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i understand the Greeks
When they wrote of boys
turning to men as
“in the flush of their strength”.
as if the tides of youth,
had burst it’s banks
flooding childhood, like the Mycenae
against Troy.
Chris Saitta Jun 26
The Trojan dead are whispering
Indecipherable secrets to sodden-eared earth.
The wind has eyes and sees beyond, Titans outremembered.
Ajax and his oft-turned back
Carries again the fallen from the fields:
     The ******-slept clouds, unsuspecting;
     Slumped Achilles of disbelieving-godless eyes,
     Flinging the final spear of his own blood.
     Soldiers all now of the green husk.
Titanic silence engulfs sound,
Except from those who mourn.
The storm is only a storm
As long as the leaves are lost.
Such is the untimely, timeliness of war.
In the post-Illiad Homeric world, Achilles was struck in the heel by an arrow shot from Paris, brother of Hector, whom Achilles had defeated in battle during the Trojan War.

Though there are many variants to the myth, Ajax who was known as much of a warrior as Achilles, in many of these tales carries his body from the field in a show of honor.

For a slide video of this and other poems, please check out my Instagram page at chrissaitta or my Tumblr page at Chris-Saitta.
maria Jun 24


   I. PELION

PATROCLUS:

imagine that there are no gods.
imagine that we can greet the sun as it rises
       over the horizon without the shadow of Fate
       looming over us.
imagine that there are no heroes,
just the vast expanse of the sky above and
       the two of us singing songs that have
       nothing to do with War.
I know the songs.
I know the price that heroes pay to be remembered and
I know your Destiny.
I know that it has no space in it for me
       and my simple dreams, but now
we are so close to the heavens
       and yet so protected by the trees and cliffs and
it is so beautiful here,
so beautiful I can almost believe that
       just this once, the Fates have chosen to avert their
       eyes in blessing, and that
History could never steal you away
as I weave my fantasies in the dead of night.
I remember the first time I saw you, how vivid you were,
       the only light in a dark, unfeeling world.
I did not know your name then as I do now,
       but I did know some things:
I saw the way your eyes crinkled when you laughed.
I knew that the soles of your feet were pink against the dirt.
I was a boy then and I did not yet know what longing was
       yet I clung to those scraps of knowledge and as the ribbons of
       Fate wound tighter around us and you became to me
       more than a shining figure in the distance,
I clung even tighter to them because I feared that if I let go
I would not have anything left but a darkness in the shape of you.
       and I do not want to leave you to the shadows.
still, I am not the foolish boy that I was.
I know that one day you will join the ranks of heroes claimed by
       History, and I will remain by your side
       until I become so immaterial that not even the songs can touch
       me.
but for now we are still young and History is just a word that our
       teacher used to warn us against wandering off.
so, my love, while I still have time—
I will draw you into my lap and let my fingers weave
   the stories of our seasons into your hair, in the hopes that one day
you might remember that your hands had the chance
       to know gentler things than the sword and the lance,
and that for a while they had never known blood.
       not even once.
remember that I knew you before you marched to meet Fate in
     battle, and that I loved you long before your people called out
     your name and wrote songs about your glory.
I had you before History came, and as long as you don't forget that
       then I do not care about being remembered by anyone else.




   II. PHILTATOS

ACHILLES:

see, you are wrong about one thing: I have never
     known a life outside of History.
I knew History before I knew my name which then belongs to
     History and I knew that my life belonged to the singers before it
     could ever be mine.
tell me then, do you remember the moment you discovered
what longing was?
I do—it was in my chambers that first night when I chose you as
     my Companion, when I fell asleep feeling your eyes bore holes
     into my back, right where I knew my heart would be.
I hadn't realized until then how much I have been wanting
     to hear the sounds of another person's breathing,
how lonely life had been to be a weapon of Destiny but not of love.
in the days after I would steal glances at your fragile hands and
     look away feeling like I was the keeper of some ***** secret,
but it was not shame I felt,
     for how could anyone be ashamed of wanting someone like you?
no, it was guilt I felt—I wanted to take your hands in mine but I
     was afraid that I would break them.
I did not think I deserved tenderness because
     I wanted it too much, and heroes do not want.
we are not supposed to have a life outside of our songs,
but for the first time, I wondered. I dreamt. I imagined things I did
     not have the right to imagine.
resigning to a life of being invisible did not seem that unbearable if
     it would mean a lifetime of knowing you, even if it would have
     meant knowing you in darkness: your big eyes and the ***** of
     your shoulders, your hands.
so light, like birds in flight.
how could I forget you? could a person forget how to breathe?
know that when I pass on and my soul goes untethered,
it would not be the stars in the sky that I would trust to
     guide me back home, but the
constellations that dapple your skin, the ones I named with my lips
     only a few nights before.
know that there might come a time when my body rejects all
     warmth, but for my soul it would be this, always:
our bodies bathed in honeyed light in these blissful years in the mountains, the stories of which
belong to us, and to us only.
so I say—History can stake its claim on my name as much as it
     wants, so long as I get to keep the three syllables of your name to
     myself.
only then.
only then would I be truly happy.



ACHILLES son of king PELUS of PHTHIA.
From near Thessalia not Sparta.
Born near where you parents married on mount Pelion.
Your mother Thetis a NYMPH known by AGAMENON.
King MENELAUS'S betrayal the Greeks all cross the Aegean.
Odysseus and PATROCLUS an armada some by passing the CRETAN.
Sons of Priam killed and only Odysseus escaped back to Ithica.
The BESIEGING of Troy in a wooden horse from Sparta.
Prince of the Myrmidon's to avenge PATROCLUS it's HECTOR you cut down.
All Troy did burn weak horse lovers they should have fled and in the RIVER STYX they would drown.
Greeks. Greek heroes. ACHILLES.
X
‪It’s hard to conjure up a forest fire‬
My flames are quiet and I tremble
I flinch
I buckle at the knees
My fight or flight senses were birds in their past lives
I am sorry I was not born Achilles, marching into every war with certainty, never knowing a sliver of doubt
Prophecies of greatness do not cling to me like summer air
I open my mouth and words betray me, for I am no Odysseus with his honey tongue
But heed this promise: I will create something one day
A great many somethings, born not from innate divinity but perseverance
Like Daedalus with his artist’s mind, craftsman’s hand, quiet thinking, deliberate talking
I am becoming
Like golden witch Circe in Aeaea, feeling her way through strange new grounds
Someday, someday, somewhere else
You will see me bloom
Em MacKenzie Jan 14
I have never considered myself weak.
Physically, I have nothing to fear,
I believe myself capable of defending myself from any violent attack that may ever come.
Believing in your own strength is half the battle, after all.
I also rest on the assurance that I will die fighting if need be,
where not many would risk that chance, or persist to have to ****** someone.
I will die on my feet, I will die fighting,
I am afraid of nothing that can hurt my skin.

But,
and there always is a but,
I am terrified of that which can hurt me internally.
You can’t fight feelings,
you can’t hold your own against
love, or sadness, anger or betrayal.
I loathe being vulnerable,
especially when no one attempts to convince you there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Atleast they haven’t lied about that.

I have had women who have left me abandoned in glass boxes,
who have turned on a tap and let the water flow and fill up the space,
promising me they would return when the water touched my chin.
Acting as if it was an a show of affection, providing me with a warm bath to soothe my soul.
But they’ve left, I drowned,
and once discovered, not one could bother to administer CPR.
They gave no condolences to what family I have left,
nor show up to the funeral,
they did not even shed one tear.

But yet, years later they seek out my headstone,
hesitating at the wrong plot because they couldn’t bother to learn the correct spelling of my name.
But they would dig me up, pry open my coffin,
and gently part my decomposed eyelids so they had someone’s eyes staring only at them.

If you **** someone,
atleast have the decency,
to let them rot in peace.
Just slightly bitter today. No big deal.
Steph Cheng Jun 2018
One river leads to heaven or hell,
meandering like a path into Wonderworld
Swearing upon a smile worth dying for,
we dived head first into the Styx with hearts like a lion's
Our fears washed away

Temerarious

You and me against the world
Invincible
Our aegis spread his arms to shield us from the wars raging above
Thunder bolts roared and howled,
but we were bulletproof,
safely tucked away in the far end of the galaxy

Oblivious

A ***** in my armour
Pierced by one fatal blow,
my corpse cried its last tear into the Styx
The voice of Cassandra ringed in my ears
Gone with my breath was my soul

You are my Achilles heel.
Letters I never sent - to my Achilles heel
Brandon Conway Jun 2018
Chryseis, the plague
Agamemnon's lust returned
Slave traded for rage
Just realized I messed this up, originally I had the last line as Briseis traded for rage that would make this 5-7-7 so I had to fix it.
jay Jun 2018
i once was asked to describe him
to explain the aspects that rendered me
feeble, restless
for i was unable to answer
i'll give you
this

his eyes,
hues pulled straight out of a sunset lulled together
to create his golden honey palette
the ones that have me trapped
in a whirlwind of mania

his structure,
created from stardust
taken from only the brightest of stars
merged together to create his heavenly form
for this sight has left me
lurking through space
yearning for
more

his voice,
constructed from
the sweet strums
of achilles' lyre
the one he played
for patroclus
that led him
into a frenzy
of love and
desire

as you do with i
yoon jeonghan, you are not simply human
but an act of wonder pulled together from
the most pristine luxuries life has to offer
for you are truly,
divine

or in other words -
"i took a night stroll and remembered a question i was asked days ago and supposed that i should finally give my answer"
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