Her father shushed her, wiping the tears from her face.
The sisters bathed her; singing songs of love and adoration.
Troy fell under the onslaught.
Apollo came and went again.


Cassandra’s eyes opened wide closed and open wide once more, seconds split into eternity. She felt the passing of all those around her. She felts time’s stench and rot all around her. Her skin would wrinkle to a certain degree but she would be eternal. She saw cities rise and fall. Some to rise again others to be forgotten. She saw herself seeing each of these visions again and again. She lived her immortal life over and over, events unchanged be anything she said.


The only one real comfort was that she saw Apollo wither away. As the old gods fell to ruins weakened by the rationality of new gods, then the rationality of structured reason. Then came the rise of something new and better. Reason with abstraction, abstraction with order, a cycle of energy which emboldened and empowered man. She chuckled.
“Go away little godling.”
And like the little thing he was, Apollo ran.
Her father shushed her, wiping the tears from her face.
The sisters bathed her; singing songs of love and adoration.
Troy fell under the onslaught.
Apollo came and went again.
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