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noah w Aug 2016
we stormed Olympus and flung our armour down on the craggy peak,
huffed and collapsed down into the dirt,
and someone asked where all the gods were.
“we were stupid,” you shot back,
“did you think they were here? they are everywhere,
and within us. we are here – so are the gods.”
“why did you come, then?”
you shrugged, armour flashing.
“the view.”
noah w May 2016
Troy burns,
and her walls cave in around her
like a mother’s arms,
embracing her children sweetly
and sinking to her knees amid the swirling dust.

in the ashes, they fell her embrace
as they bleed and writhe and stare up at the smoke-obscured sky,
flames closing in around the edges of their vision
as their city burns and folds in over them,
putting them sweetly to sleep to the tune of victory songs in other tongues.
noah w Apr 2016
Achilles does not sleep.

Instead, he seeks the lover’s embrace and curved lips alongside which he went to war;
Those same that he did not find,
Once the dark mist had come swirling down over his eyes
And his soul went winging down to the House of Death,
with a soldier’s sigh of relief.
He had whispered in Charon’s ear, “Take me to him.”
Charon had rowed on, but held his silence.

By way of greeting, a thousand faces turned away,
And no trace of his beloved’s sweet smile as he disembarked, no warm hand to take his own.

“Patroklus,” he cries,
And goes unheard.

Thus; Achilles does not sleep.
He is Achilles; he does not wait.
He is Achilles; instead, he aches.
He is Achilles; instead, he searches.

Over the horizon, he chases Patroklus’ laugh and the turn of his wrist.
He lingers in all the shadowed corners of eternity,
Leafs through the pages of unforgiving, unyielding posterity,
Whispers “Patroklus, best of the Myrmidons” and sends his name through the winds.

The headstrong runner does not drag his feet as he scours the world,
As he chases ghosts across the face of the earth.

Restless, he is never still,
Knows that each step must carry him closer,
Knows that each ragged cry may be the one
That is finally answered,
Each rendition the wound to be finally salved.

He haunts, and is haunted.
‘I did not feel it,’ he thinks. 'It should have been as though Hektor’s pierced my side, in turn. Did they not say we were one?’
As if what he felt, when they told him, had not been enough.
(Scamander would disagree).

One day, smiling among the cypress, he will cease.
One day, the thousand faces turned away will melt to the one alone that within itself holds his heart.
One day, his greeting will be that sweet smile that he found only in the dawn.
One day, a warm hand will take his own, and the word with which his beloved left him will be the same as that which retrieves him:


Until the day when his heart pours out golden,
Achilles will not sleep.
noah w Apr 2016
when you can barely bear the weight of yourself,
you must wonder;
how does the earth not crumble beneath our feet?
and how does Atlas bear it?
does he still feel the ache?
or has he simply become it?
noah w Apr 2016
do not mourn!
we did not die!
do not weep!
we still remain!

we still cast long shadows
in unseen halls,
we batter at your windows
and cry your name
when long night falls.

our wounds do not heal
and our smiles do not fade
and our barricades hold strong
and you remember still our song.
noah w Apr 2016
I like to think that Icarus smiled as he fell,
That the last sensation of Helios’ sweet fingers across his face lingered
And left him warm as the wind rushed past him,
And that he smiled at the last sight of his burning love
As the ocean embraced him,
Tender and eternal as a coffin.
noah w Mar 2016
only when she smiled at me from her death bed did I realise that she had always known; always known that she had been born for martyrdom. if I had realised sooner, I think, I would not have let her go to war.
as per the cliché, it only became obvious in hindsight – I spent countless nights wondering how I hadn’t noticed sooner.
how did I not realise, the night that she propped her feet up against my bedroom wall and told me that I’d inherit the earth?
“And what about you?” I had rolled my head sideways to look over at her, tearing my eyes away from the cracked ceiling.
she hadn’t done the same, had only smiled and breathed out softly. that was all that it had taken for me to forget about it, all that it had taken to convince me to change the topic.
it was so obvious; I see that now. people would tell me that she never joked, and I’d reply that she did so constantly.
now I see that she was serious.
I see it in every time she told me that she would never grow old; “**** me,” she had laughed, “If I ever reach thirty.”
being young, I didn’t want to grow old, either, and I jokingly agreed.
but thirty isn’t old. now, I am old.
she should be old, too.
she had been all fleeting smiles and elbows and smoke that curled through the air. she had been fearsome and secretive and warm arms wrapping around my waist.
when she called her flag a cross to bear, I had offered to share the load and she told me no, it wasn’t mine to bear.
in hindsight, I know that she never wanted me to die with her. she had always known that she would leave me here, and she had known that I would let her go.
dying suited her – she did it with grace (she didn’t too much with grace, she was always in her own way). her pain-tightened jaw didn’t disrupt the soft smile, the tears in her unfocussed eyes didn’t make them less bright. she didn’t struggle, she didn’t call for help, she simply asked for me to stay with her, to sit by her. I wasn’t supposed to cry, I knew that, so I kept the tears at bay or wiped them off on my ***** sleeve, because I was slowly realising that she wanted me to happy, that maybe I should have been happy about this – it was what she wanted, wasn’t it?
martyrdom put her at peace, martyrdom made her glow; afterwards, I wasn’t sure whether or not I should mourn her.
she had been happy, with blood on her lips and in her hair.
and so I was happy, with an ache in my chest.
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