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Richard Apr 2013
corinth picked up the ball and tossed it up into the air as high as he possibly could. the energy it took for him to do so left him gasping and his muscles stung a little, but to watch the ball arc high above the sky, black against blue, was worth it. when the ball started to sink back down, he ran after it, bumping past athens who had been watching mere inches away.

the enclosure was a backyard to a white building surrounded by concrete walls that cut open hands when rubbed too hard or when scuffles turned sour. in the corner, there was a patch of green grass. the rest was stained yellow from lack of water or from too much sun.

sparta sat in the dust, his hands red with dirt and blood. the stains wrapped around his fingers and wrists and spiraled up to his elbows. he rubbed the pads of his fingers along the dirt, picking up small twigs and stones along the way, as he drew circles around the bird. the bird was dead, long dead, but its brown and grey feathers still stayed in its skin most of the time and the blood was drying so sparta’s hands wouldn’t be red for too much longer. the cracks of flaking blood opened like wounds on small boy's hands: palms big for holding bigger hands and fingers short to keep everything close. sparrow feathers and tears smeared comets into the dust while he cried for his mama even though his mama never came.

corinth ran after the ball, his breath short and his face glowing pink from exertion. as he ran, his hand running along the concrete wall, he started coughing. catching up with the ball started the initial coughing fit that turned into a rattler. he held his hand against the wall, clinging to it with white knuckles, as he hunched over to cough and cough so hard he could feel his throat start to stretch ragged, could feel lunch starting to come up. athens kicked corinth's foot gently before backing away a few feet while corinth continued to cough. when corinth's lungs and throat settled, he stood up straight, grabbed the ball, and threw it up again, this time out of anger rather than play. the ball went sailing backward and athens ran in order to try and get to the ball first, having had a head start. corinth was still faster and managed to shove athens away with a rogue elbow to the ribs in order to claim the ball again. athens didn't argue against the bone.

play continued until the sirens sounded. sparta stopped crying, corinth dropped the ball, and athens picked it up. all three of them hurried quickly and clumsily inside the bunker, shutting the door behind them. as they crawled down the narrow passageway, sparta started to hiccup, a leftover symptom of crying. corinth stopped and glared, and sparta murmured an apology before wiping his sniffles away with the sleeve of his shirt. corinth led the way until the three boys dropped inside the hollowed out room. it was round and the walls were mixtures of concrete, dirt, and chalk drawings. they each had to hunch, especially athens, as the ceiling

they sat in a practiced circle around the center of the room. after a few moments of quiet, hushed breathing, athens began the processions.

“we all here?”

the other two boys raised their hands. sparta’s fingers trembled while corinth raised his arm as high as it could possibly go. his ******* scraped against the ceiling in his earnestness. the three then began the tradition discussion of their names. sparta, forgetting conduct, almost gave away corinth's name, but corinth shut him up quickly. sparta apologized quickly and shoved his fingers in his mouth to keep from saying anything more. dirt and blood mixed with saliva in his mouth, and as he swallowed he ended up choking and gagging on the combination. he coughed and coughed, and corinth slapped him on the back. it didn't help, and the more sparta tried to stop coughing, the harder it lasted. eventually, he had to turn and face away from the other boys as hot bile slid up his throat and onto the floor with a small splat. athens grimaced and edged away.

"alright… show your lungs. everyone."

all three boys began the process of reaching under their shirts and pressing the smooth button under their ribs that unlocked the hatch. the hatch was a small door that ran from the bottom of their ribs up to their collar bone. when they found the smooth button, no bigger than the pad of their thumb, then a small click allowed them to open up their skin. underneath their torsos was a small plastic box that kept everything inside. it helped protect their bones, their heart, and, especially, their lungs. their lungs were frequent targets for doctors; they needed to be accessed quickly. fewer and fewer doctors came by to see the boys recently. corinth wiggled his shirt until he could shove most of it into his mouth, opening his body up and showing gray and green lungs that expanded and collapsed with every breath. his lungs were swollen behind his rib cage, and he experimentally reached in to poke in between his third and fourth ribs. the muscle that was there had been replaced by plastic, and had come loose when he'd pressed the button. his lung shuddered underneath his touch, but he felt the odd relief of pain swoop over him. two blue shirts tumbled to the floor as sparta and athens decided to take off their clothing and help each other find the buttons to unlock their hatches. the boys clung to the small moments of touch when the effects of their touh felt so alien, even after all those years after the surgery.

athens’ lungs were pink and perfect. he coughed and corinth couldn’t help but watch the way his diaphragm moved as he did so, and he felt jealousy pang in his stomach. sparta’s lungs were purple and blue, bruised and small, and they merely fluttered.

“lungs in order,” athens said quietly after a quick inspection of everyone’s insides. sparta immediately closed his hatch, flinching when his finger got caught initially between his inside and his outside, and started to put his shirt back on. corinth stole athens' shirt and slipped it on over the one he currently wore, his other hand slamming shut his lung hatch. athens blinked but let corinth stare at him greedily as he quietly shut his own hatch.

as they waited for the background noise of wailing sirens to disappear, corinth hugged his knees and athens started to draw people in the dirt with his forefinger.
Raymond Walker Apr 2012
The Dawn.



The sails hang large,
upon the sundered crew,
His father had not looked
on him with pleasure.
Poseidon’s son, and king,
of the Athenian dream,
he lands upon distant shore
in disrepair and lean.
a mighty voyage undertaken,
to gain iron for Athens might
but tide and storm wracked seas
has built upon this plight.

They land for food,
upon an endless plain
succour wanted, nay required,
lest all have been in vain.
Approach is made
by women strong in might
proud horses they sit and watch
before the sun, a glorious sight.
Amazons he knows of
they are too watched with fear
they are stronger than men he knows and watches as they near

















War queen she sits
upon her horse and awaits
these men that dare to land
But give them sanctuary she states.
her lover and second
looks in awe to the queen
these men given succour by amazons
this never has she seen







Antiope queen of all,
the plains for leagues around
Knows not a men, allows them not
but for trade on holy ground
Eluthera, freedom her name,
her second and lover same
wonders of this tall man, slim waisted,
lean, and asks his name.

Theseus he calls himself,
states his intentions and past
Antiope sits and listens and wonders
the seeds of fate are cast.
Eluthera watches Theseus’  face
and knows there is love there born
Though she believes it not,
from her home by love is Antiope torn
boats repaired and sail set
Theseus sets sail for home.
Antiope returns with him, they marry,
she is never more to roam.












Theseus song.

This woman of the plains, Amazon.
She sits her horse, sweet and proud yet strong.
She protects my honour, though tis' not her due
and speaks with eloquence no savage she.
Never before have I met my equal, in all things, man
or woman.
She is this and more
I can feel love from under her mein
This I know was destined
this even I without peer they say.
this even I understood.
yet here she stands, and walks and runs,
and here love awaits.














Elutheras song.

Here I have lived with the horse
and the sky,
who is god.
My name is freedom
and that is what I have
what can civilisation give us?
that we do not already have
what can walls provide,
that we, do not already know.
God, the sky. The horse, these our walls are.
He speaks well this Athenian, but what is speech
he looks well, but what can he give her.
She has all that there is.
and love she has, love of her sisters,
in her bed, and in our heart,
what can he give her.

Antiope's song.

To her I owe honour,
to him I give love.
what will become of this?
to her I owe love
to him i give honour,
what will become of this?
he is everything
she is everything
the plains are everything
the horse is all
yet I will betray my sisters
I know that now.
I will betray this life
I know that now
he is my equal in all
she in war I betray my people.
for love.































Part2

The tears of Eluthera.

Dripping
Burning
Hating
Loving
She must be returned
Rising
Loving
Lying
Hating
She must be returned
Rising
Rising
RISING
RISING
She must be returned
RISING
She must be returned
To her people
She must be returned
To her horses
Her gods
And me

RISING

She must be returned
They have taken her
She must be returned
She has not left













RISING

She must be returned
For they have taken her
Kidnapped, stolen her
He has taken her
Loved her
***** her
She must be returned
She is ours
She is our queen
She is
My love

RISING

Arise, sisters, arise
And let us take back what is ours
Arise, sisters, arise,
Let Athens quake at our power
Arise sisters arise
We will take back our queen
Arise sisters arise
That the might of Amazonian be seen.

We will raise an army
The greatest ever seen
To Athens and battle
For bloodshed keen
Unite the plains
And march and ride
And no quarter
Given either side.

Masii geti and copperhead
Scyths,Thracians, tower builders and
Copperhead Scyths
Dardanians, and all
The three tribes of ty kyrte ride
For Athens and revenge
To Athens and revenge.











Antiope’s song(2)

I stand here, beside pillars of stone
I watch from the acropolis
And wait
Theseus works with his people
He rules not by might
Of arms
But by deference
He holds his rule
With love
I hold the babe and watch
I can feel fate
Drawing near
I hear the thunder
Of hooves from the plains
And wait
I know he will prevail
This man I love
And wait And so I know
I will wear armour
Again
Before the end.
Before the end    
























Part 3
The battle.

Athens

We waited
We awaited their coming
Rumours formed
Rumours grew
Of a foe so strong
You can hear thunder
In their passing they say

Arm the cooks
Arm the carpenters
Athens will fall
Arm the viniers
Arm the boys
Athens will fall
The plains tribes
United they say
Athens will fall
Impossible I know They hate each other
More than us
They say

Thunder in the distance
And smoke fills the air
The dust of advance
Reaches our lair



Was that the flash of lightning?
Or glint of sun on a spear
Amazed we stand and watch
As they draw near
The lion of Athens will
Hunt now from its lair
To contend with the
War-horses baleful stare











One hundred and fifty thousand you say
One hundred and fifty thousand
One hundred and fifty thousand
Against 20 starts this day.

We arm the cooks
The carpenters,
the old men
And small boys Barely out of swaddling
Not yet finished
With their toys

We surge and struggle in the press
And surge again
Shields locked
And helms down

We surge and struggle, and they gain
And surge again
And retreat
And die
And die

Our own archers and artillery
They fire on us now
There’s no escape
There’s no escape
But forward to the press
To surge and struggle
Forward to press
Back to die
Forward to death and back
And we die
We die
We surge and struggle
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
We surge and struggle and we die
And we die










We surge and struggle
And widows are born
We surge and struggle
Like children forlorn
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
And we die
And we die

The toll is paid

We surge and struggle
But Athens will fall
Now wounded all
And dying
We surge and struggle
But hope has fled
Ever backwards
And to death

The advance of ty kyrte

We hold the field
But at great cost
We hold the field
Many horses lost

We are at the gates
But with great cost
We hold the town,
Many sisters lost

One more push sisters
One more charge
We are at the gates
Athens is lost









Back we were pushed
And back we fled
Through the town
The city streets
And fortress
Back we were pushed and back we fled




With shout and moan
Curse and groan
Clash of shield
We did yield
Every yard
With scream and yell
Fay and fell
Warriors now
We did yield
Every yard
































For every step
They paid
Like us
In blood
For every inch
They died
Like us
In mud






Horses skittered
Legs and bones broken
For every step and token
Move, every surge
And repulse
Until we stopped
Until we stopped
We could not see
We could not tell
But there was no
Where else to go
We stopped






















PART 4
The end

No where else to go,
No further back to fall
No retreat
No quarter
We stood
The battered
The bruised
The wounded and dying
We stood
For there was no choice










A commotion to the left
A horse rides out
On it rides death
And beauty
On it rides hell
And hope
On it rides Antiope
Armoured, and armed
Dressed
For death


Heroes she slew
Theseus behind her
Glauke, grey eyes
Queen was first
We advanced and slew









Kings she killed
Theseus behind her
Saduces of Thrace
Fell there, as his son
We advanced and killed.

How many heroes fell?
To her axe and bow
To many here to tell
Whispered word
Silence fell.
As Eluthera took the field
The fighting stopped
And silence grew
The battle decided here

The fate of Athens on the scales









Antiope rode for higher ground
Eluthera the lower
Antiope charged and threw
Javelin with all her power
Three times they charged
Three times they threw
And both wounded waited
A final charge, for death
They knew, the outcome fated.

There Antiope fell
By her lovers hand
Unarmed
And seeking death








Eluthera sat atop
Her steed and keened
Victor
With victory lost

Theseus faced her now
On foot and sword drawn
Deplete
And cursing fate





Theseus king no more
But husband bereft only
Maddened
Down  on her bore
There Eluthera fell.
































Twenty Years have past
fleeting,
Twenty, tears been shed
Weeping,
Twenty, lives lost,
mourning,
twenty hopes, die
burning,

The people, return,
Zeus smiles
rich in livestock
and strength.

Twenty years ago
the titans clashed.
Twenty years ago
the winds of fate lashed.
Twenty years ago
lovers died.
Twenty years ago
The Scyths lied.

Theseus, in memory,
plans sacrifice,
for his lost love,
once his wife.






Antiopes shrine
is sundered as Poseidon
shivers,
earthshaker.













And on the plains
the battle rages,
deplete,
bereft,
Eluthera, whole again,
freedom once more,
leads,
the charge,
the last charge,
of the Amazon
against the Scyths.


The End
I am kind of sorry for adding this for i wrote it years ago and well you can see for yourself it needs some work, but i do likle the idea of the classical poem
Raymond Walker Apr 2012
The Dawn.



The sails hang large,
upon the sundered crew,
His father had not looked
on him with pleasure.
Poseidon’s son, and king,
of the Athenian dream,
he lands upon distant shore
in disrepair and lean.
a mighty voyage undertaken,
to gain iron for Athens might
but tide and storm wracked seas
has built upon this plight.

They land for food,
upon an endless plain
succour wanted, nay required,
lest all have been in vain.
Approach is made
by women strong in might
proud horses they sit and watch
before the sun, a glorious sight.
Amazons he knows of
they are too watched with fear
they are stronger than men he knows and watches as they near

















War queen she sits
upon her horse and awaits
these men that dare to land
But give them sanctuary she states.
her lover and second
looks in awe to the queen
these men given succour by amazons
this never has she seen







Antiope queen of all,
the plains for leagues around
Knows not a men, allows them not
but for trade on holy ground
Eluthera, freedom her name,
her second and lover same
wonders of this tall man, slim waisted,
lean, and asks his name.

Theseus he calls himself,
states his intentions and past
Antiope sits and listens and wonders
the seeds of fate are cast.
Eluthera watches Theseus’  face
and knows there is love there born
Though she believes it not,
from her home by love is Antiope torn
boats repaired and sail set
Theseus sets sail for home.
Antiope returns with him, they marry,
she is never more to roam.












Theseus song.

This woman of the plains, Amazon.
She sits her horse, sweet and proud yet strong.
She protects my honour, though tis' not her due
and speaks with eloquence no savage she.
Never before have I met my equal, in all things, man
or woman.
She is this and more
I can feel love from under her mein
This I know was destined
this even I without peer they say.
this even I understood.
yet here she stands, and walks and runs,
and here love awaits.














Elutheras song.

Here I have lived with the horse
and the sky,
who is god.
My name is freedom
and that is what I have
what can civilisation give us?
that we do not already have
what can walls provide,
that we, do not already know.
God, the sky. The horse, these our walls are.
He speaks well this Athenian, but what is speech
he looks well, but what can he give her.
She has all that there is.
and love she has, love of her sisters,
in her bed, and in our heart,
what can he give her.

Antiope's song.

To her I owe honour,
to him I give love.
what will become of this?
to her I owe love
to him i give honour,
what will become of this?
he is everything
she is everything
the plains are everything
the horse is all
yet I will betray my sisters
I know that now.
I will betray this life
I know that now
he is my equal in all
she in war I betray my people.
for love.































Part2

The tears of Eluthera.

Dripping
Burning
Hating
Loving
She must be returned
Rising
Loving
Lying
Hating
She must be returned
Rising
Rising
RISING
RISING
She must be returned
RISING
She must be returned
To her people
She must be returned
To her horses
Her gods
And me

RISING

She must be returned
They have taken her
She must be returned
She has not left













RISING

She must be returned
For they have taken her
Kidnapped, stolen her
He has taken her
Loved her
***** her
She must be returned
She is ours
She is our queen
She is
My love

RISING

Arise, sisters, arise
And let us take back what is ours
Arise, sisters, arise,
Let Athens quake at our power
Arise sisters arise
We will take back our queen
Arise sisters arise
That the might of Amazonian be seen.

We will raise an army
The greatest ever seen
To Athens and battle
For bloodshed keen
Unite the plains
And march and ride
And no quarter
Given either side.

Masii geti and copperhead
Scyths,Thracians, tower builders and
Copperhead Scyths
Dardanians, and all
The three tribes of ty kyrte ride
For Athens and revenge
To Athens and revenge.











Antiope’s song(2)

I stand here, beside pillars of stone
I watch from the acropolis
And wait
Theseus works with his people
He rules not by might
Of arms
But by deference
He holds his rule
With love
I hold the babe and watch
I can feel fate
Drawing near
I hear the thunder
Of hooves from the plains
And wait
I know he will prevail
This man I love
And wait And so I know
I will wear armour
Again
Before the end.
Before the end    
























Part 3
The battle.

Athens

We waited
We awaited their coming
Rumours formed
Rumours grew
Of a foe so strong
You can hear thunder
In their passing they say

Arm the cooks
Arm the carpenters
Athens will fall
Arm the viniers
Arm the boys
Athens will fall
The plains tribes
United they say
Athens will fall
Impossible I know They hate each other
More than us
They say

Thunder in the distance
And smoke fills the air
The dust of advance
Reaches our lair



Was that the flash of lightning?
Or glint of sun on a spear
Amazed we stand and watch
As they draw near
The lion of Athens will
Hunt now from its lair
To contend with the
War-horses baleful stare











One hundred and fifty thousand you say
One hundred and fifty thousand
One hundred and fifty thousand
Against 20 starts this day.

We arm the cooks
The carpenters,
the old men
And small boys Barely out of swaddling
Not yet finished
With their toys

We surge and struggle in the press
And surge again
Shields locked
And helms down

We surge and struggle, and they gain
And surge again
And retreat
And die
And die

Our own archers and artillery
They fire on us now
There’s no escape
There’s no escape
But forward to the press
To surge and struggle
Forward to press
Back to die
Forward to death and back
And we die
We die
We surge and struggle
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
We surge and struggle and we die
And we die










We surge and struggle
And widows are born
We surge and struggle
Like children forlorn
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
And we die
And we die

The toll is paid

We surge and struggle
But Athens will fall
Now wounded all
And dying
We surge and struggle
But hope has fled
Ever backwards
And to death

The advance of ty kyrte

We hold the field
But at great cost
We hold the field
Many horses lost

We are at the gates
But with great cost
We hold the town,
Many sisters lost

One more push sisters
One more charge
We are at the gates
Athens is lost









Back we were pushed
And back we fled
Through the town
The city streets
And fortress
Back we were pushed and back we fled




With shout and moan
Curse and groan
Clash of shield
We did yield
Every yard
With scream and yell
Fay and fell
Warriors now
We did yield
Every yard
































For every step
They paid
Like us
In blood
For every inch
They died
Like us
In mud






Horses skittered
Legs and bones broken
For every step and token
Move, every surge
And repulse
Until we stopped
Until we stopped
We could not see
We could not tell
But there was no
Where else to go
We stopped






















PART 4
The end

No where else to go,
No further back to fall
No retreat
No quarter
We stood
The battered
The bruised
The wounded and dying
We stood
For there was no choice










A commotion to the left
A horse rides out
On it rides death
And beauty
On it rides hell
And hope
On it rides Antiope
Armoured, and armed
Dressed
For death


Heroes she slew
Theseus behind her
Glauke, grey eyes
Queen was first
We advanced and slew









Kings she killed
Theseus behind her
Saduces of Thrace
Fell there, as his son
We advanced and killed.

How many heroes fell?
To her axe and bow
To many here to tell
Whispered word
Silence fell.
As Eluthera took the field
The fighting stopped
And silence grew
The battle decided here

The fate of Athens on the scales









Antiope rode for higher ground
Eluthera the lower
Antiope charged and threw
Javelin with all her power
Three times they charged
Three times they threw
And both wounded waited
A final charge, for death
They knew, the outcome fated.

There Antiope fell
By her lovers hand
Unarmed
And seeking death








Eluthera sat atop
Her steed and keened
Victor
With victory lost

Theseus faced her now
On foot and sword drawn
Deplete
And cursing fate





Theseus king no more
But husband bereft only
Maddened
Down  on her bore
There Eluthera fell.
































Twenty Years have past
fleeting,
Twenty, tears been shed
Weeping,
Twenty, lives lost,
mourning,
twenty hopes, die
burning,

The people, return,
Zeus smiles
rich in livestock
and strength.

Twenty years ago
the titans clashed.
Twenty years ago
the winds of fate lashed.
Twenty years ago
lovers died.
Twenty years ago
The Scyths lied.

Theseus, in memory,
plans sacrifice,
for his lost love,
once his wife.






Antiopes shrine
is sundered as Poseidon
shivers,
earthshaker.













And on the plains
the battle rages,
deplete,
bereft,
Eluthera, whole again,
freedom once more,
leads,
the charge,
the last charge,
of the Amazon
against the Scyths.


The End
I am kind of sorry for adding this for i wrote it years ago and well you can see for yourself it needs some work, but i do likle the idea of the classical poem
Raymond Walker Apr 2012
The Dawn.



The sails hang large,
upon the sundered crew,
His father had not looked
on him with pleasure.
Poseidon’s son, and king,
of the Athenian dream,
he lands upon distant shore
in disrepair and lean.
a mighty voyage undertaken,
to gain iron for Athens might
but tide and storm wracked seas
has built upon this plight.

They land for food,
upon an endless plain
succour wanted, nay required,
lest all have been in vain.
Approach is made
by women strong in might
proud horses they sit and watch
before the sun, a glorious sight.
Amazons he knows of
they are too watched with fear
they are stronger than men he knows and watches as they near

















War queen she sits
upon her horse and awaits
these men that dare to land
But give them sanctuary she states.
her lover and second
looks in awe to the queen
these men given succour by amazons
this never has she seen







Antiope queen of all,
the plains for leagues around
Knows not a men, allows them not
but for trade on holy ground
Eluthera, freedom her name,
her second and lover same
wonders of this tall man, slim waisted,
lean, and asks his name.

Theseus he calls himself,
states his intentions and past
Antiope sits and listens and wonders
the seeds of fate are cast.
Eluthera watches Theseus’  face
and knows there is love there born
Though she believes it not,
from her home by love is Antiope torn
boats repaired and sail set
Theseus sets sail for home.
Antiope returns with him, they marry,
she is never more to roam.












Theseus song.

This woman of the plains, Amazon.
She sits her horse, sweet and proud yet strong.
She protects my honour, though tis' not her due
and speaks with eloquence no savage she.
Never before have I met my equal, in all things, man
or woman.
She is this and more
I can feel love from under her mein
This I know was destined
this even I without peer they say.
this even I understood.
yet here she stands, and walks and runs,
and here love awaits.














Elutheras song.

Here I have lived with the horse
and the sky,
who is god.
My name is freedom
and that is what I have
what can civilisation give us?
that we do not already have
what can walls provide,
that we, do not already know.
God, the sky. The horse, these our walls are.
He speaks well this Athenian, but what is speech
he looks well, but what can he give her.
She has all that there is.
and love she has, love of her sisters,
in her bed, and in our heart,
what can he give her.

Antiope's song.

To her I owe honour,
to him I give love.
what will become of this?
to her I owe love
to him i give honour,
what will become of this?
he is everything
she is everything
the plains are everything
the horse is all
yet I will betray my sisters
I know that now.
I will betray this life
I know that now
he is my equal in all
she in war I betray my people.
for love.































Part2

The tears of Eluthera.

Dripping
Burning
Hating
Loving
She must be returned
Rising
Loving
Lying
Hating
She must be returned
Rising
Rising
RISING
RISING
She must be returned
RISING
She must be returned
To her people
She must be returned
To her horses
Her gods
And me

RISING

She must be returned
They have taken her
She must be returned
She has not left













RISING

She must be returned
For they have taken her
Kidnapped, stolen her
He has taken her
Loved her
***** her
She must be returned
She is ours
She is our queen
She is
My love

RISING

Arise, sisters, arise
And let us take back what is ours
Arise, sisters, arise,
Let Athens quake at our power
Arise sisters arise
We will take back our queen
Arise sisters arise
That the might of Amazonian be seen.

We will raise an army
The greatest ever seen
To Athens and battle
For bloodshed keen
Unite the plains
And march and ride
And no quarter
Given either side.

Masii geti and copperhead
Scyths,Thracians, tower builders and
Copperhead Scyths
Dardanians, and all
The three tribes of ty kyrte ride
For Athens and revenge
To Athens and revenge.











Antiope’s song(2)

I stand here, beside pillars of stone
I watch from the acropolis
And wait
Theseus works with his people
He rules not by might
Of arms
But by deference
He holds his rule
With love
I hold the babe and watch
I can feel fate
Drawing near
I hear the thunder
Of hooves from the plains
And wait
I know he will prevail
This man I love
And wait And so I know
I will wear armour
Again
Before the end.
Before the end    
























Part 3
The battle.

Athens

We waited
We awaited their coming
Rumours formed
Rumours grew
Of a foe so strong
You can hear thunder
In their passing they say

Arm the cooks
Arm the carpenters
Athens will fall
Arm the viniers
Arm the boys
Athens will fall
The plains tribes
United they say
Athens will fall
Impossible I know They hate each other
More than us
They say

Thunder in the distance
And smoke fills the air
The dust of advance
Reaches our lair



Was that the flash of lightning?
Or glint of sun on a spear
Amazed we stand and watch
As they draw near
The lion of Athens will
Hunt now from its lair
To contend with the
War-horses baleful stare











One hundred and fifty thousand you say
One hundred and fifty thousand
One hundred and fifty thousand
Against 20 starts this day.

We arm the cooks
The carpenters,
the old men
And small boys Barely out of swaddling
Not yet finished
With their toys

We surge and struggle in the press
And surge again
Shields locked
And helms down

We surge and struggle, and they gain
And surge again
And retreat
And die
And die

Our own archers and artillery
They fire on us now
There’s no escape
There’s no escape
But forward to the press
To surge and struggle
Forward to press
Back to die
Forward to death and back
And we die
We die
We surge and struggle
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
We surge and struggle and we die
And we die










We surge and struggle
And widows are born
We surge and struggle
Like children forlorn
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
And we die
And we die

The toll is paid

We surge and struggle
But Athens will fall
Now wounded all
And dying
We surge and struggle
But hope has fled
Ever backwards
And to death

The advance of ty kyrte

We hold the field
But at great cost
We hold the field
Many horses lost

We are at the gates
But with great cost
We hold the town,
Many sisters lost

One more push sisters
One more charge
We are at the gates
Athens is lost









Back we were pushed
And back we fled
Through the town
The city streets
And fortress
Back we were pushed and back we fled




With shout and moan
Curse and groan
Clash of shield
We did yield
Every yard
With scream and yell
Fay and fell
Warriors now
We did yield
Every yard
































For every step
They paid
Like us
In blood
For every inch
They died
Like us
In mud






Horses skittered
Legs and bones broken
For every step and token
Move, every surge
And repulse
Until we stopped
Until we stopped
We could not see
We could not tell
But there was no
Where else to go
We stopped






















PART 4
The end

No where else to go,
No further back to fall
No retreat
No quarter
We stood
The battered
The bruised
The wounded and dying
We stood
For there was no choice










A commotion to the left
A horse rides out
On it rides death
And beauty
On it rides hell
And hope
On it rides Antiope
Armoured, and armed
Dressed
For death


Heroes she slew
Theseus behind her
Glauke, grey eyes
Queen was first
We advanced and slew









Kings she killed
Theseus behind her
Saduces of Thrace
Fell there, as his son
We advanced and killed.

How many heroes fell?
To her axe and bow
To many here to tell
Whispered word
Silence fell.
As Eluthera took the field
The fighting stopped
And silence grew
The battle decided here

The fate of Athens on the scales









Antiope rode for higher ground
Eluthera the lower
Antiope charged and threw
Javelin with all her power
Three times they charged
Three times they threw
And both wounded waited
A final charge, for death
They knew, the outcome fated.

There Antiope fell
By her lovers hand
Unarmed
And seeking death








Eluthera sat atop
Her steed and keened
Victor
With victory lost

Theseus faced her now
On foot and sword drawn
Deplete
And cursing fate





Theseus king no more
But husband bereft only
Maddened
Down  on her bore
There Eluthera fell.
































Twenty Years have past
fleeting,
Twenty, tears been shed
Weeping,
Twenty, lives lost,
mourning,
twenty hopes, die
burning,

The people, return,
Zeus smiles
rich in livestock
and strength.

Twenty years ago
the titans clashed.
Twenty years ago
the winds of fate lashed.
Twenty years ago
lovers died.
Twenty years ago
The Scyths lied.

Theseus, in memory,
plans sacrifice,
for his lost love,
once his wife.






Antiopes shrine
is sundered as Poseidon
shivers,
earthshaker.













And on the plains
the battle rages,
deplete,
bereft,
Eluthera, whole again,
freedom once more,
leads,
the charge,
the last charge,
of the Amazon
against the Scyths.


The End
I am kind of sorry for adding this for i wrote it years ago and well you can see for yourself it needs some work, but i do likle the idea of the classical poem
daniela Apr 2017
TO: athens
you are a boy born to argue,
confrontation stuck between your gritted grin.
TO: athens
see, a long time ago, before i met you,
i spent far too much of my time apologizing,
minimizing, shrinking my words down until they were fine print.
i was born shy, tongue-tied,
but around you, i am out spoken.
eloquent, concise, not backing down.
TO: athens
and see maybe that’s a bad thing,
two head strong orators always talking over each other.
TO: athens
but i always like who i am with you
TO: athens
an argument
for the sake of argument,
for the sake of laughing over each other’s rebuttals,
for the sake of starting conversation,
for the sake of digging around in your heart
TO: athens
i have never disagreed with someone so much
and still liked them this much at the end of the conversation
TO: athens
i want to argue with you for the rest of my life
TO: athens
when i am tipsy and loud and laughing and leaning too close
to you on the couch,
and drunk enough to see the stars in your eyes
through any of the light pollution,
i imagine if i kissed you it would taste like franzia.
TO: athens
you are easy but i always try too hard
TO: athens
no, baby, you are impossible
and i know i’m ****** and difficult, but you and me?
that’s easy. ****, that’s easy.
TO: athens
i used to think of love as frantic, thrumming,
and then i met you and realizes it could sneak up on you,
quiet and comfortable and unnoticed
until it’s everywhere
and you don’t know how to scrub out the stains
TO: athens
you make me smile, simple as that
TO: athens
and to catch your eye across the room,
the laughter still stuck in my throat, maybe that’s what
i’ve been searching through other people for.
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
WHILOM, as olde stories tellen us,                            formerly
There was a duke that highte* Theseus.                   was called
Of Athens he was lord and governor,
And in his time such a conqueror
That greater was there none under the sun.
Full many a riche country had he won.
What with his wisdom and his chivalry,
He conquer'd all the regne of Feminie,
That whilom was y-cleped Scythia;
And weddede the Queen Hippolyta
And brought her home with him to his country
With muchel
glory and great solemnity,                           great
And eke her younge sister Emily,
And thus with vict'ry and with melody
Let I this worthy Duke to Athens ride,
And all his host, in armes him beside.

And certes, if it n'ere
too long to hear,                     were not
I would have told you fully the mannere,
How wonnen
was the regne of Feminie,                            won
By Theseus, and by his chivalry;
And of the greate battle for the *****
Betwixt Athenes and the Amazons;
And how assieged was Hippolyta,
The faire hardy queen of Scythia;
And of the feast that was at her wedding
And of the tempest at her homecoming.
But all these things I must as now forbear.
I have, God wot, a large field to ear
                       plough;
And weake be the oxen in my plough;
The remnant of my tale is long enow.
I will not *letten eke none of this rout
.                hinder any of
Let every fellow tell his tale about,                      this company

And let see now who shall the supper win.
There as I left, I will again begin.                where I left off

This Duke, of whom I make mentioun,
When he was come almost unto the town,
In all his weal, and in his moste pride,
He was ware, as he cast his eye aside,
Where that there kneeled in the highe way
A company of ladies, tway and tway,
Each after other, clad in clothes black:
But such a cry and such a woe they make,
That in this world n'is creature living,
That hearde such another waimenting                      lamenting
And of this crying would they never stenten,                    desist
Till they the reines of his bridle henten.                       *seize
"What folk be ye that at mine homecoming
Perturben so my feaste with crying?"
Quoth Theseus; "Have ye so great envy
Of mine honour, that thus complain and cry?
Or who hath you misboden
, or offended?                         wronged
Do telle me, if it may be amended;
And why that ye be clad thus all in black?"

The oldest lady of them all then spake,
When she had swooned, with a deadly cheer
,                 countenance
That it was ruthe
for to see or hear.                             pity
She saide; "Lord, to whom fortune hath given
Vict'ry, and as a conqueror to liven,
Nought grieveth us your glory and your honour;
But we beseechen mercy and succour.
Have mercy on our woe and our distress;
Some drop of pity, through thy gentleness,
Upon us wretched women let now fall.
For certes, lord, there is none of us all
That hath not been a duchess or a queen;
Now be we caitives
, as it is well seen:                       captives
Thanked be Fortune, and her false wheel,
That *none estate ensureth to be wele
.       assures no continuance of
And certes, lord, t'abiden your presence              prosperous estate

Here in this temple of the goddess Clemence
We have been waiting all this fortenight:
Now help us, lord, since it lies in thy might.

"I, wretched wight, that weep and waile thus,
Was whilom wife to king Capaneus,
That starf* at Thebes, cursed be that day:                     died
And alle we that be in this array,
And maken all this lamentatioun,
We losten all our husbands at that town,
While that the siege thereabouten lay.
And yet the olde Creon, wellaway!
That lord is now of Thebes the city,
Fulfilled of ire and of iniquity,
He for despite, and for his tyranny,
To do the deade bodies villainy
,                                insult
Of all our lorde's, which that been y-slaw,                       *slain
Hath all the bodies on an heap y-draw,
And will not suffer them by none assent
Neither to be y-buried, nor y-brent
,                             burnt
But maketh houndes eat them in despite."
And with that word, withoute more respite
They fallen groff,
and cryden piteously;                    grovelling
"Have on us wretched women some mercy,
And let our sorrow sinken in thine heart."

This gentle Duke down from his courser start
With hearte piteous, when he heard them speak.
Him thoughte that his heart would all to-break,
When he saw them so piteous and so mate
                         abased
That whilom weren of so great estate.
And in his armes he them all up hent
,                     raised, took
And them comforted in full good intent,
And swore his oath, as he was true knight,
He woulde do *so farforthly his might
        as far as his power went
Upon the tyrant Creon them to wreak,                            avenge
That all the people of Greece shoulde speak,
How Creon was of Theseus y-served,
As he that had his death full well deserved.
And right anon withoute more abode                               *delay
His banner he display'd, and forth he rode
To Thebes-ward, and all his, host beside:
No ner
Athenes would he go nor ride,                            nearer
Nor take his ease fully half a day,
But onward on his way that night he lay:
And sent anon Hippolyta the queen,
And Emily her younge sister sheen
                       bright, lovely
Unto the town of Athens for to dwell:
And forth he rit
; there is no more to tell.                       rode

The red statue of Mars with spear and targe
                     shield
So shineth in his white banner large
That all the fieldes glitter up and down:
And by his banner borne is his pennon
Of gold full rich, in which there was y-beat
                   stamped
The Minotaur which that he slew in Crete
Thus rit this Duke, thus rit this conqueror
And in his host of chivalry the flower,
Till that he came to Thebes, and alight
Fair in a field, there as he thought to fight.
But shortly for to speaken of this thing,
With Creon, which that was of Thebes king,
He fought, and slew him manly as a knight
In plain bataille, and put his folk to flight:
And by assault he won the city after,
And rent adown both wall, and spar, and rafter;
And to the ladies he restored again
The bodies of their husbands that were slain,
To do obsequies, as was then the guise
.                         custom

But it were all too long for to devise
                        describe
The greate clamour, and the waimenting
,                      lamenting
Which that the ladies made at the brenning
                     burning
Of the bodies, and the great honour
That Theseus the noble conqueror
Did to the ladies, when they from him went:
But shortly for to tell is mine intent.
When that this worthy Duke, this Theseus,
Had Creon slain, and wonnen Thebes thus,
Still in the field he took all night his rest,
And did with all the country as him lest
.                      pleased
To ransack in the tas
of bodies dead,                             heap
Them for to strip of *harness and of *
****,           armour *clothes
The pillers* did their business and cure,                 pillagers
After the battle and discomfiture.
And so befell, that in the tas they found,
Through girt with many a grievous ****** wound,
Two younge knightes *ligging by and by
             lying side by side
Both in one armes, wrought full richely:             the same armour
Of whiche two, Arcita hight that one,
And he that other highte Palamon.
Not fully quick, nor fully dead they were,                       *alive
But by their coat-armour, and by their gear,
The heralds knew them well in special,
As those that weren of the blood royal
Of Thebes, and *of sistren two y-born
.            born of two sisters
Out of the tas the pillers have them torn,
And have them carried soft unto the tent
Of Theseus, and he full soon them sent
To Athens, for to dwellen in prison
Perpetually, he n'olde no ranson.               would take no ransom
And when this worthy Duke had thus y-done,
He took his host, and home he rit anon
With laurel crowned as a conquerour;
And there he lived in joy and in honour
Term of his life; what needeth wordes mo'?
And in a tower, in anguish and in woe,
Dwellen this Palamon, and eke Arcite,
For evermore, there may no gold them quite                    set free

Thus passed year by year, and day by day,
Till it fell ones in a morn of May
That Emily, that fairer was to seen
Than is the lily upon his stalke green,
And fresher than the May with flowers new
(For with the rose colour strove her hue;
I n'ot* which was the finer of them two),                      know not
Ere it was day, as she was wont to do,
She was arisen, and all ready dight
,                           dressed
For May will have no sluggardy a-night;
The season pricketh every gentle heart,
And maketh him out of his sleep to start,
And saith, "Arise, and do thine observance."

This maketh Emily have remembrance
To do honour to May, and for to rise.
Y-clothed was she fresh for to devise;
Her yellow hair was braided in a tress,
Behind her back, a yarde long I guess.
And in the garden at *the sun uprist
                           sunrise
She walketh up and down where as her list.
She gathereth flowers, party
white and red,                    mingled
To make a sotel
garland for her head,            subtle, well-arranged
And as an angel heavenly she sung.
The greate tower, that was so thick and strong,
Which of the castle was the chief dungeon
(Where as these knightes weren in prison,
Of which I tolde you, and telle shall),
Was even joinant
to the garden wall,                         adjoining
There as this Emily had her playing.

Bright was the sun, and clear that morrowning,
And Palamon, this woful prisoner,
As was his wont, by leave of his gaoler,
Was ris'n, and roamed in a chamber on high,
In which he all the noble city sigh
,                               saw
And eke the garden, full of branches green,
There as this fresh Emelia the sheen
Was in her walk, and roamed up and down.
This sorrowful prisoner, this Palamon
Went in his chamber roaming to and fro,
And to himself complaining of his woe:
That he was born, full oft he said, Alas!
And so befell, by aventure or cas
,                              chance
That through a window thick of many a bar
Of iron great, and square as any spar,
He cast his eyes upon Emelia,
And therewithal he blent
and crie
RAJ NANDY Nov 2015
GREAT ARTISTS & THEIR IMMORTAL WORKS :
CONCLUDING ITALIAN RENAISSANCE IN
VERSE.  -  By Raj Nandy, New Delhi.

Dear Readers, continuing my Story of Western Art in Verse chronologically, I had covered an Introduction to the Italian Renaissance previously. That background story was necessary to appreciate Renaissance Art fully. Now, I cover the Art of that period in a summarized form, mentioning mainly the salient features to curb the length. The cream here lies in the 'Art of the High Renaissance Period'! Hope you like it. Thanks, - Raj.

                          INTRODUCTION
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, &
  Poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
                                                        – Leonardo Da Vinci
In the domain of Renaissance Art, we notice the
enduring influence of the Classical touch!
Ancient Greek statues and Roman architectures,
Inspired the Renaissance artists in their innovative
ventures!
The pervasive spirit of Humanism influenced
creation of life-like human forms;
Adding ****** expressions and depth, deviating
from the earlier stiff Medieval norms.
While religious subjects continued to get depicted
in three-dimensional Renaissance Art;
Portraits, **** figures, and secular subjects, also
began to appear during this great ‘Re-birth’!
The artists of the Early and High Renaissance Era
are many who deserve our adoration and artistic
due.
Yet for the sake of brevity, I mention only the
Great Masters, who are handful and few.

EARLY RENAISSANCE ARTISTS & THEIR ART

GITTO THE PIONEER:
During early 13th Century we find, Dante’s
contemporary Gitto di Bondone the Florentine,
Painting human figures in all its beauty and form
for the first time!
His masterwork being the 40 fresco cycle in the
Arena Chapel in Padua, depicting the life of the
****** and Christ, completed in 1305.
Giotto made the symbolic Medieval spiritual art
appear more natural and realistic,
By depicting human emotion, depth with an
artistic perspective!
Art Scholars consider him to be the trailblazer
inspiring the later painters of the Renaissance;
They also refer to Giorgio Vasari’s “Lives Of
The Eminent Artists,” - as their main source.
Giotto had dared to break the shackles of earlier
Medieval two-dimensional art style,
By drawing lines which head towards a certain
focal point behind;
Like an illusionary vanishing point in space,
- opening up a 3-D ‘window into space’!
This ‘window technique’ got adopted by the
later artists with grace.
(
Giorgio Vasari, a 16th Century painter, architect & Art
historian, was born in 1511 in Arezzy, a city under the
Florentine Republic, and painted during the High
Renaissance Period.)

VASARI’s book published in 1550 in Florence
was dedicated to Cosimo de Medici.
Forms an important document of Italian Art
History.
This valuable book covers a 250 year’s span.
Commencing with Cimabue the tutor of Giotto,
right up to Tizian, - better known as Titan!
Vasari also mentions four lesser known Female
Renaissance Artists; Sister Plantilla, Madonna
Lucrezia, Sofonista Anguissola, and Properzia
de Rossi;
And Rossi’s painting “Joseph and Potiphar’s
Wife”,
An impressive panel art which parallels the
unrequited love Rossi experienced in her own
life !
(
Joseph the elder son of Jacob, taken captive by Potiphar
the Captain of Pharaoh’s guard, was desired by Potiphar’s
wife, whose advances Joseph repulsed. Rossi’s painting
of 1520s inspired later artists to paint their own versions
of this same Old Testament Story.)

Next I briefly mention architects Brunelleschi
and Ghiberti, and the sculptor Donatello;
Not forgetting the painters like Masaccio,
Verrocchio and Botticelli;
Those Early Renaissance Artists are known to
us today thanks to the Art historian Giorgio
Vasari .

BRUNELLESCHI has been mentioned in Section
One of my Renaissance Story.
His 114 meter high dome of Florence Cathedral
created artistic history!
This dome was constructed without supporting
buttresses with a double egg shaped structure;
Stands out as an unique feat of Florentine
Architecture!
The dome is larger than St Paul’s in London,
the Capitol Building of Washington DC, and
also the St Peters in the Vatican City!

GILBERTI is remembered for his massive
15 feet high gilded bronze doors for the
Baptistery of Florence,
Containing twenty carved panels with themes
from the Old Testament.
Which took a quarter century to complete,
working at his own convenience.
His exquisite naturalistic carved figures in the
true spirit of the Renaissance won him a prize;
And his gilded doors were renamed by Michel
Angelo as ‘The Gates of Paradise’!
(
At the age of 23 yrs Lorenzo Ghiberti had won the
competition beating other Architects for craving the
doors of the Baptistery of Florence!)

DONATELLO’S full size bronze David was
commissioned by its patron Cosimo de’ Medici.
With its sensual contrapposto stance in the
classical Greek style with its torso bent slightly.
Is known as the first free standing **** statue
since the days of Classical Art history!
The Old Testament relates the story of David
the shepherd boy, who killed the giant Goliath
with a single sling shot;
Cutting off his head with Goliath’s own sword!
Thus saving the Israelites from Philistine’s wrath.
This unique statue inspired all later sculptors to
strive for similar artistic excellence;
Culminating in Michael Angelo’s **** statue of
David, known for its sculptured brilliance!

MASSACCIO (1401- 1428) joined Florentine
Artist’s Guild at the age of 21 years.
A talented artist who abandoned the old Gothic
Style, experimenting without fears!
Influenced by Giotto, he mastered the use of
perspective in art.
Introduced the vanishing point and the horizon
line, - while planning his artistic works.
In his paintings ‘The Expulsion from Eden’
and ‘The Temptation’,
He introduced the initial **** figures in Italian
Art without any inhibition!
Though up North in Flanders, Van Eyck the
painter had already made an artistic innovation,
By painting ‘Adam and Eve’ displaying their
****** in his artistic creation;
Thereby creating the first **** painting in Art
History!
But such figures greatly annoyed the Church,
Since nudes formed a part of pagan art!
So these Northern artists to pacify the Church
and pass its censorship,
Cleverly under a fig leaf cover made their art to
appear moralistic!
Van Eyck was also the innovator of oil-based paints,
Which later replaced the Medieval tempera, used to
paint angles and saints.

Masaccio’s fresco ‘The Tribute Money’ requires
here a special mention,
For his use of perspective with light and shade,
Where the blithe figure of the Roman tax collector
is artistically made.
Christ is painted with stern nobility, Peter in angry
majesty;
And every Apostle with individualized features,
attire, and pose;
With light coming from a single identifiable source!
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,
and unto God things that are God’s”, said Christ;
Narrated in Mathew chapter 22 verse 21, which
cannot be denied.
Unfortunately, Masaccio died at an early age of
27 years.
Said to have been killed by a jealous rival artist,
who had shed no tears!

BOTTICELLI the Florentine was born half a
century after the Dutch Van Eyck;
Remembered even to this day for his painting
the ‘Birth of Venus’, an icon of Art History
making him famous.
This painting depicts goddess Venus rising out
of the sea on a conch shell,
And the glorious path of female **** painting
commenced in Italy, - casting a spell!
His full scale **** Venus shattered the Medieval
taboo on ******.
With a subject shift from religious art to Classical
Mythology;
Removing the ‘fig-leaf cover’ over Art permanently!

I end this Early Period with VERROCCHIO, born
in Florence in fourteen hundred and thirty five.
A trained goldsmith proficient in the skills of both
painting and sculpture;
Who under the patronage of the Medici family
had thrived.
He had set up his workshop in Florence were he
trained Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, and other
famous Renaissance artists alike!

FOUR CANONICAL PAINTING MODES OF
THE RENAISSANCE:
During the Renaissance the four canonical painting
modes we get to see;
Are Chiaroscuro, Sfumato, Cangiante and Unione.
‘Chiaroscuro’ comes from an Italian word meaning
‘light and dark’, a painting technique of Leonardo,
Creating a three dimensional dramatic effect to
steal the show.
Later also used with great excellence by Rubens
and the Dutch Rembrandt as we know.
‘Sfumato’ from Italian ‘sfumare’, meaning to tone
down or evaporate like a smoke;
As seen in Leonardo’s ‘Mona Lisa’ where the
colors blend seamlessly like smoke!
‘Cangiante’ means to ‘change’, where a painter
changed to a lighter or a darker hue, when the
original hue could not be made light enough;
As seen in the transformation from green to
yellow in Prophet Daniel’s robe,
On the ceiling of Sistine Chapel in Rome.
‘Unione’ followed the ‘sfumato’ quality, but
maintained vibrant colors as we get to see;
In Raphael’s ‘Alba Madonna’ in Washington’s
National Gallery.

ART OF HIGH RENAISSANCE ERA - THE
GOLDEN AGE.

“Where the spirit does not work with the
hand there is no art.”- Leonardo

With Giotto during the Trecento period of the
14th century,
Painting dominated sculpture in the artistic
endeavor of Italy.
During the 15th century the Quattrocento, with
Donetello and Giberti,
Sculpture certainly dominated painting as we get to
see!
But during the 16th century or the Cinquecento,
Painting again took the lead commencing with
the great Leonardo!
This Era was cut short by the death of Lorenzo the
Magnificent to less than half a century; (Died in 1493)
But gifted great masterpieces to the world enriching
the world of Art tremendously!
The Medieval ‘halo’ was now replaced by a fresh
naturalness;
And both Madonna and Christ acquired a more
human likeness!
Portrait paintings began to be commissioned by
many rich patrons.
While artists acquired both recognition and a status
of their own.
But the artistic focus during this Era had shifted from
Florence,  - to Venice and Rome!
In the Vatican City, Pope Julius-II was followed by
Pope Leo the Tenth,
He commissioned many works of art which are
still cherished and maintained!
Now cutting short my story let me mention the
famous Italian Renaissance Superstar Trio;
Leonardo, Raphael, and Michael Angelo.

LEONARDO DA VINCI was born in 1452 in
the village of Vinci near the City of Florence,
Was deprived of a formal education being born
illegitimate!
He was left-handed, and wrote from right to left!
He soon excelled his teacher Varrocchio, by
introduced oil based paints into Italy;
Whose translucent colors with his innovative
techniques, enhanced his painting artistically.
Sigmund Freud had said, “Leonardo was like a
man who awoke too early in the darkness while
others were all still asleep,” - he was awake!
Leonardo’s  historic ‘Note Book’ has sketches of a
battle tank, a flying machine, a parachute, and many
other anatomical and technical sketches and designs;
Reflecting the ever probing mind of this versatile
genius who was far ahead of his time!
His ‘Vituvian Man’, ‘The Last Supper’, and ‘Mona Lisa’,
Remain as his enduring works of art and more popular
than the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Pen and ink sketch of the ‘Vitruvian Man’ with arms
and leg apart inside a square and a circle, also known
as the ‘Proportion of Man’;
Where his height correspondence to the length
of his outstretched hands;
Became symbolic of the true Renaissance spirit
of Man.
‘The Last Supper’ a 15ft by 29ft fresco work on
the refectory wall of Santa Maria, commissioned
by Duke of Milan Ludovic,
Is the most reproduced religious painting which
took three years to complete!
Leonardo searched the streets of Milan before
painting Judas’ face;
And individualized each figure with competence!
‘Mona Lisa’ with her enigmatic smile continues
to inspire artists, poets, and her viewers alike,
since its creation;
Which Leonardo took four years to complete
with utmost devotion.
Leonardo used oil on poplar wood panel, unique
during those days,
With ‘sfumato’ blending of translucent colors with
light and shade;
Creating depth, volume, and form, with a timeless
expression on Mona Lisa’s countenance!
Art Historian George Varasi says that it is the face
of one Lisa Gherardini,
Wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant of Italy.
Insurance Companies failed to make any estimation
of this portrait, declaring its value as priceless!
Today it remains housed inside an air-conditioned,
de-humidified chamber, within a triple bullet-proof
glass, in Louvre France.
“It is the ultimate symbol of human civilization”,
- exclaimed President Kennedy;
And with this I pay my humble tribute to our
Leonardo da Vinci!

MICHEL ANGELO BUONARROTI (1475-1564):
This Tuscan born sculptor, painter, architect, and
poet, was a versatile man,
Worthy to be called the archetype of the true
‘Renaissance Man’!
At the age of twelve was placed under the famous
painter Ghirlandio,
Where his inclination for sculpting began to show.
Under the liberal patronage of Lorenzo de Medici,
He developed his talent as a sculptor as we get
to see.
In the Medici Palace, he was struck by his rival
Torregiano on the nose with a mallet;
Disfiguring permanently his handsome face!
His statue of ‘Bacchus’ of 1497 and the very
beauty of the figure,
Earned him the commission for the ‘PIETA’ in
St Peter’s Basilica;
Where from a single piece of Carrara marble he
carved out the figure of ****** Mary grieving
over the dead body of Christ;
This iconic piece of sculpture which along with
his ‘David’ earned him the ‘Superstar rights’!

Michel Angelo’s **** ‘DAVID’ weighed 6.4 tons
and stood 17 feet in height;
Unlike the bronze David of Donatello, which
shows him victorious after the fight!
Michel’s David an epitome of strength and
youthful vigour with a Classical Greek touch;
Displayed an uncircumcised ***** which had
shocked the viewers very much!
But it was consistent with the Mannerism in Art,
in keeping with the Renaissance spirit as such!
David displays an attitude of placid calm with
his knitted eyebrows and sidelong glance;
With his left hand over the left shoulder
holding a sling,
Coolly surveys the giant Goliath before his
single sling shot fatally stings!
This iconic sculpture has a timeless appeal even
after 500 years, depicting the ‘Renaissance Man’
at his best;
Vigorous, healthy, beautiful, rational and fully
competent!
Finally we come to the Ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel of Rome,
Where Pope Julius-II’s persistence resulted in the
creation of world’s greatest single fresco that was
ever known!
Covering some 5000 square feet, took five years
to complete.
Special scaffoldings had to be erected for painting
scenes from ‘The Creation’ till the ‘Day of Judgment’
on a 20 meter’s high ceiling;
Where the Central portion had nine scenes from
the ‘Book of Genesis’,
With ‘Creation of Adam’ having an iconic significance!
Like Leonardo, Michel Angelo was left-handed and died
a bachelor - pursuing his art with devotion;
A man with caustic wit, proud reserve, and sublimity
of imagination!

RAFFAELLO SANZIO (1483-1520):
This last of the famous High Renaissance trio was
born in 1483 in Urbino,
Some eight years after Michel Angelo.
His Madonna series and decorative frescos
glorified the Library of Pope Julius the Second;
Who was impressed by his fresco ‘The School
of Athens’;
And commissioned Raphael to decorate his
Study in the Vatican.
Raphael painted this large fresco between 1510
and 1511, initially named as the ‘Knowledge of
Causes’,
But the 17th century guide books referred to it
as ‘The School of Athens’.
Here Plato and Aristotle are the central figures
surrounded by a host of ancient Greek scholars
and philosophers.
The bare footed Plato is seen pointing skywards,
In his left hand holds his book ‘Timaeus’;
His upward hand gesture indicating his ‘World
of Forms’ and transcendental ideas!
Aristotle is seen pointing downwards, his left
hand holds his famous book the ‘Ethics’;
His blue dress symbolizes water and earth
with an earthly fix.
The painting illustrates the historic continuance
of Platonic thoughts,
In keeping with the spirit of the Renaissance!
Raphael’s last masterpiece ‘Transfiguration’
depicts the resurrected Christ,
Flanked by prophets
Lawrence Hall Jun 2017
Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome

See now Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome
Three celebrants mitred with golden light  
And vested in pillar, temple, and dome
They lift life’s elements in sacred rite:      
  
Jerusalem the Wild, where prophets sing
Athens the Reasoner, amid her vines                    
Rome, the Giver of Laws, whose trumpets ring:
All send us civilization through wonders and signs                        

In faith and form and word and polychrome -
See now Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome
RAJ NANDY Nov 2014
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
OF HISTORY IN VERSE : PART ONE
              BY RAJ NANDY
              INTRODUCTION
The very mention of History brings to mind
many civilizations, its wars, with endless
succession of ruling dynasties and kings;
Its many dates and events, which appear to be
rather dull and boring!
“If history were taught in the form of stories, it
would never be forgotten”, said Rudyard Kipling!
So if a good teacher of History narrates those
events like a story within a broad chronological
frame work,
While skillfully linking the present in light of the
past;
Mentioning both important and lesser known
interesting facts to arouse the interest of his
class; -
History would be better appreciated by us!
Perhaps in its narrowest sense, History may be
viewed only as a chronological succession of
dates and past events!
But let me assure you that History is a dynamic
linear progression, adapting and evolving with
changing times,
As present recedes into the past all the while!
These changes could be environmental, socio-
economic, or political changes faced by mankind.
But we remain as a living part of History all the
while!
Yet while we live through History, we fail to realize
the impact we make upon history and time;
And this is perhaps the very magic and enigma of
History,
Which occasionally lends it a touch of mystery!
Our family album is a record of our history we
create and leave behind at the micro level;
Just as past civilizations have left behind their imprints
in their architecture, statues, literature, and works
of art at the macro level !
History breathes and speaks to us from the distant
past,
If only we could pause to hear its unspoken words,
As the Romantic poet John Keats had once heard!
Keats’  “Ode on a Grecian Urn” composed during
early 19th century, -
Harks back to the Classical Age of Greek History!
Keats waxes eloquent in his description of pastoral
scenes painted on the urn which lies frozen in time;
While Keats leaves behind his exalted and eternal
aesthetic message - ‘Beauty is Truth and Truth
Beauty’, - which shall outlive our mortal time!
So it is with History, like the Grecian urn the past  
remains eternalized in time with its lessons and
stories;
While it beckons us to unravel her mysteries!
For the historian, the architect, the geologist,
the anthropologist, scholars and the artist,
‘’History is a continuous dialogue between
the present and the past’’;
As observed by the English historian and
diplomat EW Carr.
Even though we cannot change the past, we can
surely absorb the lessons it has left behind for us!
The Spanish born American philosopher George
Santayana had said; -
“Those who cannot remember the past are
condemned to repeat it!”
The Dutch philosopher Soren Kierkegaard had
once remarked; -
“Life must be lived forward, but it can only be
understood backward.”
So let us learn from past History to create a
better future for humanity.
For the past gives us a sense of belonging
and an identity;
Since our very roots lie enshrined in History!
By the time you complete reading my entire
composition,
I hope to convert you into a Lover of History
by broadening your perception!

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF HISTORY!
Ancient Greece, the cradle of Western Civilization
during the 6th century BC, -
Saw the birth of Philosophy!
Thales of Miletus, Anaximenes, and Anaximander,
from the Greek colony of Ionia on the west coast
of Asia Minor,  (now Turkey)
Broke the previous shackles of all mythical and
superstitious explanations.
With their questioning mind and rational thinking
they sought,  -
To seek the real behind the apparent, and substance
behind the shadow;
By seeking natural and logical reasons for explaining
natural phenomena, -
Free from all previous religious and mythical
interpretations!
Thus, these Milesian School of thinkers in their quest
for truth with their intellectual lust, -
Gave rise to ‘philosophia’, Greek word for ‘love
of truth’, an early birth!
Subsequently, this newly born Greek Philosophy with
its progressive thoughts inspired scientific methods
of inquiry;
Along with Logic, trial by Jury, and the very concept
of Democracy!
The Greeks also inspired Literature, History, Tragedy,
Comedy, the Olympic Games, Astronomy, and Geometry!
Around 500 BC the Greek written script had stabilized,
going from left to right;
And the first addition of vowel letters by the Greeks
to the adopted Phoenician consonants, can never
be denied!
The first two Greek letters ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’ which
gave the name to our Alphabets forms a part of
early History.
Now Herodotus, during the 5th century BC, had
inherited this intellectual Greek Legacy!

HERODOTUS – ‘THE FATHER OF HISTORY’
Herodotus is said to have been born in the ancient
Dorian Greek city of Halicarnassus in south-west
Asia Minor, which is now Turkey;
During the latter half of 5th century BC!
During his days, the city was under the rule of Persia;
Since the Persians had captured the Greek colonies
in Asia Minor!
Frequent revolts by these colonies against the
Persians with help from Athens,
Made the Persian King Darius, and later his son
Xerxes, - decide to invade Athens!
The Persians also wanted to extend their Empire
into Europe across the Bosporus Strait, -
Which divided Asia from Europe in those days!

In 490 BC, when the massive Persian army of King
Darius landed at Marathon as assured victors;
The Athenian running courier Pheidippides ran
150 miles in two days, to seek help from Sparta!
Again later, he ran 25 miles from the battlefield
near Marathon to Athens, to announce that the
Greeks became the final victors!
This historic run by Pheidippides gave rise to the
discipline of Marathon, in our Olympic Games
later on!
Such Marathon runs are now held in many cities
of the world annually,
Thus we remain connected with our past as you
can clearly see!
Years later in 425 BC, Herodotus narrated these
invasions in his famous narrative ‘Histories’.
Cicero the Roman scholar, philosopher and orator,
Had called Herodotus the ‘Father of History’ many
centuries later!
Very little is known about Herodotus’ early life,
But from historical evidence which survive,
We learn about his stay in Athens, and his many
wanderings;
Visiting Egypt, Libya, Syria, Babylon, Susa in Elam,
Lydia, and Phrygia;
Collecting information which he called ‘autopsies’
or ‘personal inquiries’, and hearing many stories;
Prior to composing his famous ‘Histories’!

“THE HISTORIES”: HERODOTUS (430-425BC)
This was written in prose in the Iconic dialect of
Classical Greek,
Covers the background, causes, and events of the
Greco-Persian Wars between 490 and 479 BC.  
Scholars divided the entire work into 9 Books, with
each dedicated to a Greek Muse, - those goddesses
of art and knowledge,
Thereby the Homeric tradition they did acknowledge!
For example, Book-I was dedicated to Calliope, the
Muse of Epic Poetry, and Book-II to Clio, the Muse
of History.
Herodotus begins his narration with these following
words;-
“Here is the account of the inquiry of Herodotus of
Halicarnassus in order that the deeds of men not be
erased by time, and that the great and miraculous
works – both of the Greeks and the barbarians not
go unrecorded.”
Now Herodotus with his lucid narrative style, had
pioneered the writing of History with a specific
framework of space and time!
His style got emulated by later writers of History,
Who improved their narration with better authentic
source and methodology;
Thereby giving birth to the subject of ‘Historiography’.
(Historiography = critical examination of source & selection
of authentic material, synthesis of particulars into a narrative
whole, which shall stand the test of critical methods.)

HERODOTUS’ ‘INQUIRY’ GAVE BIRTH TO ‘HISTORY’!
The ancient Greek word “historia” meant ‘knowledge
acquired by investigation or inquiry’’, and the Greek
‘histore’ meant ‘inquiry’.  
It was in this sense Aristotle later used it in his ‘’Inquires
on Animals’’- during the 4th Century BC;
And this mode of ‘inquiry’ later became ‘History’!
The term ‘History’ entered English language in 1390
as a “record of past incidents and story”.
However, the restriction to the meaning “record of
past events” only, came during the 15th century.
But the German word ‘Geschichte’ even to this day,
Means both history and story, without making
distinction in any way!
Since the story element remains inbuilt in all historical
narrations,
And also remains as a tribute to its author’s creation!
CONCLUDING PORTION WILL BE POSTED LATER AS
PART-TWO. Thanks, - RAJ NANDY.
**ALL COPY RIGHTS WITH THE AUTHOR RAJ NANDY,
OF NEW DELHI
Friends, this is a short intro. to the subject of History in Verse, composed in a simplified form. The concluding portion will be posted later as Part Two. Hope you like the same! In case you like it, do recommend to your other friend! Thanks, -Raj
by
Alexander K Opicho

(Eldoret, Kenya;aopicho@yahoo.com)

When I grow up I will seek permission
From my parents, my mother before my father
To travel to Russia the European land of dystopia
that has never known democracy in any tincture
I will beckon the tsar of Russia to open for me
Their classical cipher that Bogy visoky tsa dalyko
I will ask the daughters of Russia to oblivionize my dark skin
***** skin and make love to me the real pre-democratic love
Love that calls for ambers that will claw the fire of revolution,
I will ask my love from the land of Siberia to show me cradle of Rand
The European manger on which Ayn Rand was born during the Leninist census
I will exhume her umbilical cord plus the placenta to link me up
To her dystopian mind that germinated the vice
For shrugging the atlas for we the living ones,
In a full dint of my ***** libido I will ask her
With my African temerarious manner I will bother her
To show me the bronze statues of Alexander Pushkin
I hear it is at ******* of the city of Moscow; Petersburg
I will talk to my brother Pushkin, my fellow African born in Ethiopia
In the family of Godunov only taken to Europe in a slave raid
Ask the Frenchman Henri Troyat who stood with his ***** erected
As he watched an Ethiopian father fertilizing an Ethiopian mother
And child who was born was Dystopian Alexander Pushkin,
I will carry his remains; the bones, the skull and the skeleton in oily
Sisal threads made bag on my broad African shoulders back to Africa
I will re-bury him in the city of Omurate in southern Ethiopia at the buttocks
Of the fish venting beautiful summer waters of Lake Turkana,
I will ask Alexander Pushkin when in a sag on my back to sing for me
His famous poems in praise of thighs of women;

(I loved you: and, it may be, from my soul
The former love has never gone away,
But let it not recall to you my dole;
I wish not sadden you in any way.

I loved you silently, without hope, fully,
In diffidence, in jealousy, in pain;
I loved you so tenderly and truly,
As let you else be loved by any man.
I loved you because of your smooth thighs
They put my heart on fire like amber in gasoline)

I will leave the bronze statue of Alexander Pushkin in Moscow
For Lenin to look at, he will assign Mayakovski to guard it
Day and night as he sings for it the cacotopian
Poems of a slap in the face of public taste;

(I know the power of words, I know words' tocsin.
They're not the kind applauded by the boxes.
From words like these coffins burst from the earth
and on their own four oaken legs stride forth.
It happens they reject you, unpublished, unprinted.
But saddle-girths tightening words gallop ahead.
See how the centuries ring and trains crawl
to lick poetry's calloused hands.
I know the power of words. Seeming trifles that fall
like petals beneath the heel-taps of dance.
But man with his soul, his lips, his bones.)

I will come along to African city of Omurate
With the pedagogue of the thespic poet
The teacher of the poets, the teacher who taught
Alexander Sergeyvich Pushkin; I know his name
The name is Nikolai Vasileyvitch Gogol
I will caution him to carry only two books
From which he will teach the re-Africanized Pushkin
The first book is the Cloak and second book will be
The voluminous dead souls that have two sharp children of Russian dystopia;
The cactopia of Nosdrezv in his sadistic cult of betrayal
And utopia of Chichikov in his paranoid ownership of dead souls
Of the Russian peasants, muzhiks and serfs,
I will caution him not to carry the government inspector incognito
We don’t want the inspector general in the African city of Omurate
He will leave it behind for Lenin to read because he needs to know
What is to be done.
I don’t like the extreme badness of owning the dead souls
Let me run away to the city of Paris, where romance and poetry
Are utopian commanders of the dystopian orchestra
In which Victor Marie Hugo is haunted by
The ghost of Jean Val Jean; Le Miserable,
I will implore Hugo to take me to the Corsican Island
And chant for me one **** song of the French revolution;


       (  take heed of this small child of earth;
He is great; he hath in him God most high.
Children before their fleshly birth
Are lights alive in the blue sky.
  
In our light bitter world of wrong
They come; God gives us them awhile.
His speech is in their stammering tongue,
And his forgiveness in their smile.
  
Their sweet light rests upon our eyes.
Alas! their right to joy is plain.
If they are hungry Paradise
Weeps, and, if cold, Heaven thrills with pain.
  
The want that saps their sinless flower
Speaks judgment on sin's ministers.
Man holds an angel in his power.
Ah! deep in Heaven what thunder stirs,
  
When God seeks out these tender things
Whom in the shadow where we sleep
He sends us clothed about with wings,
And finds them ragged babes that we)

 From the Corsican I won’t go back to Paris
Because Napoleon Bonaparte and the proletariat
Has already taken over the municipal of Paris
I will dodge this city and maneuver my ways
Through Alsace and Lorraine
The Miginko islands of Europe
And cross the boundaries in to bundeslander
Into Germany, I will go to Berlin and beg the Gestapo
The State police not to shoot me as I climb the Berlin wall
I will balance dramatically on the top of Berlin wall
Like Eshu the Nigerian god of fate
With East Germany on my right; Die ossie
And West Germany on my left; Die wessie
Then like Jesus balancing and walking
On the waters of Lake Galilee
I will balance on Berlin wall
And call one of my faithful followers from Germany
The strong hearted Friedrich von Schiller
To climb the Berlin wall with me
So that we can sing his dystopic Cassandra as a duet
We shall sing and balance on the wall of Berlin
Schiller’s beauteous song of Cassandra;

(Mirth the halls of Troy was filling,
Ere its lofty ramparts fell;
From the golden lute so thrilling
Hymns of joy were heard to swell.
From the sad and tearful slaughter
All had laid their arms aside,
For Pelides Priam's daughter
Claimed then as his own fair bride.

Laurel branches with them bearing,
Troop on troop in bright array
To the temples were repairing,
Owning Thymbrius' sovereign sway.
Through the streets, with frantic measure,
Danced the bacchanal mad round,
And, amid the radiant pleasure,
Only one sad breast was found.

Joyless in the midst of gladness,
None to heed her, none to love,
Roamed Cassandra, plunged in sadness,
To Apollo's laurel grove.
To its dark and deep recesses
Swift the sorrowing priestess hied,
And from off her flowing tresses
Tore the sacred band, and cried:

"All around with joy is beaming,
Ev'ry heart is happy now,
And my sire is fondly dreaming,
Wreathed with flowers my sister's brow
I alone am doomed to wailing,
That sweet vision flies from me;
In my mind, these walls assailing,
Fierce destruction I can see."

"Though a torch I see all-glowing,
Yet 'tis not in *****'s hand;
Smoke across the skies is blowing,
Yet 'tis from no votive brand.
Yonder see I feasts entrancing,
But in my prophetic soul,
Hear I now the God advancing,
Who will steep in tears the bowl!"

"And they blame my lamentation,
And they laugh my grief to scorn;
To the haunts of desolation
I must bear my woes forlorn.
All who happy are, now shun me,
And my tears with laughter see;
Heavy lies thy hand upon me,
Cruel Pythian deity!"

"Thy divine decrees foretelling,
Wherefore hast thou thrown me here,
Where the ever-blind are dwelling,
With a mind, alas, too clear?
Wherefore hast thou power thus given,
What must needs occur to know?
Wrought must be the will of Heaven--
Onward come the hour of woe!"

"When impending fate strikes terror,
Why remove the covering?
Life we have alone in error,
Knowledge with it death must bring.
Take away this prescience tearful,
Take this sight of woe from me;
Of thy truths, alas! how fearful
'Tis the mouthpiece frail to be!"

"Veil my mind once more in slumbers
Let me heedlessly rejoice;
Never have I sung glad numbers
Since I've been thy chosen voice.
Knowledge of the future giving,
Thou hast stolen the present day,
Stolen the moment's joyous living,--
Take thy false gift, then, away!"

"Ne'er with bridal train around me,
Have I wreathed my radiant brow,
Since to serve thy fane I bound me--
Bound me with a solemn vow.
Evermore in grief I languish--
All my youth in tears was spent;
And with thoughts of bitter anguish
My too-feeling heart is rent."

"Joyously my friends are playing,
All around are blest and glad,
In the paths of pleasure straying,--
My poor heart alone is sad.
Spring in vain unfolds each treasure,
Filling all the earth with bliss;
Who in life can e'er take pleasure,
When is seen its dark abyss?"

"With her heart in vision burning,
Truly blest is Polyxene,
As a bride to clasp him yearning.
Him, the noblest, best Hellene!
And her breast with rapture swelling,
All its bliss can scarcely know;
E'en the Gods in heavenly dwelling
Envying not, when dreaming so."

"He to whom my heart is plighted
Stood before my ravished eye,
And his look, by passion lighted,
Toward me turned imploringly.
With the loved one, oh, how gladly
Homeward would I take my flight
But a Stygian shadow sadly
Steps between us every night."

"Cruel Proserpine is sending
All her spectres pale to me;
Ever on my steps attending
Those dread shadowy forms I see.
Though I seek, in mirth and laughter
Refuge from that ghastly train,
Still I see them hastening after,--
Ne'er shall I know joy again."

"And I see the death-steel glancing,
And the eye of ****** glare;
On, with hasty strides advancing,
Terror haunts me everywhere.
Vain I seek alleviation;--
Knowing, seeing, suffering all,
I must wait the consummation,
In a foreign land must fall."

While her solemn words are ringing,
Hark! a dull and wailing tone
From the temple's gate upspringing,--
Dead lies Thetis' mighty son!
Eris shakes her snake-locks hated,
Swiftly flies each deity,
And o'er Ilion's walls ill-fated
Thunder-clouds loom heavily!)

When the Gestapoes get impatient
We shall not climb down to walk on earth
Because by this time  of utopia
Thespis and Muse the gods of poetry
Would have given us the wings to fly
To fly high over England, I and schiller
We shall not land any where in London
Nor perch to any of the English tree
Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Thales
We shall not land there in these lands
The waters of river Thames we shall not drink
We shall fly higher over England
The queen of England we shall not commune
For she is my lender; has lend me the language
English language in which I am chanting
My dystopic songs, poor me! What a cacotopia!
If she takes her language away from
I will remain poetically dead
In the Universe of art and culture
I will form a huge palimpsest of African poetry
Friedrich son of schiller please understand me
Let us not land in England lest I loose
My borrowed tools of worker back to the owner,
But instead let us fly higher in to the azure
The zenith of the sky where the eagles never dare
And call the English bard
through  our high shrilled eagle’s contralto
William Shakespeare to come up
In the English sky; to our treat of poetic blitzkrieg
Please dear schiller we shall tell the bard of London
To come up with his three Luftwaffe
These will be; the deer he stole from the rich farmer
Once when he was a lad in the rural house of john the father,
Second in order is the Hamlet the price of Denmark
Thirdly is  his beautiful song of the **** of lucrece,
We shall ask the bard to return back the deer to the owner
Three of ourselves shall enjoy together dystopia in Hamlet
And ask Shakespeare to sing for us his song
In which he saw a man **** Lucrece; the **** of Lucrece;

( From the besieged Ardea all in post,
Borne by the trustless wings of false desire,
Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host,
And to Collatium bears the lightless fire
Which, in pale embers hid, lurks to aspire
  And girdle with embracing flames the waist
  Of Collatine's fair love, Lucrece the chaste.

Haply that name of chaste unhapp'ly set
This bateless edge on his keen appetite;
When Collatine unwisely did not let
To praise the clear unmatched red and white
Which triumph'd in that sky of his delight,
  Where mortal stars, as bright as heaven's beauties,
  With pure aspects did him peculiar duties.

For he the night before, in Tarquin's tent,
Unlock'd the treasure of his happy state;
What priceless wealth the heavens had him lent
In the possession of his beauteous mate;
Reckoning his fortune at such high-proud rate,
  That kings might be espoused to more fame,
  But king nor peer to such a peerless dame.

O happiness enjoy'd but of a few!
And, if possess'd, as soon decay'd and done
As is the morning's silver-melting dew
Against the golden splendour of the sun!
An expir'd date, cancell'd ere well begun:
  Honour and beauty, in the owner's arms,
  Are weakly fortress'd from a world of harms.

Beauty itself doth of itself persuade
The eyes of men without an orator;
What needeth then apologies be made,
To set forth that which is so singular?
Or why is Collatine the publisher
  Of that rich jewel he should keep unknown
  From thievish ears, because it is his own?

Perchance his boast of Lucrece' sovereignty
Suggested this proud issue of a king;
For by our ears our hearts oft tainted be:
Perchance that envy of so rich a thing,
Braving compare, disdainfully did sting
  His high-pitch'd thoughts, that meaner men should vaunt
  That golden hap which their superiors want)

  
I and Schiller we shall be the audience
When Shakespeare will echo
The enemies of beauty as
It is weakly protected in the arms of Othello.

I and Schiller we don’t know places in Greece
But Shakespeare’s mother comes from Greece
And Shakespeare’s wife comes from Athens
Shakespeare thus knows Greece like Pericles,
We shall not land anywhere on the way
But straight we shall be let
By Shakespeare to Greece
Into the inner chamber of calypso
Lest the Cyclopes eat us whole meal
We want to redeem Homer from the
Love detention camp of calypso
Where he has dallied nine years in the wilderness
Wilderness of love without reaching home
I will ask Homer to introduce me
To Muse, Clio and Thespis
The three spiritualities of poetry
That gave Homer powers to graft the epics
Of Iliad and Odyssey centerpieces of Greece dystopia
I will ask Homer to chant and sing for us the epical
Songs of love, Grecian cradle of utopia
Where Cyclopes thrive on heavyweight cacotopia
Please dear Homer kindly sing for us;
(Thus through the livelong day to the going down of the sun we
feasted our fill on meat and drink, but when the sun went down and
it came on dark, we camped upon the beach. When the child of
morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, I bade my men on board and
loose the hawsers. Then they took their places and smote the grey
sea with their oars; so we sailed on with sorrow in our hearts, but
glad to have escaped death though we had lost our comrades)
                                  
From Greece to Africa the short route  is via India
The sub continent of India where humanity
Flocks like the oceans of women and men
The land in which Romesh Tulsi
Grafted Ramayana and Mahabharata
The handbook of slavery and caste prejudice
The land in which Gujarat Indian tongue
In the cheeks of Rabidranathe Tagore
Was awarded a Poetical honour
By Alfred Nobel minus any Nemesis
From the land of Scandinavia,
I will implore Tagore to sing for me
The poem which made Nobel to give him a prize
I will ask Tagore to sing in English
The cacotopia and utopia that made India
An oversized dystopia that man has ever seen,
Tagore sing please Tagore sing for me your beggarly heat;

(When the heart is hard and parched up,
come upon me with a shower of mercy.

When grace is lost from life,
come with a burst of song.

When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting me out from
beyond, come to me, my lord of silence, with thy peace and rest.

When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner,
break open the door, my king, and come with the ceremony of a king.

When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O thou holy one,
thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder)



The heart of beggar must be
A hard heart for it to glorify in the art of begging,

I don’t like begging
This is knot my heart suffered
From my childhood experience
I saw my mother
Marieta Maglas Aug 2015
(The captain of the pirates and one of them were in the cabin of that stranger having dogs while talking about him.)



''In Athens, he hired us to help him take the gold, '' said the captain.
''How could he take it as long as the messenger was alive? ''
The captain laughed, '' Maybe he has waited an accident to happen.
He caught the ship; before the sunset, wanted there to arrive.''




''He had nice dogs! '' '' Yes, the dogs would help him find the messenger
To **** him and to take the documents; he understood this
While he was hiding to hear those men talking, '' ''He was an avenger.''
''He didn't know the messenger, but he knew the gold's bliss.''




''He heard that a ship carrying five hundred and twenty bars
Having one kilo of gold each one would have to anchor
Near the Prinylas' shore, '' said the captain while lightning two cigars.
The other one started to smoke, '' I've satisfied my hanker.''



''The messenger should wait that ship to take the gold after
Presenting the documents; then, he should go to help a nun.''
''Those men should meet again to make arrangements thereafter.
One of them is on this ship; he goes silent until all is done.''




The stranger heard only a part of the dialog between
Ivan and the messenger's servant, who had been sent to Athens
To meet him; then, this stranger hired the pirates- around sixteen.
'' Follow me; I must embark on that ship to watch what happens, ''



(...He had told the pirates after killing the servant of the messenger; then, he intended to **** Ivan.)



He didn't know that Ivan should give the map to the messenger
To see the description of the road to the monastery,
The sketch and some details; Ivan didn't sense the danger.
The servant had to go to meet someone else; ''Let's be merry, ''



(...Said Ivan. They should meet again after three hours to go together to the messenger. The stranger did not know this secret.)



The meeting never took place 'cause the connection man had been killed.
Fortunately, he had told Ivan where this village was placed.
Ivan had caused that square sail's damage, but his heart hadn't been stilled.
Freddy needed time in Athens, when with this problem he was faced.




This way, Ivan forced Freddy to stay longer than he intended
To be in Athens; Ivan needed time to bring the map
To the destination; because the servant's life had ended
And the repair had been made quickly, Ivan fell into the trap.



(Ivan didn't have time to understand why the servant had died. He was prompted to divert the ship to the known place of Corfu, in order to land ashore. Then, Ivan would search for the messenger.)




The stranger was the one who paid attention to all those
Movements on that ship in order to grab the gold while thinking
That the pirate ship was behind him; he couldn't suppose
That the pirates had run ashore while using fast horses settling




In Prinylas before the Frederick's arrival; they
Killed the messenger and captured the vessel containing
The gold bars; they also killed all those sailors; on that day,
They attacked the carrack to find out who had lost that meeting.



The pirates wanted to **** that man, whereof the stranger
Had told them, and to remove the traces leading to the gold.
For this reason, they were willing to put them all in danger,
But the fire caused by Ivan their eyes started to behold.



(Ivan wanted to give Erica a chance to take the map and go ashore to search the messenger. The captain of the pirates took all the documents, the treasure and the seal belonging to the stranger and jumped overboard into a boat, apparently and inexplicably abandoning his companions. After an hour, the army began to fight with the pirates' crew.)


(..To be continued.)

Poem by Marieta Maglas
1768

Lad of Athens, faithful be
To Thyself,
And Mystery—
All the rest is Perjury—
I met him on the Amtrak line to Central Jersey. His name was Walker, and his surname Norris. I thought there was a certain charm to that. He was a Texas man, and he fell right into my image of what a Texas man should look like. Walker was tall, about 6’4”, with wide shoulders and blue eyes. He had semi-long hair, tied into a weak ponytail that hung down from the wide brim hat he wore on his head. As for the hat, you could tell it had seen better days, and the brim was starting to droop slightly from excessive wear. Walker had on a childish smile that he seemed to wear perpetually, as if he were entirely unmoved by the negative experiences of his own life. I have often thought back to this smile, and wondered if I would trade places with him, knowing that I could be so unaffected by my suffering. I always end up choosing despair, though, because I am a writer, and so despair to me is but a reservoir of creativity. Still, there is a certain romance to the way Walker braved the world’s slings and arrows, almost oblivious to the cruel intentions with which they were sent at him.
“I never think people are out to get me.” I remember him saying, in the thick, rich, southern drawl with which he spoke, “Some people just get confused sometimes. Ma’ momma always used to tell me, ‘There ain’t nothing wrong with trustin’ everyone, but soon as you don’t trust someone trustworthy, then you’ve got another problem on your hands.’”—He was full of little gems like that.
As it turns out, Walker had traveled all the way from his hometown in Texas, in pursuit of his runaway girlfriend, who in a fit of frenzy, had run off with his car…and his heart. The town that he lived in was a small rinky-**** miner’s village that had been abandoned for years and had recently begun to repopulate. It had no train station and no bus stop, and so when Walker’s girlfriend decided to leave with his car, he was left struggling for transportation. This did not phase Walker however, who set out to look for his runaway lover in the only place he thought she might go to—her mother’s house.
So Walker started walking, and with only a few prized possessions, he set out for the East Coast, where he knew his girlfriend’s family lived. On his back, Walker carried a canvas bag with a few clothes, some soap, water and his knife in it. In his pocket, he carried $300, or everything he had that Lisa (his girlfriend) hadn’t stolen. The first leg of Walker’s odyssey he described as “the easy part.” He set out on U.S. 87, the highway closest to his village, and started walking, looking for a ride. He walked about 40 or 50 miles south, without crossing a single car, and stopping only once to get some water. It was hot and dry, and the Texas sun beat down on Walker’s pale white skin, but he kept walking, without once complaining. After hours of trekking on U.S. 87, Walker reached the passage to Interstate 20, where he was picked up by a man in a rust-red pickup truck. The man was headed towards Dallas, and agreed o take Walker that far, an offer that Walker graciously accepted.
“We rode for **** near five and a half hours on the highway to Dallas,” Walker would later tell me. “We didn’t stop for food, or drink or nuthin’. At one point the driver had to stop for a pisscall, that is, to use the bathroom, or at least that’s why I reckon we stopped; he didn’t speak but maybe three words the whole ride. He just stopped at this roadside gas station, went in for a few minutes and then back into the car and back on the road we went again. Real funny character the driver was, big bearded fellow with a mean look on his brow, but I never would have made it to Dallas if not for him, so I guess he can’t have been all that mean, huh?”
Walker finally arrived in Dallas as the nighttime reached the peak of its darkness. The driver of the pickup truck dropped him off without a word, at a corner bus stop in the middle of the city. Walker had no place to stay, nobody to call, and worst of all, no idea where he was at all. He walked from the corner bus stop to a run-down inn on the side of the road, and got himself a room for the night for $5. The beds were hard and the sheets were *****, and the room itself had no bathroom, but it served its purpose and it kept Walker out of the streets for the night.
The next morning, Texas Walker Norris woke up to a growl. It was his stomach, and suddenly, Walker remembered that he hadn’t eaten in almost two days. He checked out of the inn he had slept in, and stepped into the streets of Dallas, wearing the same clothes as he wore the day before, and carrying the same canvas bag with the soap and the knife in it. After about an hour or so of walking around the city, Walker came up to a small ***** restaurant that served food within his price range. He ordered Chicken Fried Steak with a side of home fries, and devoured them in seconds flat. After that, Walker took a stroll around the city, so as to take in the sights before he left. Eventually, he found his way to the city bus station, where he boarded a Greyhound bus to Tallahassee. It took him 26 hours to get there, and at the end of everything he vowed to never take a bus like that again.
“See I’m from Texas, and in Texas, everything is real big and free and stuff. So I ain’t used to being cooped up in nothin’ for a stended period of time. I tell you, I came off that bus shaking, sweating, you name it. The poor woman sitting next to me thought I was gunna have a heart attack.” Walker laughed.
When Walker laughed, you understood why Texans are so proud of where they live. His was a low, rumbling bellow that built up into a thunderous, booming laugh, finally fizzling into the raspy chuckle of a man who had spent his whole life smoking, yet in perfect health. When Walker laughed, you felt something inside you shake and vibrate, both in fear and utter admiration of the giant Texan man in front of you. If men were measured by their laughs, Walker would certainly be hailed as king amongst men; but he wasn’t. No, he was just another man, a lowly man with a perpetual childish grin, despite the godliness of his bellowing laughter.
“When I finally got to Tallahassee I didn’t know what to do. I sure as hell didn’t have my wits about me, so I just stumbled all around the city like a chick without its head on. I swear, people must a thought I was a madman with the way I was walkin’, all wide-eyed and frazzled and stuff. One guy even tried to mug me, ‘till he saw I didn’t have no money on me. Well that and I got my knife out of my bag right on time.” Another laugh. “You know I knew one thing though, which was I needed to find a place to stay the night.”
So Walker found himself a little pub in Tallahassee, where he ordered one beer and a shot of tequila. To go with that, he got himself a burger, which he remembered as being one of the better burgers he’d ever had. Of course, this could have just been due to the fact that he hadn’t eaten a real meal in so long. At some point during this meal, Walker turned to the bartender, an Irish man with short red hair and muttonchops, and asked him if he knew where someone could find a place to spend the night in town.
“Well there are a few hotels in the downtown area but ah wouldn’t recommend stayin’ in them. That is unless ye got enough money to jus’ throw away like that, which ah know ye don’t because ah jus’ saw ye take yer money out to pay for the burger. That an’ the beer an’ shot. Anyway, ye could always stay in one of the cheap motels or inns in Tallahassee. That’ll only cost ye a few dollars for the night, but ye might end up with bug bites or worse. Frankly, I don’t see many an option for ye, less you wanna stay here for the night, which’ll only cost ye’, oh, about nine-dollars-whattaya-say?”
Walker was stunned by the quickness of the Irishman’s speech. He had never heard such a quick tongue in Texas, and everyone knew Texas was auction-ville. He didn’t know whether to trust the Irishman or not, but he didn’t have the energy or patience to do otherwise, and so Walker Norris paid nine dollars to spend the night in the back room of a Tallahassee pub.
As it turns out, the Irishman’s name was Jeremy O’Neill, and he had just come to America about a year and a half ago. He had left his hometown in Dublin, where he owned a bar very similar to the one he owned now, in search of a girl he had met that said she lived in Florida. As it turns out, Florida was a great deal larger than Jeremy had expected, and so he spent the better part of that first year working odd jobs and drinking his pay away. He had worked in over 25 different cities in Florida, and on well over 55 different jobs, before giving up his search and moving to Tallahassee. Jeremy wrote home to his brother, who had been manning his bar in Dublin the whole time Jeremy was away, and asked for some money to help start himself off. His brother sent him the money, and after working a while longer as a painter for a local construction company, he raised enough money to buy a small run down bar in central Tallahassee, the bar he now ran and operated. Unfortunately, the purchase had left him in terrible debt, and so Jeremy had set up a bed in the back room, where he often housed overly drunk customers for a price. This way, he could make back the money to pay for the rest of the bar.
Walker sympathized with the Irishman’s story. In Jeremy, he saw a bit of himself; the tired, broken traveler, in search of a runaway love. Jeremy’s story depressed Walker though, who was truly convinced his own would end differently. He knew, he felt, that he would find Lisa in the end.
Walker hardly slept that night, despite having paid nine dollars for a comfortable bed. Instead, he got drunk with Jeremy, as the two of them downed a bottle of whisky together, while sitting on the floor of the pub, talking. They talked about love, and life, and the existence of God. They discussed their childhoods and their respective journeys away from their homes. They laughed as they spoke of the women they loved and they cried as they listened to each other’s stories. By the time Walker had sobered up, it was already morning, and time for a brand new start. Jeremy gave Walker a free bottle of whiskey, which after serious protest, Walker put in his bag, next to his knife and the soap. In exchange, Walker tried to give Jeremy some money, but Jeremy stubbornly refused, like any Irishman would, instead telling Walker to go **** himself, and to send him a postcard when he got to New York. Walker thanked Jeremy for his hospitality, and left the bar, wishing deeply that he had slept, but not regretting a minute of the night.
Little time was spent in Tallahassee that day. As soon as Walker got out on the streets, he asked around to find out where the closest highway was. A kind old woman with a cane and bonnet told him where to go, and Walker made it out to the city limits in no time. He didn’t even stop to look around a single time.
Once at the city limits, Walker went into a small roadside gas station, where he had a microwavable burrito and a large 50-cent slushy for breakfast. He stocked up on chips and peanuts, knowing full well that this may have been his last meal that day, and set out once again, after filling up his water supply. Walker had no idea where to go from Tallahassee, but he knew that if he wanted to reach his girlfriend’s mother’s house, he had to go north. So Walker started walking north, on a road the gas station attendant called FL-61, or Thomasville Road. He walked for something like seven or eight miles, before a group of college kids driving a camper pulled up next to him. They were students at the University of Georgia and were heading back to Athens from a road trip they had taken to New Orleans. The students offered to take Walker that far, and Walker, knowing only that this took him north, agreed.
The students drove a large camper with a mini-bar built into it, which they had made themselves, and stacked with beer and water. They had been down in New Orleans for the Mardi Gras season, and were now returning, thought the party had hardly stopped for them. As they told Walker, they picked a new designated driver every day, and he was appointed the job of driving until he got bored, while all the others downed their beers in the back of the camper. Because their system relied on the driver’s patience, they had almost doubled the time they should have made on their trip, often stopping at roadside motels so that the driver could get his drink on too. These were their “pit-stops”, where they often made the decision to either eat or court some of the local girls drunkenly.
This leg of the trip Walker seemed to glaze over quickly. He didn’t talk much about the ride, the conversation, or the people, but from what I gathered, from his smile and the way his eyes wandered, I could tell it was a fun one. Basically, the college kids, of which I figure there were about five or six, got Walker drunk and drove him all the way to Athens, Georgia, where they took him to their campus and introduced him to all of their friends. The leader of the group, a tall, athletic boy with long brown hair and dimples, let him sleep in his dorm for the night, and set him up with a ride to the train station the next morning. There, Walker bought himself a ticket to Atlanta, and said his goodbyes. Apparently, the whole group of students followed him to the station, where they gave him some food and said goodbye to him. One student gave Walker his parent’s number, telling him to call them when he got to Atlanta, if he needed a place to sleep. Then, from one minute to the next, Walker was on the train and gone.
When Walker got to Atlanta, he did not call his friend’s family right away. Instead, he went to the first place he saw with food, which happened to be a small, rundown place that sold corndogs and coke for a dollar per item. Walker bought himself three corndogs and a coke, and strolled over to a nearby park, where, he sat down on a bench and ate. As Walker sat, dipping his corndogs into a paper plate covered in ketchup, an old woman took the seat directly next to him, and started writing in a paper notepad. He looked over at her, and tried to see what she was writing, but she covered up her pad and his efforts were wasted. Still, Walker kept trying, and eventually the woman got annoyed and mentioned it.
“Sir, I don’t mind if you are curious, but it is terribly, terribly rude to read over another person’s shoulder as they write.” The woman’s voice was rough and beautiful, changed by time, but bettered, like fine wine.
“I’m sorry ma’am, it’s just that I’ve been on the road for a while now, and I reckon I haven’t really read anything in, ****, probably longer than that. See I’m lookin’ to find my girlfriend up north, on account of she took my car and ran away from home and all.”
“Well that is certainly a shame, but I don’t see why that should rid you of your manners.” The woman scolded Walker.
“Yes ma’am, I’m sorry. What I meant to convey was that, I mean, I kind of just forgot I guess. I haven’t had too much time to exercise my manners and all, but I know my mother would have educated me better, so I apologize but I just wanted to read something, because I think that’s something important, you know? I’ll stop though, because I don’t want to annoy you, so sorry.”
The woman seemed amused by Walker, much as a parent finds amusement in the cuteness of another’s children. His childish, simple smile bore through her like a sword, and suddenly, her own smile softened, and she opened up to him.
“Oh, don’t be silly. All you had to do was ask, and not be so unnervingly discreet about it.” She replied, as she handed her pad over to Walker, so that he could read it. “I’m a poet, see, or rather, I like to write poetry, on my own time. It relaxes me, and makes me feel good about myself. Take a look.”
Walker took the pad from the woman’s hands. They were pale and wrinkly, but were held steady as a rock, almost as if the age displayed had not affected them at all. He opened the pad to a random page, and started reading one of the woman’s poems. I asked Walker to recite it for me, but he said he couldn’t remember it. He did, however, say that it was one of the most beautiful things he had ever read, a lyrical, flowing, ode to t
A Short Story 2008
Tanagra! think not I forget
Thy beautifully-storey'd streets;
Be sure my memory bathes yet
In clear Thermodon, and yet greets
The blythe and liberal shepherd boy,
Whose sunny ***** swells with joy
When we accept his matted rushes
Upheaved with sylvan fruit; away he bounds, and blushes.

I promise to bring back with me
What thou with transport wilt receive,
The only proper gift for thee,
Of which no mortal shall bereave
In later times thy mouldering walls,
Until the last old turret falls;
A crown, a crown from Athens won!
A crown no god can wear, beside Latona's son.

There may be cities who refuse
To their own child the honours due,
And look ungently on the Muse;
But ever shall those cities rue
The dry, unyielding, niggard breast,
Offering no nourishment, no rest,
To that young head which soon shall rise
Disdainfully, in might and glory, to the skies.

Sweetly where cavern'd Dirce flows
Do white-arm'd maidens chaunt my lay,
Flapping the while with laurel-rose
The honey-gathering tribes away;
And sweetly, sweetly, Attick tongues
Lisp your Corinna's early songs;
To her with feet more graceful come
The verses that have dwelt in kindred ******* at home.

O let thy children lean aslant
Against the tender mother's knee,
And gaze into her face, and want
To know what magic there can be
In words that urge some eyes to dance,
While others as in holy trance
Look up to heaven; be such my praise!
Why linger? I must haste, or lose the Delphick bays.
David Adamson Feb 2019
The place smells the same. Garlic, undergraduate angst, oven flame.  The menu hasn’t changed. The Antony and Cleopatra.  Italian sausage and snake meat. The Macbeth. Cooked in a cauldron.  Blood sauce won’t wash off. The Julius Caesar.  Served bottom side up.  You have to knife it from the back. The Timon of Athens. Only bitter, separate ingredients, overcooked to black. The Frankenstein.  Assembled from ingredients at hand.  Served smoking from a jolt of high voltage. The Dramatic Irony. It’s a surprise.  Everyone at your table knows what you’re getting while you cover your eyes.

You said tragedy means playing out a ****** hand. The game has to end badly. Bigger Thomas. Joe Christmas.  Hamlet.  Everybody dies.  No choices. The end. I said, no, it means you have a fatal flaw.  Macbeth and Ted Kennedy—ruthless ambition.  Gatsby—pride. Lear—vanity. Richard Nixon—douchebaggery, deep-fried. Bad choices.  

“Can’t be both,” you said.  “One is character, the other one’s fate.” “What if character is fate?” I asked smugly. “Then we’re *******, Heraclitus. It’s late.”

I smoked a pipe.  You wore a beret and severely bobbed hair. I wrote sarcastic love letters to the universe. You wrote hate lyrics to Ted Hughes, love notes to Jane Eyre. We kept relations on an intellectual plane. You had a set of big firm ideas, dark-eyed principles, and a dimpled scorn of life’s surly crap. My eloquence was tall, square-jawed, curly, tan.  Together we solved the world’s big problems as only undergraduates can.

“Can pizza be tragic; or is it merely postponed farce?” I wondered. “Here it is clearly both, though not at the same time,” you said. “Does tragedy plus time equal comedy?” “Sounds right.” “No, tragedy plus time is any order in this place on a Saturday night.” After what seems like decades our orders finally arrive.  

“What did you get?” I asked.  “Looks like the Double Tragic,” you replied. “Flawed choices and fate. I leave you. You were unfaithful to every love sonnet you ever wrote.  Yet you are the first man who makes me feel loved, the only one who ever will.  I strain for that feeling again and again but it becomes a boulder that keeps rolling back down the hill. And fate—my beautiful ******* that got so much attention from men will **** me.  The only thing they will ever nurse is a cancerous seed. You?”

“The Too-Many-Choices, done to perfection. Choosing everything means choosing nothing. Loving too many women, I love none.  I follow a simple path home but try to stay lost. Living in the space between lost and found has a cost.  My life becomes a solitary pilgrimage to no place.”

“Let’s not reduce our lives to a Harry Chapin song,” we agreed. So we toasted the beauty of what never was. I went back to my hotel to write, found my way to a few easy truths, and called it a night.
Patricia Tsouros Nov 2013
The dogs chasing the late autumn leaves
Fluttering down the lane way
The sound of the train as it passes by
Peaceful afternoon walk
The cottage walls and porches
Flourish of colour
Enwreathed with ivy green
Bellflowers, hollyhocks, hydrangea
Scents of lavender and sage
Evoke
Memories of childhood days
Visiting grandparents cottages
One in the Irish Wicklow mountains
The other in the suburbs of Athens city
The free flowing sound of the river
Smoke billowing from chimneys
The cottages have no pretense or grandeur
Just a sanctuary of comfort in the silence of the lane
Reaching the darkest corner of the soul
Matthew Harlovic Aug 2016
i thought if i bought an owl
and brought it to Athens,
in return i would find
prosperity and compassion.
yet in all my years
i could not predict,
let alone imagine,
knowledge and wisdom
would have gone out of fashion.

© Matthew Harlovic
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea’s hills the setting Sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O’er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old ægina’s rock and Hydra’s isle
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O’er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious Gulf, unconquered Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.

  On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage’s latest day!
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain’s once delightful dyes;
Gloom o’er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frowned before;
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron’s head,
The cup of Woe was quaffed—the Spirit fled;
The soul of Him that scorned to fear or fly,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.

  But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the Minaret;
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,
And sad and sombre ’mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus’ fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
Again the ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war:
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown, where gentler Ocean deigns to smile.

  As thus, within the walls of Pallas’ fane,
I marked the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets’ lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turned to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from Man,
The Past returned, the Present seemed to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!

  Hour rolled along, and Dian’******on high
Had gained the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O’er the vain shrine of many a vanished God:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate’s glare
Checked by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant-form before me strode,
And Pallas hailed me in her own Abode!

  Yes,’twas Minerva’s self; but, ah! how changed,
Since o’er the Dardan field in arms she ranged!
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias’ plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seemed weak and shaftless e’en to mortal glance;
The Olive Branch, which still she deigned to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch, and withered in her grasp;
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimmed her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourned his mistress with a shriek of woe!

  “Mortal!”—’twas thus she spake—”that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honoured ‘less’ by all, and ‘least’ by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek’st thou the cause of loathing!—look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
‘Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
‘These’ Cecrops placed, ‘this’ Pericles adorned,
‘That’ Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest—
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
For Elgin’s fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name—above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal last:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the Gods are just, and crimes are crossed:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian’s beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva’s shame.”

  She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye:
“Daughter of Jove! in Britain’s injured name,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask’st thou the difference? From fair Phyles’ towers
Survey Boeotia;—Caledonia’s ours.
And well I know within that ******* land
Hath Wisdom’s goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature’s germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth,
Emblem of all to whom the Land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each wat’ry head o’erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows:
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide;
Some East, some West, some—everywhere but North!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus—accursed be the day and year!
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.”

  “Mortal!” the blue-eyed maid resumed, “once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas’ stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.

  “First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,—on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him ******* of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly’s praise repay for Wisdom’s hate;
Long of their Patron’s gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is—to sell:
To sell, and make—may shame record the day!—
The State—Receiver of his pilfered prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe’s worst dauber, and poor Britain’s best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o’er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.
Be all the Bruisers culled from all St. Giles’,
That Art and Nature may compare their styles;
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare,
And marvel at his Lordship’s ’stone shop’ there.
Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombs creep
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh,
On giant statues casts the curious eye;
The room with transient glance appears to skim,
Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb;
Mourns o’er the difference of now and then;
Exclaims, ‘These Greeks indeed were proper men!’
Draws slight comparisons of ‘these’ with ‘those’,
And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux.
When shall a modern maid have swains like these?
Alas! Sir Harry is no Hercules!
And last of all, amidst the gaping crew,
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.
Oh, loathed in life, nor pardoned in the dust,
May Hate pursue his sacrilegious lust!
Linked with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb,
And Eratostratus and Elgin shine
In many a branding page and burning line;
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed,
Perchance the second blacker than the first.

  “So let him stand, through ages yet unborn,
Fixed statue on the pedestal of Scorn;
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate:
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son
To do what oft Britannia’s self had done.
Look to the Baltic—blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled—but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.

“Look to the East, where Ganges’ swarthy race
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead;
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood.
So may ye perish!—Pallas, when she gave
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.

  “Look on your Spain!—she clasps the hand she hates,
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates.
Bear witness, bright Barossa! thou canst tell
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell.
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Oh glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat?

  “Look last at home—ye love not to look there
On the grim smile of comfortless despair:
Your city saddens: loud though Revel howls,
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowls.
See all alike of more or less bereft;
No misers tremble when there’s nothing left.
‘Blest paper credit;’ who shall dare to sing?
It clogs like lead Corruption’s weary wing.
Yet Pallas pluck’d each Premier by the ear,
Who Gods and men alike disdained to hear;
But one, repentant o’er a bankrupt state,
On Pallas calls,—but calls, alas! too late:
Then raves for’——’; to that Mentor bends,
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog,
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign ‘log.’
Thus hailed your rulers their patrician clod,
As Egypt chose an onion for a God.

  “Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanished power;
Gloss o’er the failure of each fondest scheme;
Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream.
Gone is that Gold, the marvel of mankind.
And Pirates barter all that’s left behind.
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war.
The idle merchant on the useless quay
Droops o’er the bales no bark may bear away;
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores
Rot piecemeal on his own encumbered shores:
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom,
And desperate mans him ‘gainst the coming doom.
Then in the Senates of your sinking state
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight.
Vain is each voice where tones could once command;
E’en factions cease to charm a factious land:
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle,
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile.

  “’Tis done, ’tis past—since Pallas warns in vain;
The Furies seize her abdicated reign:
Wide o’er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains,
The bannered pomp of war, the glittering files,
O’er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum,
That bid the foe defiance ere they come;
The hero bounding at his country’s call,
The glorious death that consecrates his fall,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms.
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught,
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought;
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight,
His day of mercy is the day of fight.
But when the field is fought, the battle won,
Though drenched with gore, his woes are but begun:
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name;
The slaughtered peasant and the ravished dame,
The rifled mansion and the foe-reaped field,
Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield.
Say with what eye along the distant down
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town?
How view the column of ascending flames
Shake his red shadow o’er the startled Thames?
Nay, frown not, Albion! for the torch was thine
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine:
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast,
Go, ask thy ***** who deserves them most?
The law of Heaven and Earth is life for life,
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife.”
Jimmy King Dec 2014
.              Part One               .

January
I wake up in a hungover haze that seems
Irrevocably unending. All the places I threw up,
That stiffness in my neck, the emptiness in my love;
There is too much to feel
So I feel numbness
And I feel remnants
Of ***** in my throat, only manifested fully
When my friends and I make fortune cookies,
Singing along to songs that we’re hearing for the first time
Amidst the chaos of exploding poinsettia plants and nascent tattoos,
All of which litter your mom’s otherwise bare counter.
I don’t make much mention, in my fortune cookies,
Of that girl who still leaves me hungover;
I fill them instead with cruel jokes
That send me cackling
Until my dehydrated headaches pass into

February
When I’m moonlit tipsy stumbling
Through a campus-wide coniferous forest in Washington State
With two strangers that I soberly think
Might be my future.
We arrive at the clear polluted waters
Of the Puget Sound, our boots all
Sinking into deep-mud as we walk past broken bits of shells
To low tide.
Even as the full moon sinks and I realize
That those two strangers can never be my future
(That Athens, Ohio is my future)
I still walk forward
Into the Puget Sound
Knowing that the water will stay with me
In my lungs, on my skin,
In my mind, and although I don’t tell a single person, I fear,
So rightly,
That the water from the Puget Sound,
Set to perpetually accumulate in my lungs,
Will one day come to drown me.
Even as I cry to my mom in our kitchen,
Relieved from that seemingly endless indecision
I’m not surprised. I’m not surprised
By the choice I’ve made, I’m not surprised
By the fears I still have, all that surprises me
About any of this
Is the immediacy with which
My conclusion’s future culmination begins, as I begin
And continue
While always feeling like I’m concluding,
An infinite

March
In spirals, spirals, spirals, leaving trails
In subconscious sands, someone paints
Blue spirals on my body, and when
I drive back to Lake Erie later,
To retrieve abandoned items and moments,
The road looks much different.
Less swirly, less threatening at first, and when we get there
We eat pineapple/onion pizza on my ****** cottage’s front porch,
Just barely shielded from the snow, and just barely
Shielded from one another. And even those
Slim shields between us begin to fall
When we stand on our melting Lake Erie.
Because the whole world
Calls to us.
The sky screams, the wind explodes,
The thin layer of water above ice rushes
Blissfully, almost hallucinogenically, towards you and towards I
And I am howling
Into the face of it all,
Fearing nothing—not even
The absence of that girl’s palm in mine
Or the water from the Puget Sound
Or the cold of the air
That is tearing at my scalp; that is tearing
At my whole being and

April
Is best described by a rampage
Home from a campsite
That I only ever saw
Drunkenly, in the dark, and under the pressure
Of Allan Ginsberg’s poetry and an ultimately failed ****.
On that rampage we steal tombstones,
We steal memories for ourselves,
And we steal crass glances
With crass jokes that sound sort of
Like the crass fortune cookies which somehow
Never went bad.
Someone notes during that drive
That the air is getting warmer
With regularity now,
And while I somehow can’t bring myself to cry when my cousin is shot to death,
I have to struggle to hold back tears
In our high school’s only classroom when you tell me
That you’re quitting that play we signed up for together.
I guess it’s cuz I’m concerned—
Cuz I’m deeply
Deeply
Deeply concerned—
That it’s a lack of dedication
To me, to what we do together, to everything
That will prevent my rampage from concluding quietly
Amidst the smells of Indian food and the soft light
In your future dorm room
Where I will hug you
And where I

May
Finally
Let all the tears
Flow freely.
I guess it’s the unnecessary intensity
Of this collective celebratory anticipation
That preemptively reveals to me
That the moment of walking across a stage
To receive my high-school diploma
Won’t be quite as transformative as I’d hoped it might be,
And when I make out with that girl who still has me hungover
In the bed at my dad’s house where I lost my virginity
Almost exactly one year prior, I realize that in fact,
I’m still marching the same march, and
Both magic moments of idealized transformation in that bed
Were just as illusory.
Somehow though
Your no longer nascent tattoos have not yet faded
And I can’t help but worry,
(As sweat pours from my forehead and drenches these bedsheets;
As my finger nestles itself tiredly between the folds of her ******)
That I have, and in

June
When all my anticipation is realized,
People clap in the audience despite the fact
That it’s the same stream of sweat
That’s trickling down along my spine
To reach my ***.
I stare into the spotlight
For just a moment, amidst those stale applause
And in my squint, I think briefly
That none of it ******* mattered. I mean,
Despite this perspiration, I’m
Dehydrated. Hungover. I guess
Drinking more alcohol
Isn’t the best way to get over it, but I can think of nothing else,
So even when I acknowledge
That all my attempts have not even been half-assed,
But, like, one-quarter-assed
The only resolve I find is in distraction, in
******* my other ex-girlfriend instead
And not until that distant

July
When I’m ascending through Never Sink,
Does my head finally
Feel clear, yes,
In that glowing blue pit
Of bioluminescence,
I feel the whole world slow to a stop,
Embrace my body with its taproots
And whisper
Playfully and
In a child’s voice,
“You are the whole world” and I know that I
Am the whole world.
I breathe heavily, the only sound for miles around,
And for a moment I feel that the Puget Sound,
Along with everything else that is so ******,
Has fallen away.
For it is not my body
That is climbing on-rope through the stars and galaxies of this great sinkhole
But my mind,
But my soul,
Because Never Sink
Is not a landscape
But a mind-scape,
A soul-scape,
And it is one which is never dark
Thanks to the blue lights of soulful- (not bio-) luminescence—
A glow that is strong enough to see
Finally
A singularity
In the form of an unlocked lock,
Appearing with grace upon my driveway
After I return home
From ******* my other ex-girlfriend
For the last time.
It is only when I stop the car,
Open the door,
And hold that unlocked lock in my hand that I realize the extent to which
I am being
Un-defined.
The ethereal being in Never Sink’s soul-scape,
Alone in the blue grace of the night,
With nothing in my breath.
The thought is terrifying.
So in

August
On the night of my eighteenth birthday,
The girl I’m hung over and I
Send magical, sparkling lanterns into the sky
With a wish so brilliantly bright and simultaneous
That even I am able dismiss the slurring drunk words spoken next to us—
“Here’s hopin’ that you two get married some day”
As superfluous.

.                Part Two               .

The winds above Lake Erie carry me,
Along with that lantern, into the foreignness
Which Never Sink foreshadowed.
But with the lantern as my very being
And the Puget Sound in my every breath,
Athens, Ohio does not become my soul-scape;
Even its gorgeous autumnal rolling hills
Are just land-scape, and I don’t know
Whether things would have been different
Had I not walked into that stranger’s party
For that terrible beer
On one of my first nights there, but regardless in

September
I walk up endless hills and stairs daily
To get around this hellhole where the only genuine people I’ve yet found
Were prepared to leave from day one, like I
Wasn’t. I wasn’t preparing for that at all, but the Puget Sound,
Lingers like phlegm in my lungs and distorts my regular refrain
Of “I can be happy here, I can be happy here,” keeping it
From ever loosing its hypothetical but eventually forcing it
To loose its conclusion:
I can be…
I can be…
I can be anything that I want to be and I am still here,
Sitting on the top terrace of this weird-assed biker bar with some girl
I just met, with some guy
Who seems cool, but in both cases
I drink one too many Blue Moon’s because I know
That neither of these people
Will ever loose their hypotheticals and will only ever
Loose their conclusions.
Gazing upwards towards the stars in the fading summer,
I try to ignore the physicality of all that’s around me,
But the alcohol churns in my stomach like violent waves, like in

October
How I rock like tides between the shores
Of two continents, of two
Acid trips.
One, on the floor of my dorm room, staring at my ceiling
In an attempt to make patterns
Out of patternless white paint, all the while holding hands
With that guy who seems cool, who has been dancing
In and out of hypothetical.
And the other acid trip with you,
Who somehow in the face of everything
Became one of my only certainties.
You, with whom I stood on Lake Erie
Howling into the wind in an unrealized epiphany.
An epiphany
That is now realized
Because the beers on that top terrace didn’t matter.
The white speckles on my dorm room ceiling during that first acid trip
Didn’t matter.
Hell, that girl I am in love with
Didn’t (doesn’t, can’t, won’t) matter.
What matters to me,
As I’m dressed in drag on Halloween,
Lying in your dorm room that smells of Indian food
With 120 dollars of drug money in my pocket,
Is what’s ultimately present. Right there.
Right here. But then, lying there, the time
Clicks over into

November
And at two in the morning it becomes
One in the morning.
I don’t know which of those hours wasn’t real
But when I hug you and cry in the soft light
It is a moment too brief.
It is a moment from which I am pulled straight
Into a hotel bed halfway to New York City,
Where I lie with that girl who I guess I’m in love with
And I’m kissing her, and I realize
That blue spirals still linger on my body, but when she groans,
So softly
That “we shouldn’t be doing this”
I pause before saying “I know,”
And in that pause, my pixelated, televised, and falsified image of reality
Briefly turns to fuzzy grey static, its finite infinity like the trance
Of meat on a rotisserie; I’m waiting
For this turkey to cook
In my friend’s mom’s home—funny
Because I’m still a vegetarian
Who sometimes likes to think of himself, in quest for definition,
As a vegan, but man
I’m beyond definition, I’m beyond anything,
I’m beyond even my darkest imaginings of myself, so when I get wasted
At a 2am that doesn’t click back on Thanksgiving morning,
I have a slice of that ******* turkey,
Cuz the vegan chili my friend and I made at school was good and all,
But I had to bike through freezing rain to get the peppers
And even though I’m starting to feel
Like I’ve found a few people who I can take in with permanence
Nothing feels more like permanence
Than this home-cooked meal
Of turkey and cranberries and sweet potatoes at a granite counter
Where, on January 1st when the ball dropped,
We all took shots, leaving me drunk, stumbling
And eventually
Hungover.
And of course in

December
I’m still
Hung over it all.
Part one, part two,
The futility of that division is so obvious now.
It’s the same poem, same sentence,
And when two not-so-new-anymore friends and I sit on a rooftop in Athens
With a bunch of still so-new I-guess-friends
Right before exam week,
Right before this emotionally excruciating semester comes to a close,
Right before I prepare to head home,
I realize that even though this place
Hasn’t quite become home yet,
My ‘home’ isn’t really at home now either.
I am without a bed in which I feel comfortable,
Without a body next to which my whole life makes sense,
And I am driving to go swing dancing—
An activity I can’t believe I’m still trying to like—
When I finally tell her that I’m in love with her:
Words that don’t matter despite
How much they do. Ultimately,
To me, to her, it’s just
A quick red-light phrase
And this poem is, without too many layers of resonance,
Not even addressed to her,
But to that girl with whom I stood on Lake Erie,
Howling into the wind,
Imagining part two but preparing
For part three, so
With that lantern still floating skyward, “here’s hopin’ that”
                                         (No. No. No. Start over.)
Here’s hoping that
At midnight
On this New Year’s Eve,
When the ball drops and when we all take shots,
Perhaps around that same granite counter-top,
These clocks
Won’t click back again.
These spirals
Will fade.
John F McCullagh Feb 2013
Corruption ruled the County
And the rich man owned the town.
The citizens were desperate
for a solution to be found.
The Sheriff seized the ballot box
And shot a black man down.

Mister Cantrell and his minions
Wouldn’t pay the people heed.
They would stuff those ballot boxes
With the numbers they would need.
In Athens there were veterans
just returned from foreign war.
What went on in McMinn County
Wasn’t what they had bled for.

They got weapons from the armory
And they faced the sheriff down.
They blew the jail doors from outside
Bringing justice to the town.
No longer would the Cantrells
Hold the county in their fist.
The right to bear arms had prevailed
May it be ever thus.
A true story about Army Veterans exercising their 2nd amendment rights to overthrown a corrupt government in Georgia 1946
Dimitris Dec 2018
Athens is small enough
to run into
everyone you know

family, friends, colleagues
the dog you lost two years ago
your best friend's ex
and your ex-best friend.
instagram ambassadors,
first-class w h o r e s
and TV celebrities.
They are all here.

They are all here,
except
her.

Athens is small enough to
randomly meet
anyone
but her
III. TO APOLLO (546 lines)

TO DELIAN APOLLO --

(ll. 1-18) I will remember and not be unmindful of Apollo who
shoots afar.  As he goes through the house of Zeus, the gods
tremble before him and all spring up from their seats when he
draws near, as he bends his bright bow.  But Leto alone stays by
the side of Zeus who delights in thunder; and then she unstrings
his bow, and closes his quiver, and takes his archery from his
strong shoulders in her hands and hangs them on a golden peg
against a pillar of his father's house.  Then she leads him to a
seat and makes him sit: and the Father gives him nectar in a
golden cup welcoming his dear son, while the other gods make him
sit down there, and queenly Leto rejoices because she bare a
mighty son and an archer.  Rejoice, blessed Leto, for you bare
glorious children, the lord Apollo and Artemis who delights in
arrows; her in Ortygia, and him in rocky Delos, as you rested
against the great mass of the Cynthian hill hard by a palm-tree
by the streams of Inopus.

(ll. 19-29) How, then, shall I sing of you who in all ways are a
worthy theme of song?  For everywhere, O Phoebus, the whole range
of song is fallen to you, both over the mainland that rears
heifers and over the isles.  All mountain-peaks and high
headlands of lofty hills and rivers flowing out to the deep and
beaches sloping seawards and havens of the sea are your delight.
Shall I sing how at the first Leto bare you to be the joy of men,
as she rested against Mount Cynthus in that rocky isle, in sea-
girt Delos -- while on either hand a dark wave rolled on
landwards driven by shrill winds -- whence arising you rule over
all mortal men?

(ll. 30-50) Among those who are in Crete, and in the township of
Athens, and in the isle of Aegina and Euboea, famous for ships,
in Aegae and Eiresiae and Peparethus near the sea, in Thracian
Athos and Pelion's towering heights and Thracian Samos and the
shady hills of Ida, in Scyros and Phocaea and the high hill of
Autocane and fair-lying Imbros and smouldering Lemnos and rich
******, home of Macar, the son of ******, and Chios, brightest of
all the isles that lie in the sea, and craggy Mimas and the
heights of Corycus and gleaming Claros and the sheer hill of
Aesagea and watered Samos and the steep heights of Mycale, in
Miletus and Cos, the city of Meropian men, and steep Cnidos and
windy Carpathos, in Naxos and Paros and rocky Rhenaea -- so far
roamed Leto in travail with the god who shoots afar, to see if
any land would be willing to make a dwelling for her son.  But
they greatly trembled and feared, and none, not even the richest
of them, dared receive Phoebus, until queenly Leto set foot on
Delos and uttered winged words and asked her:

(ll. 51-61) 'Delos, if you would be willing to be the abode of my
son "Phoebus Apollo and make him a rich temple --; for no other
will touch you, as you will find: and I think you will never be
rich in oxen and sheep, nor bear vintage nor yet produce plants
abundantly.  But if you have the temple of far-shooting Apollo,
all men will bring you hecatombs and gather here, and incessant
savour of rich sacrifice will always arise, and you will feed
those who dwell in you from the hand of strangers; for truly your
own soil is not rich.'

(ll. 62-82) So spake Leto.  And Delos rejoiced and answered and
said:  'Leto, most glorious daughter of great Coeus, joyfully
would I receive your child the far-shooting lord; for it is all
too true that I am ill-spoken of among men, whereas thus I should
become very greatly honoured.  But this saying I fear, and I will
not hide it from you, Leto.  They say that Apollo will be one
that is very haughty and will greatly lord it among gods and men
all over the fruitful earth.  Therefore, I greatly fear in heart
and spirit that as soon as he sets the light of the sun, he will
scorn this island -- for truly I have but a hard, rocky soil --
and overturn me and ****** me down with his feet in the depths of
the sea; then will the great ocean wash deep above my head for
ever, and he will go to another land such as will please him,
there to make his temple and wooded groves.  So, many-footed
creatures of the sea will make their lairs in me and black seals
their dwellings undisturbed, because I lack people.  Yet if you
will but dare to sware a great oath, goddess, that here first he
will build a glorious temple to be an oracle for men, then let
him afterwards make temples and wooded groves amongst all men;
for surely he will be greatly renowned.

(ll. 83-88) So said Delos.  And Leto sware the great oath of the
gods: 'Now hear this, Earth and wide Heaven above, and dropping
water of Styx (this is the strongest and most awful oath for the
blessed gods), surely Phoebus shall have here his fragrant altar
and precinct, and you he shall honour above all.'

(ll. 89-101) Now when Leto had sworn and ended her oath, Delos
was very glad at the birth of the far-shooting lord.  But Leto
was racked nine days and nine nights with pangs beyond wont.  And
there were with her all the chiefest of the goddesses, Dione and
Rhea and Ichnaea and Themis and loud-moaning Amphitrite and the
other deathless goddesses save white-armed Hera, who sat in the
halls of cloud-gathering Zeus.  Only Eilithyia, goddess of sore
travail, had not heard of Leto's trouble, for she sat on the top
of Olympus beneath golden clouds by white-armed Hera's
contriving, who kept her close through envy, because Leto with
the lovely tresses was soon to bear a son faultless and strong.

(ll. 102-114) But the goddesses sent out Iris from the well-set
isle to bring Eilithyia, promising her a great necklace strung
with golden threads, nine cubits long.  And they bade Iris call
her aside from white-armed Hera, lest she might afterwards turn
her from coming with her words.  When swift Iris, fleet of foot
as the wind, had heard all this, she set to run; and quickly
finishing all the distance she came to the home of the gods,
sheer Olympus, and forthwith called Eilithyia out from the hall
to the door and spoke winged words to her, telling her all as the
goddesses who dwell on Olympus had bidden her.  So she moved the
heart of Eilithyia in her dear breast; and they went their way,
like shy wild-doves in their going.

(ll. 115-122) And as soon as Eilithyia the goddess of sore
travail set foot on Delos, the pains of birth seized Leto, and
she longed to bring forth; so she cast her arms about a palm tree
and kneeled on the soft meadow while the earth laughed for joy
beneath.  Then the child leaped forth to the light, and all the
goddesses washed you purely and cleanly with sweet water, and
swathed you in a white garment of fine texture, new-woven, and
fastened a golden band about you.

(ll. 123-130) Now Leto did not give Apollo, bearer of the golden
blade, her breast; but Themis duly poured nectar and ambrosia
with her divine hands: and Leto was glad because she had borne a
strong son and an archer.  But as soon as you had tasted that
divine heavenly food, O Phoebus, you could no longer then be held
by golden cords nor confined with bands, but all their ends were
undone.  Forthwith Phoebus Apollo spoke out among the deathless
goddesses:

(ll. 131-132) 'The lyre and the curved bow shall ever be dear to
me, and I will declare to men the unfailing will of Zeus.'

(ll. 133-139) So said Phoebus, the long-haired god who shoots
afar and began to walk upon the wide-pathed earth; and all
goddesses were amazed at him.  Then with gold all Delos was
laden, beholding the child of Zeus and Leto, for joy because the
god chose her above the islands and shore to make his dwelling in
her: and she loved him yet more in her heart, and blossomed as
does a mountain-top with woodland flowers.

(ll. 140-164) And you, O lord Apollo, god of the silver bow,
shooting afar, now walked on craggy Cynthus, and now kept
wandering about the island and the people in them.  Many are your
temples and wooded groves, and all peaks and towering bluffs of
lofty mountains and rivers flowing to the sea are dear to you,
Phoebus, yet in Delos do you most delight your heart; for there
the long robed Ionians gather in your honour with their children
and shy wives: mindful, they delight you with boxing and dancing
and song, so often as they hold their gathering.  A man would say
that they were deathless and unageing if he should then come upon
the Ionians so met together.  For he would see the graces of them
all, and would be pleased in heart gazing at the men and well-
girded women with their swift ships and great wealth.  And there
is this great wonder besides -- and its renown shall never perish
-- the girls of Delos, hand-maidens of the Far-shooter; for when
they have praised Apollo first, and also Leto and Artemis who
delights in arrows, they sing a strain-telling of men and women
of past days, and charm the tribes of men.  Also they can imitate
the tongues of all men and their clattering speech: each would
say that he himself were singing, so close to truth is their
sweet song.

(ll. 165-178) And now may Apollo be favourable and Artemis; and
farewell all you maidens.  Remember me in after time whenever any
one of men on earth, a stranger who has seen and suffered much,
comes here and asks of you: 'Whom think ye, girls, is the
sweetest singer that comes here, and in whom do you most
delight?'  Then answer, each and all, with one voice: 'He is a
blind man, and dwells in rocky Chios: his lays are evermore
supreme.'  As for me, I will carry your renown as far as I roam
over the earth to the well-placed this thing is true.  And I will
never cease to praise far-shooting Apollo, god of the silver bow,
whom rich-haired Leto bare.

TO PYTHIAN APOLLO --

(ll. 179-181) O Lord, Lycia is yours and lovely Maeonia and
Miletus, charming city by the sea, but over wave-girt Delos you
greatly reign your own self.

(ll. 182-206) Leto's all-glorious son goes to rocky Pytho,
playing upon his hollow lyre, clad in divine, perfumed garments;
and at the touch of the golden key his lyre sings sweet.  Thence,
swift as thought, he speeds from earth to Olympus, to the house
of Zeus, to join the gathering of the other gods: then
straightway the undying gods think only of the lyre and song, and
all the Muses together, voice sweetly answering voice, hymn the
unending gifts the gods enjoy and the sufferings of men, all that
they endure at the hands of the deathless gods, and how they live
witless and helpless and cannot find healing for death or defence
against old age.  Meanwhile the rich-tressed Graces and cheerful
Seasons dance with Harmonia and **** and Aphrodite, daughter of
Zeus, holding each other by the wrist.  And among them sings one,
not mean nor puny, but tall to look upon and enviable in mien,
Artemis who delights in arrows, sister of Apollo.  Among them
sport Ares and the keen-eyed Slayer of Argus, while Apollo plays
his lyre stepping high and featly and a radiance shines around
him, the gleaming of his feet and close-woven vest.  And they,
even gold-tressed Leto and wise Zeus, rejoice in their great
hearts as they watch their dear son playing among the undying
gods.

(ll. 207-228) How then shall I sing of you -- though in all ways
you are a worthy theme for song?  Shall I sing of you as wooer
and in the fields of love, how you went wooing the daughter of
Azan along with god-like Ischys the son of well-horsed Elatius,
or with Phorbas sprung from Triops, or with Ereutheus, or with
Leucippus and the wife of Leucippus....
((LACUNA))
....you on foot, he with his chariot, yet he fell not short of
Triops.  Or shall I sing how at the first you went about the
earth seeking a place of oracle for men, O far-shooting Apollo?
To Pieria first you went down from Olympus and passed by sandy
Lectus and Enienae and through the land of the Perrhaebi.  Soon
you came to Iolcus and set foot on Cenaeum in Euboea, famed for
ships: you stood in the Lelantine plain, but it pleased not your
heart to make a temple there and wooded groves.  From there you
crossed the Euripus, far-shooting Apollo, and went up the green,
holy hills, going on to Mycalessus and grassy-bedded Teumessus,
and so came to the wood-clad abode of Thebe; for as yet no man
lived in holy Thebe, nor were there tracks or ways about Thebe's
wheat-bearing plain as yet.

(ll. 229-238) And further still you went, O far-shooting Apollo,
and came to Onchestus, Poseidon's bright grove: there the new-
broken cold distressed with drawing the trim chariot gets spirit
again, and the skilled driver springs from his car and goes on
his way.  Then the horses for a while rattle the empty car, being
rid of guidance; and if they break the chariot in the woody
grove, men look after the horses, but tilt the chariot and leave
it there; for this was the rite from the very first.  And the
drivers pray to the lord of the shrine; but the chariot falls to
the lot of the god.

(ll. 239-243) Further yet you went, O far-shooting Apollo, and
reached next Cephissus' sweet stream which pours forth its sweet-
flowing water from Lilaea, and crossing over it, O worker from
afar, you passed many-towered Ocalea and reached grassy
Haliartus.

(ll. 244-253) Then you went towards Telphusa: and there the
pleasant place seemed fit for making a temple and wooded grove.
You came very near and spoke to her: 'Telphusa, here I am minded
to make a glorious temple, an oracle for men, and hither they
will always bring perfect hecatombs, both those who live in rich
Peloponnesus and those of Europe and all the wave-washed isles,
coming to seek oracles.  And I will deliver to them all counsel
that cannot fail, giving answer in my rich temple.'

(ll. 254-276) So said Phoebus Apollo, and laid out all the
foundations throughout, wide and very long.  But when Telphusa
saw this, she was angry in heart and spoke, saying: 'Lord
Phoebus, worker from afar, I will speak a word of counsel to your
heart, since you are minded to make here a glorious temple to be
an oracle for men who will always bring hither perfect hecatombs
for you; yet I will speak out, and do you lay up my words in your
heart.  The trampling of swift horses and the sound of mules
watering at my sacred springs will always irk you, and men will
like better to gaze at the well-made chariots and stamping,
swift-footed horses than at your great temple and the many
treasures that are within.  But if you will be moved by me -- for
you, lord, are stronger and mightier than I, and your strength is
very great -- build at Crisa below the glades of Parnassus: there
no bright chariot will clash, and there will be no noise of
swift-footed horses near your well-built altar.  But so the
glorious tribes of men will bring gifts to you as Iepaeon ('Hail-
Healer'), and you will receive with delight rich sacrifices from
the people dwelling round about.'  So said Telphusa, that she
alone, and not the Far-Shooter, should have renown there; and she
persuaded the Far-Shooter.

(ll. 277-286) Further yet you went, far-shooting Apollo, until
you came to the town of the presumptuous Phlegyae who dwell on
this earth in a lovely glade near the Cephisian lake, caring not
for Zeus.  And thence you went speeding swiftly to the mountain
ridge, and came to Crisa beneath snowy Parnassus, a foothill
turned towards the west: a cliff hangs over if from above, and a
hollow, rugged glade runs under.  There the lord Phoebus Apollo
resolved to make his lovely temple, and thus he said:

(ll. 287-293) 'In this place I am minded to build a glorious
temple to be an oracle for men, and here they will always bring
perfect hecatombs, both they who dwell in rich Peloponnesus and
the men of Europe and from all the wave-washed isles, coming to
question me.  And I will deliver to them all counsel that cannot
fail, answering them in my rich temple.'

(ll. 294-299) When h
Aaron LaLux Nov 2016
I’ll never know why someone Loves me,
even if they tell me in their total truth,
it’s possible that even what they believe,
is not exactly totally true,

so I don’t question Love anymore,
I never ask a Lover if they Love me,
because honestly to me love is a verb,
it’s an action not a title,

when in Love,
or making Love,
or showing Love,
or being Love,
there is no time for questions,
why ruin bliss with curiousity,
why have to know why,
why not just accept and be,

see,

I’ll never know why someone loves me,
even if they tell me in their own total truth,
it’s possible that even what they believe,
is not exactly totally true,

through,
the Night Sky I fly,
on a flight from Athens to Cairo,
I have a date with the Pyramids,

was only in Athens for one night,
en route from Budapest,
and with all this traveling,
one might ask when do I rest,

yes,
good question,
a much better question,
than “Why does she love me?”,

Why does she love me?

I’d only just met her,
and we’d only just made love,
still she looks at me so deep,
that I swear to my soul it seems she speaks,

and I swear she’d leave,
not even pack a bag,
she would just runaway to the airport with me,
and fly away to whatever destination comes next,

in this case the Pyramids,
and I’d take her I really would,
because I’ve loved and lost enough to know,
that her Love for me is genuine forget the questions,

so I ask,
on the couch,
in that living room,
at that house in in Athens,

“Will you come with me to Egypt?”,

I pray She says yes,
and as I’m asking her that question in Athens,
on that layover to Cairo from Budapest,
her hands I’m graspin’ and my heart is hopin’,
I’m open,
as open as my invitation to her is,
and then She replies,
in words so plain and full of pain,

“I would love to come with you,
but I don’t have a passport.”

And then everything hits me instantly,
so many things become clear,
I see how wealthy I’ve become,
and I see my success through her despair,

there,
She is,
on that couch at her friends house,
with nowhere to go,

watching false idols on the internet,
fantasizing about people I’ve actually met,
and I realize in that moment,
that I’m as close asSshe’ll ever get to freedom,
I am what She wishes to be,
so of course She’d run away with me,
of course She’d explore the world and her dreams with me,
but she doesn’t even have a passport,

and I am at a loss for words,
for me She is just a layover,
no pun intended,
but I wrote it so I meant it,
and as amazing as she is,
she’s just a Greek girl,
an Athenian human being,
but not Athena and the days are over for the Byzantines,

so she’s stuck there,
in that city of Yesteryears,
flooded now with refugees,
while I’m about to catch a flight out of there,

and I want to say so much,
but sometimes there’s nothing to say,
sometimes there’s no more questions,
and all the answers are plain,

so I don’t ask a thing,
I just sit there with here and smoke,
I just bare witness to another girl’s empty dreams,
because dreams without reality are just hopes,

nope,

not going to question this,
I’m just going to write it all down,
as I fly south over the Mediterranean,
in time for a feast in Giza,

and I want to give here everything,
not just a passport but a path to freedom,
but I’m just a bad boy with a good heart,
so all I give her are these words in hopes she’ll read them,

Alexia,
I love you and I’m willing to be patient,
and when you if ever get your passport,
come find me for I’ll be here waiting,
and I can’t promise you I’ll be single,
in fact I can’t promise you a thing,
because an honest man makes no promises,
and the true embodiment of freedom wears no rings,

but I will be here,
and I will accept you in all your Midnight Lights,
and I won’t ask you any questions,
and I won’t lie to you and tell you everything’s going to be alright,

but I will accept you,
in all your Midnight Lights,
and we will just let what we don’t know rest,
and attribute those unknowns to the Mystery of Life,

and I,
I,
I,
I,

I’ll never know why someone loves me,
even if they tell me in their total truth,
it’s possible that even what they believe,
is not exactly totally true…

∆ Aaron LA Lux ∆

The Holy Trilogy Vol. 1; Masonic Psalms from Holy Lands
available worldwide 11/11/16
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3QR3E4
True Story?
Vicki Kralapp Oct 2018
From my earliest remembrance,
to this hour I have maintained,
I've never been contented
with a life of the mundane.

I’ve sought to spend each day in life
in search of curious things,
like art and education,
and the richness that they bring.

I hope to write more poetry
and share my verse in print,
and with my use of written word,
paint art with shades and tints.

I’ve been to many distant lands,
but yet my heart implores,
I seek out farther mysteries,
our planet has in store.

But now my body slows me down,
like most as we grow old,
and though I try, oft I fall short,
of plans I can control.

So, to keep myself companion,
while I will myself to heal,
I’ve formed all my ambitions,
which one day I plan to reach.

Since I was just a little child
I dreamt of life abroad,
in Kenya with the Maasai tribe,
I’ve always been enthralled.

I've fancied a safari,
where the famous five are found,
a land where great giraffes stand tall,
against the setting sun.

But, it is the Land Down Under,
that is first among my plans,
and one day soon I’ll see the coast,
of Sydney once again.

My friends will come to greet me,
though a lifetime I’ve been gone,
and united we’ll share memories,
for the present and beyond.

I’ll go for walks amidst the bush,
and hear the magpie’s tunes,
I’ll stroll beside the ghostly gums;
with nature grow attuned.

I’ll tour along the Southern Coast,
drive past Apostles tall,
and see the sites of Melbourne fair,
with all its cultured draw.

Then off to Kiwi’s northern isle,
with nature’s beauty rare,
fulfilling dreams so long desired,
to glimpse the Mauri’s there.

Waitomo, with its glow worm caves,
and Rotorua’s pools,
with geysers, Eco thermal parks,
and Bay of Islands too.

As I make my way back to the states,
I’ll stop along the way,
to visit Fiji’s turquoise coast,
and snorkel time away.

I’ll learn about the culture,
and partake of Fiji’s fare,
and when I go, I hope to leave,
a part of my heart there.

The coast of California,
on my list of sites to see;
from the Wharf in San Francisco,
to the vineyards by the sea.

I dream of redwoods sure and tall:
the parks and smell of pines,
and stand amid the ancient firs,
lest they pass for all of time.

I plan to visit Florence,
where master artists roamed;
the heart of Tuscan Renaissance,
where da Vinci made his home.

I hope to cruise Amalfi’s coast,
with others at the helm,
to view the brilliance of the sights,
and others in the realm.

While in the South of Italy,
I’ll cross the briny foam,
and walk the hills in Athens,
where ancient Grecians roamed.

I dream of Amazonia,
where man has not destroyed,
and natives live within the wild,
with harmony employed.

The last one on my bucket list,
is one I’d left undone,
when first I made my maiden trip,
and I was twenty-one.

I’d hoped to see the Emerald Isle,
and England’s castles old,
Duke’s palaces and British Tate,
are marvels to behold.

I’ll drive the ring of Kerry,
and the magic Isle of Skye,
to see its Fairy Pools of hues,
and Highland’s brilliance sights.

The lush green grass of Glen Coe,
the Scottish hills await,
would be a lifelong dream fulfilled
when all my trials abate.

With this, my final dream fulfilled,
I see my list complete,
full circle with this Commonwealth,
my restless feet at peace.

But ‘til that time when I am healed,
and I can travel far,
I’ll dream of lands beyond my reach,
and one day touch the stars.
All poems are copy written and sole property of Vicki Kralapp.
as any tactician, of any sort, there must be
an introduction into what becomes and expansion
that lasts the entire length of the night,
a liter of whiskey requires a decent amount
of hours to be drank in,
              ensuring that any moth that flies into my
"ivory tower" can loiter for the night,
imploring it: you better not be pregnant
with your moth larvae, otherwise...
     i will have to catch you with my hand,
and release you back into the night...

                        so... an atypical drinking session
begins with a few side orders or
sharpshooters (mix of 3:1 whiskey to ginger
ale)...
      and a few readings of, say,
             heidegger...
                       i already mentioned:
           dasein is more than an event,
          to me it's the equivalent of a crucifix...
it's a word associated to an object,
        rather than a recurring subject...
                  after all...
                          to objectify,
to work wonders in the objective world,
one still cannot escapes being a subject...
   esp. if one becomes a subject of one's own
subject-ive              experience...
     it must be such a boring, lame,
***** almost realism of object-object
          interaction...
                        to­ have:
       but to be unable to appreciate...
                i own about two dozens of vinyls...
but i don't really, really own them...
yes, i "own" them in the sense:
         but they might also be stolen...
        but i appreciate them more than i own
them...
              even if i "own" them,
and one day, do not...
        i owned something more than the object-reality
of the object per se,
       i appreciated them...
the ritual of the needle and the initial
scratching before the music would begin...
plus, not even a CD and esp. not
an MP3 file can give you the sort of ground
gravitational pull toward something
so physically exposing as...
   a... water-mill effect...

i digress...
              of all the three pillars of the mind:
thinking,
          memory and imagination?
i appreciate memory the most...
          you really know you have lived
a reasonably good life
   if your memory faculty is overtly present...
when you remember so much
of your, however mediocre / unspectacular
life...
           thinking can become scrambled,
you have to sometimes associate yourself
to writing when thinking is concerned...
no wonder so many philosophers after
socrates didn't have the patience to
resort to dialectics,
     to talk...
                     at least writing gives one
the capacity to organize, or rather...
devise plans for the labyrinth...

      imagination? plagued by images...
  i do not appreciate conjuring images in my mind,
thinking up dragons and demons...
imagination clouds the mind,
and the ability to concentrate on the skeleton
of man:
                    ⠇⠑⠞⠞⠑⠗⠎
plus, imagination promises and does conjure,
sketches of what an actual reality could
somehow provide...
    i'm not here, bothered about the nature
of "reality", i'll leave that whimsical notion
to english speaking physicists and neurologists...
but imagination clouds the pristine vision
of looking into the abyss,
   and by that, i also imply: looking through
the abyss back onto this world...

and should you think there's anything
profound about that statement?
there isn't...
         but memory...
     to be able to reclaim memory...
    to not seek relief / exodus / escape by
means of the imagination?
     i, frankly, would rather reclaim
the faculty of memory, above all else...
before it was stolen by the indocrination rubircs
of pedagogy...
before schooling set in...
     before, my years from the age of 8
through to the age of 21,
   the faculty of memory was made circumstanced
to "entertain" the bogus threats from
the education system...
             calculus: hardly used in everyday life...
you name it...
           what was the point of discussing
the ethics of abortion to children aged 15?
to scare them, if anything...
  euthanasia discussed aged 15? really?
the moral judgement regarding
   th "right" from the "wrong" was already
settled in the catholic school dogma...
maybe that's why i didn't want the seal
of being confirmed...
   what confirmation name would i have
chosen?
  at first i thought i would have chosen
Michael, as i made my not-to-be-"hope"
of a church wedding...
                 i would have settled on Lothar...
which would fit nicely with my already
second name, Conrad...
maybe even Otto... and dropped the hebrew
name Matthew...
          sure... reading heidegger...
like all philosophy: there's the reading
of a reflective prose, with the immediacy
of a reflexive poetics...
like the ancients: not confined to high school
curriculum of standard poetics:
rhyme and the etc. of techniques...
narrative: pure and simple...
    
              like when heidegger writes about
war (polemic / πoλεμoς)...
                 truth about either war,
or, peace (dialectic) is to chose between
what deserves our attention:
   either being (per se) - or beings...
                 and being (per se) isn't even relegated
to a subjugation to the self...
  a self-improvement, a self-help guru
mentality...
                   it's what the stoic doctor ordered...
there seems to be no fluidity with
an overt-association to a self,
                     self-worth is not exactly
akin to: the worth of being, is it?

        again: coming back to celebrating the faculty
of memory, above thought,
and certainly above imagination...
after all, i remember a period in my life
where i would have celebrated thinking per se
to be above memory and imagination,
when i attained some sort of synch.
   of a lived life of experiences,
that coincided with an equally fruitful
experience of thought that coincided with
the lived life...
            but not since a fateful event...
where memory became elevated above thinking...

so, memory? i have this one particular memory,
i was visiting Venice,
stayed in a hostel with about 15 women,
which, at times felt more intimidating
than sitting in a brothel with 9 bulgarian
prostitutes who i asked: one of you choose me,
one replied that i was not supposed to ask
them to choose, that they indeed were to be chosen,
so i said to her 'you talk a lot, you'll do!'
argentinian, australian girls, a swedish woman,
and two h'american girls...
leigh... and i can't remember the other girl's
name... visiting europe like any
h'american pair might do,
revising the ***** dancing stereotype of
finding "lost heritage"...
all over italy...

              the hostel was run by a h'american
girl and a h'americana boy...
first night? 15 women,
and you're the only man...
and one of them drops a bombshell:
well, as someone as handsome as you...
we took a group trip, via a ferry
to the Venice beach...
  we drank absinthe shots...
   don't ask me how,
but drunks have this GPS system built
into them when drunk... like bees...
i stumbled back to the hostel, alone,
on the ferry, and had a decent night of nod...
me, first time in Venice...
just like me stumbling back to
the hostel in Athens walking from
a strip-club... after having my fill
of smothering two strippers' bosoms...
having ****** my trousers prior,
tantalized by the fact that i was escorted
by a gorilla of a bouncer to the nearest
cash machine... since i ran out of money...
and then sneaking out of the hotel
that had a cash machine...
  first time in Athens... 5 ******* miles...
i made it back to the hostel...

i don't get it... drunks and in-built GPS...
navigated Venice, navigated Athens...
bee in me...

second day in Venice?
         of course... an argument between
the girls... leigh, the jewish girl wanted
to sight-see...
   a bunch of girls ganged up on her...
even her friend...
            so i said...
             well... **** me... if Solomon decided
to settle for the queen of sheba...
between me herding this quasi-tourist harem
of a bunch of australian girls...
   the argentinian etc.,
and this one h'american jewish girl leigh?
so i said: i'll do with you.

                      the numbers looked at me
like frankenstein jr.,
                        oh we had a hell of a time...
a few museums, getting lost in the Venetian
labyrinths, talked and talked...
explored the many flavours of gelato...
i think, i think i had the famous pistachio...
she had the capuccino in st. mark's sq.,
   and then she wanted to show me
the famous Venetian synagogue...
   so sure, we went there,
      but when we got there, it was closing...
boy, she was ******* that she couldn't
allow me to see it...
   instead... we saw the last tourist party
leave...
   and we huddled with some orthodox
students...
           one had a miniature shofar on him,
i told him to blow it, he blew it...
then i sat in a jewish cafe,
finding about the existence of the 613...
mitzvot...
             i wrote some of them down...
and then the weirdest ******* thing happened...
leigh started freaking out...
she was in such a hurry...
        she said she needed to get back,
she needed to get back...
          hell... she even paid of a Venetian taxi,
and Venetian taxis are not cheap,
motorboats on these rat canal aren't cheap...
i wanted to pay half the share...
she didn't want my money...
   next thing i know... she was booking
a flight out of Italy and on her way home...
she and her friend had still planned
another month touring Italy...
  phoom! off she went,
   then the quasi-tourist-harem of girls
came back from their day out...
leigh's friend inquired:
- where's leigh?
- oh, she decided to go home.
                   the next two days were weird...
it's not like i even pulled a ted bundy fast one...
but i remember the h'american girl
running the hostel...
  i ate the most amazing burgers which
she prepared... as if...
i staged some sort of neo-**** scare tactic
on poor leigh...
                rarely does a girl,
who planned this whole summer trip
with her friend, from h'america, all the way
to Europe... decide, on a whim...
to bail...

             Venice... oddly enough i was
not mesmerized...
           Stochholm didn't impress me either...
Amsterdam was just a cafe segment
and the chance to escape police-state
paranoia of England when i still smoked
marijuana... oh... and that one Dutch girl
who turned her head as she rode past me...
Cracow was a... eh... third time i went there?
just a transit point... London is too familiar...
Warsaw: again, transit hub...
Athens: squalor...
only two cities on this earth gave me
                 inspiration: Paris and Edinburgh...
mind you, Macedonia, amazing coach trip...
Belgrade looked stunning, imposing even,
during winter, seemingly a city on a hill...
on the flat-plains of Serbia...
but you need the snow,
   and ******* into it... and shaking from the cold,
because you're under-attired for the trip...

Katowice: but only at night.

   - and that is why i posit memory to
be superior to thinking these days,
  esp. imagination as a mental faculty...
memory has become a cinema to me...
        no wonder i'm bored with movies
these days...
         memory has become a form
of cinema for me...
            sure... it's not much...
but you can work around the "not much"
by fusing all the minor,
"insignificat" details of "skimming"
the narrative...
                       and thank god:
               i'm only given a cameo in all of it...
i'm not an over-bloated stage
actor with a protagonist role...
      in my cinema...
        i'm always the cameo!
                it's so liberating to have lived
a life that doesn't leave one feeling
ashamed...
                         it's hardly petty heroism...
but sure as ****...
     it's worth rememebering things
you can never be ashamed of.
But as the sun was rising from the fair sea into the firmament of
heaven to shed Blight on mortals and immortals, they reached Pylos the
city of Neleus. Now the people of Pylos were gathered on the sea shore
to offer sacrifice of black bulls to Neptune lord of the Earthquake.
There were nine guilds with five hundred men in each, and there were
nine bulls to each guild. As they were eating the inward meats and
burning the thigh bones [on the embers] in the name of Neptune,
Telemachus and his crew arrived, furled their sails, brought their
ship to anchor, and went ashore.
  Minerva led the way and Telemachus followed her. Presently she said,
“Telemachus, you must not be in the least shy or nervous; you have
taken this voyage to try and find out where your father is buried
and how he came by his end; so go straight up to Nestor that we may
see what he has got to tell us. Beg of him to speak the truth, and
he will tell no lies, for he is an excellent person.”
  “But how, Mentor,” replied Telemachus, “dare I go up to Nestor,
and how am I to address him? I have never yet been used to holding
long conversations with people, and am ashamed to begin questioning
one who is so much older than myself.”
  “Some things, Telemachus,” answered Minerva, “will be suggested to
you by your own instinct, and heaven will prompt you further; for I am
assured that the gods have been with you from the time of your birth
until now.”
  She then went quickly on, and Telemachus followed in her steps
till they reached the place where the guilds of the Pylian people were
assembled. There they found Nestor sitting with his sons, while his
company round him were busy getting dinner ready, and putting pieces
of meat on to the spits while other pieces were cooking. When they saw
the strangers they crowded round them, took them by the hand and
bade them take their places. Nestor’s son Pisistratus at once
offered his hand to each of them, and seated them on some soft
sheepskins that were lying on the sands near his father and his
brother Thrasymedes. Then he gave them their portions of the inward
meats and poured wine for them into a golden cup, handing it to
Minerva first, and saluting her at the same time.
  “Offer a prayer, sir,” said he, “to King Neptune, for it is his
feast that you are joining; when you have duly prayed and made your
drink-offering, pass the cup to your friend that he may do so also.
I doubt not that he too lifts his hands in prayer, for man cannot live
without God in the world. Still he is younger than you are, and is
much of an age with myself, so I he handed I will give you the
precedence.”
  As he spoke he handed her the cup. Minerva thought it very right and
proper of him to have given it to herself first; she accordingly began
praying heartily to Neptune. “O thou,” she cried, “that encirclest the
earth, vouchsafe to grant the prayers of thy servants that call upon
thee. More especially we pray thee send down thy grace on Nestor and
on his sons; thereafter also make the rest of the Pylian people some
handsome return for the goodly hecatomb they are offering you. Lastly,
grant Telemachus and myself a happy issue, in respect of the matter
that has brought us in our to Pylos.”
  When she had thus made an end of praying, she handed the cup to
Telemachus and he prayed likewise. By and by, when the outer meats
were roasted and had been taken off the spits, the carvers gave
every man his portion and they all made an excellent dinner. As soon
as they had had enough to eat and drink, Nestor, knight of Gerene,
began to speak.
  “Now,” said he, “that our guests have done their dinner, it will
be best to ask them who they are. Who, then, sir strangers, are you,
and from what port have you sailed? Are you traders? or do you sail
the seas as rovers with your hand against every man, and every man’s
hand against you?”
  Telemachus answered boldly, for Minerva had given him courage to ask
about his father and get himself a good name.
  “Nestor,” said he, “son of Neleus, honour to the Achaean name, you
ask whence we come, and I will tell you. We come from Ithaca under
Neritum, and the matter about which I would speak is of private not
public import. I seek news of my unhappy father Ulysses, who is said
to have sacked the town of Troy in company with yourself. We know what
fate befell each one of the other heroes who fought at Troy, but as
regards Ulysses heaven has hidden from us the knowledge even that he
is dead at all, for no one can certify us in what place he perished,
nor say whether he fell in battle on the mainland, or was lost at
sea amid the waves of Amphitrite. Therefore I am suppliant at your
knees, if haply you may be pleased to tell me of his melancholy end,
whether you saw it with your own eyes, or heard it from some other
traveller, for he was a man born to trouble. Do not soften things
out of any pity for me, but tell me in all plainness exactly what
you saw. If my brave father Ulysses ever did you loyal service, either
by word or deed, when you Achaeans were harassed among the Trojans,
bear it in mind now as in my favour and tell me truly all.”
  “My friend,” answered Nestor, “you recall a time of much sorrow to
my mind, for the brave Achaeans suffered much both at sea, while
privateering under Achilles, and when fighting before the great city
of king Priam. Our best men all of them fell there—Ajax, Achilles,
Patroclus peer of gods in counsel, and my own dear son Antilochus, a
man singularly fleet of foot and in fight valiant. But we suffered
much more than this; what mortal tongue indeed could tell the whole
story? Though you were to stay here and question me for five years, or
even six, I could not tell you all that the Achaeans suffered, and you
would turn homeward weary of my tale before it ended. Nine long
years did we try every kind of stratagem, but the hand of heaven was
against us; during all this time there was no one who could compare
with your father in subtlety—if indeed you are his son—I can
hardly believe my eyes—and you talk just like him too—no one would
say that people of such different ages could speak so much alike. He
and I never had any kind of difference from first to last neither in
camp nor council, but in singleness of heart and purpose we advised
the Argives how all might be ordered for the best.
  “When however, we had sacked the city of Priam, and were setting
sail in our ships as heaven had dispersed us, then Jove saw fit to vex
the Argives on their homeward voyage; for they had Not all been either
wise or understanding, and hence many came to a bad end through the
displeasure of Jove’s daughter Minerva, who brought about a quarrel
between the two sons of Atreus.
  “The sons of Atreus called a meeting which was not as it should
be, for it was sunset and the Achaeans were heavy with wine. When they
explained why they had called—the people together, it seemed that
Menelaus was for sailing homeward at once, and this displeased
Agamemnon, who thought that we should wait till we had offered
hecatombs to appease the anger of Minerva. Fool that he was, he
might have known that he would not prevail with her, for when the gods
have made up their minds they do not change them lightly. So the two
stood bandying hard words, whereon the Achaeans sprang to their feet
with a cry that rent the air, and were of two minds as to what they
should do.
  “That night we rested and nursed our anger, for Jove was hatching
mischief against us. But in the morning some of us drew our ships into
the water and put our goods with our women on board, while the rest,
about half in number, stayed behind with Agamemnon. We—the other
half—embarked and sailed; and the ships went well, for heaven had
smoothed the sea. When we reached Tenedos we offered sacrifices to the
gods, for we were longing to get home; cruel Jove, however, did not
yet mean that we should do so, and raised a second quarrel in the
course of which some among us turned their ships back again, and
sailed away under Ulysses to make their peace with Agamemnon; but I,
and all the ships that were with me pressed forward, for I saw that
mischief was brewing. The son of Tydeus went on also with me, and
his crews with him. Later on Menelaus joined us at ******, and found
us making up our minds about our course—for we did not know whether
to go outside Chios by the island of Psyra, keeping this to our
left, or inside Chios, over against the stormy headland of Mimas. So
we asked heaven for a sign, and were shown one to the effect that we
should be soonest out of danger if we headed our ships across the open
sea to Euboea. This we therefore did, and a fair wind sprang up
which gave us a quick passage during the night to Geraestus, where
we offered many sacrifices to Neptune for having helped us so far on
our way. Four days later Diomed and his men stationed their ships in
Argos, but I held on for Pylos, and the wind never fell light from the
day when heaven first made it fair for me.
  “Therefore, my dear young friend, I returned without hearing
anything about the others. I know neither who got home safely nor
who were lost but, as in duty bound, I will give you without reserve
the reports that have reached me since I have been here in my own
house. They say the Myrmidons returned home safely under Achilles’ son
Neoptolemus; so also did the valiant son of Poias, Philoctetes.
Idomeneus, again, lost no men at sea, and all his followers who
escaped death in the field got safe home with him to Crete. No
matter how far out of the world you live, you will have heard of
Agamemnon and the bad end he came to at the hands of Aegisthus—and
a fearful reckoning did Aegisthus presently pay. See what a good thing
it is for a man to leave a son behind him to do as Orestes did, who
killed false Aegisthus the murderer of his noble father. You too,
then—for you are a tall, smart-looking fellow—show your mettle and
make yourself a name in story.”
  “Nestor son of Neleus,” answered Telemachus, “honour to the
Achaean name, the Achaeans applaud Orestes and his name will live
through all time for he has avenged his father nobly. Would that
heaven might grant me to do like vengeance on the insolence of the
wicked suitors, who are ill treating me and plotting my ruin; but
the gods have no such happiness in store for me and for my father,
so we must bear it as best we may.”
  “My friend,” said Nestor, “now that you remind me, I remember to
have heard that your mother has many suitors, who are ill disposed
towards you and are making havoc of your estate. Do you submit to this
tamely, or are public feeling and the voice of heaven against you? Who
knows but what Ulysses may come back after all, and pay these
scoundrels in full, either single-handed or with a force of Achaeans
behind him? If Minerva were to take as great a liking to you as she
did to Ulysses when we were fighting before Troy (for I never yet
saw the gods so openly fond of any one as Minerva then was of your
father), if she would take as good care of you as she did of him,
these wooers would soon some of them him, forget their wooing.”
  Telemachus answered, “I can expect nothing of the kind; it would
be far too much to hope for. I dare not let myself think of it. Even
though the gods themselves willed it no such good fortune could befall
me.”
  On this Minerva said, “Telemachus, what are you talking about?
Heaven has a long arm if it is minded to save a man; and if it were
me, I should not care how much I suffered before getting home,
provided I could be safe when I was once there. I would rather this,
than get home quickly, and then be killed in my own house as Agamemnon
was by the treachery of Aegisthus and his wife. Still, death is
certain, and when a man’s hour is come, not even the gods can save
him, no matter how fond they are of him.”
  “Mentor,” answered Telemachus, “do not let us talk about it any
more. There is no chance of my father’s ever coming back; the gods
have long since counselled his destruction. There is something else,
however, about which I should like to ask Nestor, for he knows much
more than any one else does. They say he has reigned for three
generations so that it is like talking to an immortal. Tell me,
therefore, Nestor, and tell me true; how did Agamemnon come to die
in that way? What was Menelaus doing? And how came false Aegisthus
to **** so far better a man than himself? Was Menelaus away from
Achaean Argos, voyaging elsewhither among mankind, that Aegisthus took
heart and killed Agamemnon?”
  “I will tell you truly,” answered Nestor, “and indeed you have
yourself divined how it all happened. If Menelaus when he got back
from Troy had found Aegisthus still alive in his house, there would
have been no barrow heaped up for him, not even when he was dead,
but he would have been thrown outside the city to dogs and vultures,
and not a woman would have mourned him, for he had done a deed of
great wickedness; but we were over there, fighting hard at Troy, and
Aegisthus who was taking his ease quietly in the heart of Argos,
cajoled Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra with incessant flattery.
  “At first she would have nothing to do with his wicked scheme, for
she was of a good natural disposition; moreover there was a bard
with her, to whom Agamemnon had given strict orders on setting out for
Troy, that he was to keep guard over his wife; but when heaven had
counselled her destruction, Aegisthus thus this bard off to a desert
island and left him there for crows and seagulls to batten upon—after
which she went willingly enough to the house of Aegisthus. Then he
offered many burnt sacrifices to the gods, and decorated many
temples with tapestries and gilding, for he had succeeded far beyond
his expectations.
  “Meanwhile Menelaus and I were on our way home from Troy, on good
terms with one another. When we got to Sunium, which is the point of
Athens, Apollo with his painless shafts killed Phrontis the
steersman of Menelaus’ ship (and never man knew better how to handle a
vessel in rough weather) so that he died then and there with the
helm in his hand, and Menelaus, though very anxious to press
forward, had to wait in order to bury his comrade and give him his due
funeral rites. Presently, when he too could put to sea again, and
had sailed on as far as the Malean heads, Jove counselled evil against
him and made it it blow hard till the waves ran mountains high. Here
he divided his fleet and took the one half towards Crete where the
Cydonians dwell round about the waters of the river Iardanus. There is
a high headland hereabouts stretching out into the sea from a place
called Gortyn, and all along this part of the coast as far as Phaestus
the sea runs high when there is a south wind blowing, but arter
Phaestus the coast is more protected, for a small headland can make
a great shelter. Here this part of the fleet was driven on to the
rocks and wrecked; but the crews just managed to save themselves. As
for the other five ships, they were taken by winds and seas to
Egypt, where Menelaus gathered much gold and substance among people of
an alien speech. Meanwhile Aegisthus here at home plotted his evil
deed. For seven years after he had killed Agamemnon he ruled in
Mycene, and the people were obedient under him, but in the eighth year
Orestes came back from Athens to be his bane, and killed the
murderer of his father. Then he celebrated the funeral rites of his
mother and of false Aegisthus by a banquet to the people of Argos, and
on that very day Menelaus came home, with as much treasure as his
ships could carry.
  “Take my advice then, and do not go travelling about for long so far
from home, nor leave your property with such dangerous people in
your house; they will eat up everything you have among them, and you
will have been on a fool’s errand. Still, I should advise you by all
means to go and visit Menelaus, who has lately come off a voyage among
such distant peoples as no man could ever hope to get back from,
when the winds had once carried him so far out of his reckoning;
even birds cannot fly the distance in a twelvemonth, so vast and
Mateuš Conrad Dec 2015
only an idiot like me, the rain poured down, my socks were wetted,  and i looked at the pavement for glory, instead i found a £10 note and  imagined my right shoe on my left leg, and my left shoe on my right  leg... just to prove the luck.*

it came from listening to rotting christ's kata
ton daimona...
i wrote the poem on two tesco receipts
numbering them no. 1 - .4,
it made sense to just give it a narrative...
the naturally apparent lisp of greek is due to...
lies between theta (θ) and phi (φ)...
check feta cheese... it might be less morbidly fermented...
that's why the greeks have a natural lisp...
it's theta and it's phi...
in english it's like chinese.... w & r...
something's rolling something's waving,
something's trigonometric...
harrison fowd was almost jonathan woss if i care...
the chinese in english debate with chin-chin-******
scissors piece of paper stone good luck on the handshake:
lost the price of interest being gained for excavation
purposes of dinosaur bones and inflation via the
ptertodactyl of the extended mohawk shave...
english dicionary makes me confused...
it places theta alongside the, than... but then
it's therapy... thermometer...
too many unique examples i'd have said...
that's the lisp there... sidelined phew and engaged in phew
in byzantine...
english linguistics is filled with too many "unique" examples
of expression... coupled with the celebrity culture...
i farted and a person took hold of a *** squeeze...
how's that?! english language in summary?
pleasing on the eye... but the spelling? a burden on the tongue.
i know that slavic linguistics would make enlgish that's written
ugly...
it wouldn't be pharmacology but farmacology...
then it made sense, i stopped asking the english dicta
written down, the greek θ wasn't a couple of th & etc...
a few athenains in death metal said it like i said it... the 2nd f...
it was απηθανoν - because it was simply athens - fern fence...
and not d... defence, or anything easily acquired as a prescription
of zee wee point of german scottish.
Kitty Oost Oct 2014
Crumbling cities.
Beauty in decay has always reminded me
of you.
When we were little and climbing trees
you told me of ow you would be great
one day,
like Athens and Rome.
I had laughed and called you silly.
Those were places and not people, I had said.
You shoved your tongue out and clamored:
"Watch me do it!"
I think I finally understand what you meant.
Singing songs to me in my backyard you
were amazing, thriving like you had sworn
to me
those many years before.
We danced and screamed from hilltops
with cities unfolding beneath
our mere human feet.
You weren't kind of the world, but you were
king of mine.
Later that night you dropped me off
at my front door.
Kissed my forehead and murmured
"Goodbye, I love you"
instead of wishing me goodnight.
You fell in the time between night and dawn
and when I woke up the next morning
our empire was gone.
Patricia Tsouros Sep 2013
Crazy passion fast deep soul kiss warnings word breathe reckless love devastated desk art struggle pinstripe attempts drunk ghost lost wind beauty hunger soul smile elegance latte knowing containment bond ink shallow identity measure chaos stumbling darling life dance frenzy sweat hole paper haunted only dreams ****** vandalized scars Achilles proceedings bare deep still pain inside lied courts darkness wind step empty rocky soul whisper eyes alone wrapped inside Athens love smile abuse truth lies time mind  bungalow knowing liar violated Pandora’s entanglement flashbacks ****** self-preservation private suit weakness baklava hide lips ******* played deserve hold earth destruction haunted coffin judgment dreams hands eternity sleep  sunset lips hidden kissed desire champagne stars taint lovers fallen what **** PR glistening intense echoes seeing taste depth care finally beach rolling salt binding heat lost quietly resumed park come believe myself arms world you skin love stranger now
Thanks to  Eliot York for his inspiration to tell my story in words from my Poems Love & Deception.
RAJ NANDY Nov 2014
Friends, in the Introductory portion we have seen how Herodotus
gave birth to the subject of 'History'. Now I conclude this true story
by quoting a poem by the English poet Edgar O' Shaughnessy, which
is very appropriate for my Story! Please take your time to read, there is no hurry! Thanks, -Raj Nandy.

        HISTORIANS  AFTER  HERODOTUS
Herodotus became the trail blazer with his narration
of History,
Inspiring several Greek and Roman chroniclers as  
we subsequently get to see!
There was Thucydides, Livy, Sallust, Xenophon, and
Polybius,
Not forgetting chroniclers like Julius Caesar, Tacitus,
and the oft quoted Plutarch!
The Roman scholar Cicero had called Herodotus the
‘Father of History’;
But later the Greek historian Plutarch criticized him
for his many hearsay inaccuracies!
Even though Herodotus had cautioned his readers in
his Historical narrations, -
About those hearsay accounts and doubtful portions!
Greek historian Thucydides, who was a junior and a
contemporary of Herodotus,
For his accurate historical rendering of ‘The
Peloponnesian War’ between Athens and Sparta, -
Was praised by later scholars very much!

CYCLIC AND LINEAR PATTERNS OF HISTORY:
Herodotus believed in Nemesis and a repetitive
pattern of History.
While Thucydides with his strict investigation drew
a line between myth and reality!
Thucydides viewed history as a political struggle
based on the nature of man;
And felt that since human nature does not change
often, -
The past events would reoccur once again !
The Greeks believed in this cyclic notion of History,
Also developed a prose style to narrate their stories!
Unlike the Greeks, Roman History did not begin in an
oral Homeric tradition,
But they had a ready-made Greek model for their
historical narrations!
Roman historiography began after the Second Punic
War against Hannibal of Carthage,
When Quintus Flavius Pictor wrote Rome’s History
in Greek, instead of Latin!     (around 200BC)
Cato the Elder, was the first to write in Latin Rome’s
History,
While the Roman Livy born in Padua in 59 BC, was
praised for introducing a ‘milky richness’ of style  
for narrating these true stories !
From Julius Caesar’s accounts we learn about the
Gallic Wars and events of those ancient days;
But he Romans had used History for propaganda
and self-praise !
Also to make the conquered world to look up to them
with wonder and admiration;
For the Romans were creating History with their
conquests in a steady progression!

CYCLIC VIEW OF TIME AND HISTORY
Perhaps the cyclic view of Time has influenced the
cyclic concept of History to a great extent,
Since this cyclic view was held by many of those
Ancients !
Ancient doctrine of 'eternal return' like the seasons
of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, existed
in old Egypt, and the Hindu religion;
Also with the Greek Pythagoreans and Stoic
conceptions;
As well as in the Mayans and the Aztec Civilizations!
In the East, cyclic theory of History as succession of
dynastic rule developed in China,
While the Vedic Hindus developed their theory of
Cycles of Yugas!    (epoch or era)
Writing of Indian History had commenced with
the Colonial British initially,
Who had criticized India for its lack of a sense of
History and Historiography!
The ancient Hindus were more concerned with
religious philosophy, and the essence of existence,
Rather than getting absorbed with historical details!
The Hindus divide cosmic time into cyclic eras of
Satya, Tretra, Dwapara, and Kali Yugas;
With each era covering many thousands of our
human eras!
These Yugas or Cyclic segments of time is said to
repeat itself in a cyclic motion, -
Which had perhaps mystified their early views
of a clear Historical perception.
However, later Indian historians have corrected
the earlier British interpretations, -
By dividing Indian History into Ancient, Medieval
and Modern Periods,
Replacing the earlier Hindu, Muslim, and British
Periods as Colonial segregation!
And also by correcting the British Aryan Invasion
Theory as Aryan Migration;
Based on more accurate historical research and
better perception!

CHRISTIAN AND LATER VIEWS OF HISTORY:
St. Augustine during the 4th century AD, systematized
the Christian view of History, -
As a struggle between the City of God and the City
of Man, where the City of God gains victory, -
Establishing peace and prosperity!
The Christian view is therefore Linear with a
positive beginning and an end;
A providential view from the Creation of Adam
till the Day of Last Judgment!

THE RENAISSANCE: (14TH - 17TH CENTURIES):
During this period the theological view gradually
begun to fade, giving rise to the Cyclic concept of
History,
As illustrated by the decline and fall of the mighty
Roman Empire, immortalized by Edward Gibbons
in his narrated story!
This cyclic view was also maintained by Oswald
Spengler, Nikolai Danilevsky, and Paul Kennedy,
during the 19th and the 20th Centuries.

AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT : THE 18TH CENTURY
This period advocated the use of reason to obtain
objective truth, when human beings made all the
difference freed from superstition and bigotry;
Which led to favoring a Linear and a progressive
view of History.
Voltaire symbolizing the spirit of this age had
supported human wit and education, -
Since only enlightened people could give History
a positive direction !
For Karl Marx Feudalism was followed by Capitalism,
and Capitalism by Communism.
History of existing Society as the History of Class
Struggle - was Karl Marx’s new concept!
For social material forces drove History, and this
‘historical materialism’ as a revolutionary view, -
many later Scholars did accept!

SOME MODERN CONCEPTS ABOUT HISTORY
Now I share the views of three of our renowned
Historians; the German Oswald Spengler, the
British Arnold Toynbee, and the American
Carroll Quigley,
To provide you with three different concepts
of History.
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936):
Spengler’s reputation rests on his work titled
‘Decline of the West’, considered as a major
contribution to social theory;
Where he rejects the ‘Linear’ view in favor of
definite, observable, and unrelated cycles of
History!
Rejecting the Eurocentric view of History and its
Linear division into ‘Ancient-Medieval-Modern’
Eras,
Spengler recognizes eight ‘high cultures’ which
evolve as organism, following the cycles of
growth, development, and decline;
And his views astonished the Western mind!
These high cultures were the Babylonian,
Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican ( Mayan&
Aztec), Classical (Greece& Rome), Arabian,
and Western or Euro-American!
Cultures have a life span of about a thousand
years each,
So the Western Civilization too shall decline one
day, - Spengler did teach!

Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975):
Toynbee’s 12 volumes on ‘A Study of History’
covers a wider spectrum of 23 Civilizations,
Where he rejects Spengler’s cynical theory of
growth and decline of Western Nations!
“Civilization is a movement and not a condition,
a voyage not a harbor”, Arnold said;
Like human beings Civilizations were free to chart
their own course with the capacity to ‘consciously’
choose its destiny, he had felt!
Arnold moves on to formulate his Theory of
‘Challenge and Response’, since by responding to
such challenges Civilizations could move on !
These challenges could be social or environmental
he had said;
The Greeks responded to their growing population
by taking to the seas and maritime trade,
And also prospered as their overseas colonies had
begun to spread!
Toynbee’s Civilization start to decay when they lose
their moral fiber,
He perhaps over emphasized the religious and
cultural aspects, ignoring those economic factors!
But his views were certainly more popular than
the cynical Spengler!

Carroll Quigley (1910-1977):
Quigley’s scientific trained mind could not accept
either of the above views,
So he created a synthesis of Spengler and Toynbee,
while paying History its dues!
Quigley laid down seven stages for the evolution
of Civilization;
Commencing with Mixture, Gestation, Expansion,
Conflict, Universal Empire, Decay, and Invasion!
His Civilizations are neither groups nor individuals,
But each is a system which share some common
traits.
In Quigley’s model each system come into being
adapted to their environment;
But since environment always changes, Quigley
states with some relish, -
Systems which cannot adapt themselves, must
necessarily perish!

WE ARE ALL LIVING PARTICIPANTS IN THE
  LONG UNFOLDING HUMAN STORY!
“Know Thy Self” said Socrates, and the Delphic
Oracle had pronounced that he was wisest of
the Greeks!
To know ourselves truly we must know about
our past,
For this evolutionary process shall continue as
long as the Human species last!
Today we remain as a living monument to the
past,
We continue to make History as long as humans
on this planet shall last!
Our planet earth is around 4.5 billion years old;
While the first ****-erectus emerged around
two million years hence - we are told!
By walking ***** the two hands became free to
develop,
With flexible fingers and the rotating thumb;
Which was crucial for shaping the destiny of
the Human species on earth!
Our Civilization proper dates back to about
five thousand BC,
Thus an emerging pattern we can easily see!
With the development of human consciousness
we have learned to delve inwards, -
To discovered within a vast macro world!
Now, I would love to conclude this narration by
quoting from the English poet Arthur William
Edgar O’Shaughnessy’s book ‘Music and
Moonlight’;       (1874)
Do try to follow the philosophical content relevant
to the Cyclic History of Mankind!

“We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-brakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties,
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory.
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And there with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And overthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For Each Age Is a Dream That’s Dying,
Or One That Is Coming To Birth.”

Thanks my readers and poet friends,
Sincerely hope you will now appreciate
History better, and love its contents!
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR
RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
Friends, those who have read part one will find the concluding portion in this narration of mine, which I tried my best to simplify! Mentioned the two basic views of History, the Linear & the Cyclic views in my narrated Story! Hope you liked the poem quoted at the end by me ! Thanks, -Raj
some venerable cities
hide their soul
   behind endless accumulations
of steely glass facades
   reflecting anonymity

in Athens
all relics of the ancient times
that once helped shape the Western World
appear like foreign bodies
   in a sea of faceless concrete cubes

   most prominent
   Akropolis and Likavitos hill
   tourist-infested and forlorn

and it is only
when you meet the people
   and see them go
   about their businesses
that you perceive
tradition here
   is strong
and still lives on
Zywa Jul 2019
The envoys of Athens
in their comfortable carriages
democratically stripped of adornment

are dignified by the inability
to make a decision, divided
by all the nuances of the mind

They will have to wait
because we have no news
from our informants yet

We sprinkle the goat
with lukewarm water, she does not shiver
so the god will not speak

until the stars are right again
and we will be informed
about the politics of the princes

We save expenses nor pains
we are the dedicated priests
of this posh lottery
The impotence of democracy

The priests of the Oracle of Delphi

Collection “Secrets & Believers”
Michael Bauer Mar 2015
i lost everything and that’s when the war came
then they reinstated the draft and began mobilizing
with the hope of defeating tyranny once again
and preserving our freedom and securing our resources

a few years before the war i was in a tense mood
privileged to attend university and expand my mind into proto-intellectualism
reading Shakespeare and studying Postcolonial Literature and non-fiction writing
while stacking up a mountain of student loan debt and watching things unravel

i started smoking bales of **** with my medical marijuana prescription
and stuttered through a false start and a series of stalls
watching my life fall apart but enjoying the rollercoaster ride
and falling in love again with the night time like in my teenage years

the television started showing explosion after explosion on city streets
there were also talks about the weather changing wildly and some people were on edge
but then when the war came everything sort of became more focused yet fatalistic

i never thought i’d get drafted but when the Selective Service notice arrived i wasn’t going to fight it
i enlisted in the Navy the following week and once I stepped on that bus everything just sort of became automatic
as i was swallowed into the machine and molded into a soldier

the process of soldierization is a fascinating phenomenon
a desperate or controlling government picks through it’s citizens
finding those most suitable for combating its perceived enemies
and reprograms select individuals to become a part of the killing machine

i don’t know how they picked me
i figured i would’ve been viewed as a loose cannon
and been thrown into a file for the shredder
but despite my liberal dissident undertones i was dropped into the US armed forces

i was stationed on a missile cruiser for the first three years of the war against the Islamic State
i thought it would just be a lot of sitting around in my underwear
launching cruise missiles *****-nilly and having **** ***
but it was so much better than that

i was lucky to not be stationed in the Pacific when things really started heating up
but instead got to sit around in the Mediterranean sun
smoking Turkish cigarettes in the shade of the missile array
stoking the fires and setting the Middle East aflame

on the day Russia launched into the Baltic states i was on leave in Athens
it was still somewhat of a surprise although everyone was anticipating the change
i was summoned back aboard my ship the next day and converged like a phalanx
we waited off the coast of Troy then continued through the Bosporus

we fired a lot more missiles before they finally got a Mig through to sink us
put a nice little dent in the hull and we jumped off into the cool waters of the Black
we didn’t see any of our ships or helicopters after that
but we were near the coast and managed to get to land a few days after the emergency ration ran out


**originally posted on my blog at https://sublimeobscenities.wordpress.com/ on January 23, 2015
PJ Poesy May 2016
Hail to Thee, Immortal Three
Knowledge we sing on laud
Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates
Philosophy, to be human awed
Teach through time, consciously
Nod not, what others fraud

Socrates taught, Divine Being
God not of brutal Athens’ passions
Entity of Beauty, Truth Seeing
Goodness unseen in day’s fashions
Soul for unalloyed agreeing
Lessons humanities’ compassion

Talk eternal justice, everlasting life
Socrates’ Sovereign Right of Reason
Clearly mind deceived sense’s strife
Invincible perfection be God’s season
Thus, our key to knowledge ever rife
Priests who find this, absolute treason

No church or Socratic school
A barefoot man roamed to teach
Socrates mocked for looking a fool
His speech not one to simply preach
Plato witnesses a martyr’s drool
Cruel hemlock, words did so breach

Handsome aristocratic youth Plato
Followed Socrates’ Eternal Wisdom
But soon to find his own credo
In Medara to find Euclid and freedom
Egyptian geometry to provide dado
To Plato life, expression; not a system

Eternally an artist, Plato did develop
Philosophic circle in Academus groves
Bring Athens, world knowledge envelop
Discretions of sensations, be not oaths
What man may be, an animal jealous
Plato’s allegorical cave found in droves

As Plato once be Socrates’ disciple
So too, to Plato would Aristotle be
Passing comprehension archetypal
Successions of genius’ visions do see
Aristotle taking it step further, as vital
To science of hands-on discovery

And this is where we see a parting
Of two distinctly opposing philosophies
Plato being at odds, with science starting
Aristotle’s truth, finding no apologies
Things not happening by chance imparting
Frivolity of duopoly, dichotomy to Socrates

But a new era has surely now dawned
Science exploring an invisible atom
And the seen and unseen correspond
So to Aristotle’s, Plato’s, Socrates’ datum
Brilliant new philosophies have spawned
An abstract notion of conceived stratum
I have always felt, keeping in mind the masters' theories, but also pushing new limits, we find our own uncovering of discovery.
Marieta Maglas Jul 2015
(Chiara and Geraldine were on the deck. Chiara started to talk with Geraldine.)

''I need to understand my life when I look back and see
That happiness is my reason to push some things far away
This ship is like a small Eden balancing on the sea.
When I lose hope, I hope that it will come back another day.''

''God is above all and when the waters are quite blue
He sends the sun to shine at the end of every storm.
I'm far from home, but there's nothing in my life I wouldn't do.''
The crests had a glassy aspect and some clouds started to form.

In the Ottoman Empire, Athens was a run-down village
The Ottoman landlord made the free Greek peasant serfdom.
To live near the Acropolis, he lost the privilege.
In Piraeus, the wind was like a harp blown at random.

Miguel was walking on deck wanting Pedro to meet
To propose him to go to visit the Acropolis,
Then, to eat fresh fish and to exercise their dancing feet.
He thought that ship looked like a sailing necropolis.


The Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens
Was amazing, although the flourish in Athens became,
During the Ottoman Empire, something should never happen.
But in terms of philosophy, it didn't lose its fame.

Carla was bathing in her cabin and asked the maid to bring
A *** of boiling water from the kitchen because
The water cooled down. When she exited, the door started to ding.
Maybe the maid was in haste or it was a hidden cause.

Passing by, Miguel saw Carla exiting the bathroom.
When he saw her silhouette through the diaphanous air
Against the flames' glow, something magical happened to him.
He looked at her, and then he sensed the true depths of his despair.

He admired her neck and the outline of her body
And the flawless perfection of her skin; he went away,
When he heard the maid's steps; Carla's ******* were pure and soggy,
And she moved her arms and legs as she did ballet.


(After a while, he returned to walk around. After she had finished her bath, Carla opened the window to allow the fresh air to enter the room. Carla saw Miguel standing on the deck. He turned to her and said, ‘’Hello! ’’)

Carla asked, ''Is this evening a future starry night or not? ''
''So starry-eyed, my love for you is nothing but a shine.
And, in my dreams, you come to love me much more than a lot.
I close my eyes to feel your love and you're almost divine.''

(Carla told him she did not know this poem. He said that this poem was just composed by him. Then, he invited her to come together with Pedro to visit the Acropolis.)

Carla, after exiting the Periclean Parthenon,
Tripped on the Karrha limestone step and almost fell when Miguel
Helped her up while embracing her, ''It's a phenomenon.''
He put his ear over her heart, '' I hear a fast tinkling bell.''



Behind them, Bella and Pedro were talking about physique.
She said that she couldn't get pregnant, so they traveled to
India, a treatment through yoga and herbs to seek.
''Miguel suffers! '' 'It's important to make your own dreams come true.''

(To be continued...)

Poem by Marieta Maglas
I.

Wreathed in myrtle, my sword I’ll conceal,
  Like those champions devoted and brave,
When they plunged in the tyrant their steel,
  And to Athens deliverance gave.

II.

Beloved heroes! your deathless souls roam
  In the joy breathing isles of the blest;
Where the mighty of old have their home—
  Where Achilles and Diomed rest.

III.

In fresh myrtle my blade I’ll entwine,
  Like Harmodius, the gallant and good,
When he made at the tutelar shrine
  A libation of Tyranny’s blood.

IV.

Ye deliverers of Athens from shame!
  Ye avengers of Liberty’s wrongs!
Endless ages shall cherish your fame,
  Embalmed in their echoing songs!
He was a Grecian lad, who coming home
With pulpy figs and wine from Sicily
Stood at his galley’s prow, and let the foam
Blow through his crisp brown curls unconsciously,
And holding wave and wind in boy’s despite
Peered from his dripping seat across the wet and stormy night.

Till with the dawn he saw a burnished spear
Like a thin thread of gold against the sky,
And hoisted sail, and strained the creaking gear,
And bade the pilot head her lustily
Against the nor’west gale, and all day long
Held on his way, and marked the rowers’ time with measured song.

And when the faint Corinthian hills were red
Dropped anchor in a little sandy bay,
And with fresh boughs of olive crowned his head,
And brushed from cheek and throat the hoary spray,
And washed his limbs with oil, and from the hold
Brought out his linen tunic and his sandals brazen-soled,

And a rich robe stained with the fishers’ juice
Which of some swarthy trader he had bought
Upon the sunny quay at Syracuse,
And was with Tyrian broideries inwrought,
And by the questioning merchants made his way
Up through the soft and silver woods, and when the labouring day

Had spun its tangled web of crimson cloud,
Clomb the high hill, and with swift silent feet
Crept to the fane unnoticed by the crowd
Of busy priests, and from some dark retreat
Watched the young swains his frolic playmates bring
The firstling of their little flock, and the shy shepherd fling

The crackling salt upon the flame, or hang
His studded crook against the temple wall
To Her who keeps away the ravenous fang
Of the base wolf from homestead and from stall;
And then the clear-voiced maidens ‘gan to sing,
And to the altar each man brought some goodly offering,

A beechen cup brimming with milky foam,
A fair cloth wrought with cunning imagery
Of hounds in chase, a waxen honey-comb
Dripping with oozy gold which scarce the bee
Had ceased from building, a black skin of oil
Meet for the wrestlers, a great boar the fierce and white-tusked
spoil

Stolen from Artemis that jealous maid
To please Athena, and the dappled hide
Of a tall stag who in some mountain glade
Had met the shaft; and then the herald cried,
And from the pillared precinct one by one
Went the glad Greeks well pleased that they their simple vows had
done.

And the old priest put out the waning fires
Save that one lamp whose restless ruby glowed
For ever in the cell, and the shrill lyres
Came fainter on the wind, as down the road
In joyous dance these country folk did pass,
And with stout hands the warder closed the gates of polished brass.

Long time he lay and hardly dared to breathe,
And heard the cadenced drip of spilt-out wine,
And the rose-petals falling from the wreath
As the night breezes wandered through the shrine,
And seemed to be in some entranced swoon
Till through the open roof above the full and brimming moon

Flooded with sheeny waves the marble floor,
When from his nook up leapt the venturous lad,
And flinging wide the cedar-carven door
Beheld an awful image saffron-clad
And armed for battle! the gaunt Griffin glared
From the huge helm, and the long lance of wreck and ruin flared

Like a red rod of flame, stony and steeled
The Gorgon’s head its leaden eyeballs rolled,
And writhed its snaky horrors through the shield,
And gaped aghast with bloodless lips and cold
In passion impotent, while with blind gaze
The blinking owl between the feet hooted in shrill amaze.

The lonely fisher as he trimmed his lamp
Far out at sea off Sunium, or cast
The net for tunnies, heard a brazen *****
Of horses smite the waves, and a wild blast
Divide the folded curtains of the night,
And knelt upon the little ****, and prayed in holy fright.

And guilty lovers in their venery
Forgat a little while their stolen sweets,
Deeming they heard dread Dian’s bitter cry;
And the grim watchmen on their lofty seats
Ran to their shields in haste precipitate,
Or strained black-bearded throats across the dusky parapet.

For round the temple rolled the clang of arms,
And the twelve Gods leapt up in marble fear,
And the air quaked with dissonant alarums
Till huge Poseidon shook his mighty spear,
And on the frieze the prancing horses neighed,
And the low tread of hurrying feet rang from the cavalcade.

Ready for death with parted lips he stood,
And well content at such a price to see
That calm wide brow, that terrible maidenhood,
The marvel of that pitiless chastity,
Ah! well content indeed, for never wight
Since Troy’s young shepherd prince had seen so wonderful a sight.

Ready for death he stood, but lo! the air
Grew silent, and the horses ceased to neigh,
And off his brow he tossed the clustering hair,
And from his limbs he throw the cloak away;
For whom would not such love make desperate?
And nigher came, and touched her throat, and with hands violate

Undid the cuirass, and the crocus gown,
And bared the ******* of polished ivory,
Till from the waist the peplos falling down
Left visible the secret mystery
Which to no lover will Athena show,
The grand cool flanks, the crescent thighs, the bossy hills of
snow.

Those who have never known a lover’s sin
Let them not read my ditty, it will be
To their dull ears so musicless and thin
That they will have no joy of it, but ye
To whose wan cheeks now creeps the lingering smile,
Ye who have learned who Eros is,—O listen yet awhile.

A little space he let his greedy eyes
Rest on the burnished image, till mere sight
Half swooned for surfeit of such luxuries,
And then his lips in hungering delight
Fed on her lips, and round the towered neck
He flung his arms, nor cared at all his passion’s will to check.

Never I ween did lover hold such tryst,
For all night long he murmured honeyed word,
And saw her sweet unravished limbs, and kissed
Her pale and argent body undisturbed,
And paddled with the polished throat, and pressed
His hot and beating heart upon her chill and icy breast.

It was as if Numidian javelins
Pierced through and through his wild and whirling brain,
And his nerves thrilled like throbbing violins
In exquisite pulsation, and the pain
Was such sweet anguish that he never drew
His lips from hers till overhead the lark of warning flew.

They who have never seen the daylight peer
Into a darkened room, and drawn the curtain,
And with dull eyes and wearied from some dear
And worshipped body risen, they for certain
Will never know of what I try to sing,
How long the last kiss was, how fond and late his lingering.

The moon was girdled with a crystal rim,
The sign which shipmen say is ominous
Of wrath in heaven, the wan stars were dim,
And the low lightening east was tremulous
With the faint fluttering wings of flying dawn,
Ere from the silent sombre shrine his lover had withdrawn.

Down the steep rock with hurried feet and fast
Clomb the brave lad, and reached the cave of Pan,
And heard the goat-foot snoring as he passed,
And leapt upon a grassy knoll and ran
Like a young fawn unto an olive wood
Which in a shady valley by the well-built city stood;

And sought a little stream, which well he knew,
For oftentimes with boyish careless shout
The green and crested grebe he would pursue,
Or snare in woven net the silver trout,
And down amid the startled reeds he lay
Panting in breathless sweet affright, and waited for the day.

On the green bank he lay, and let one hand
Dip in the cool dark eddies listlessly,
And soon the breath of morning came and fanned
His hot flushed cheeks, or lifted wantonly
The tangled curls from off his forehead, while
He on the running water gazed with strange and secret smile.

And soon the shepherd in rough woollen cloak
With his long crook undid the wattled cotes,
And from the stack a thin blue wreath of smoke
Curled through the air across the ripening oats,
And on the hill the yellow house-dog bayed
As through the crisp and rustling fern the heavy cattle strayed.

And when the light-foot mower went afield
Across the meadows laced with threaded dew,
And the sheep bleated on the misty weald,
And from its nest the waking corncrake flew,
Some woodmen saw him lying by the stream
And marvelled much that any lad so beautiful could seem,

Nor deemed him born of mortals, and one said,
‘It is young Hylas, that false runaway
Who with a Naiad now would make his bed
Forgetting Herakles,’ but others, ‘Nay,
It is Narcissus, his own paramour,
Those are the fond and crimson lips no woman can allure.’

And when they nearer came a third one cried,
‘It is young Dionysos who has hid
His spear and fawnskin by the river side
Weary of hunting with the Bassarid,
And wise indeed were we away to fly:
They live not long who on the gods immortal come to spy.’

So turned they back, and feared to look behind,
And told the timid swain how they had seen
Amid the reeds some woodland god reclined,
And no man dared to cross the open green,
And on that day no olive-tree was slain,
Nor rushes cut, but all deserted was the fair domain,

Save when the neat-herd’s lad, his empty pail
Well slung upon his back, with leap and bound
Raced on the other side, and stopped to hail,
Hoping that he some comrade new had found,
And gat no answer, and then half afraid
Passed on his simple way, or down the still and silent glade

A little girl ran laughing from the farm,
Not thinking of love’s secret mysteries,
And when she saw the white and gleaming arm
And all his manlihood, with longing eyes
Whose passion mocked her sweet virginity
Watched him awhile, and then stole back sadly and wearily.

Far off he heard the city’s hum and noise,
And now and then the shriller laughter where
The passionate purity of brown-limbed boys
Wrestled or raced in the clear healthful air,
And now and then a little tinkling bell
As the shorn wether led the sheep down to the mossy well.

Through the grey willows danced the fretful gnat,
The grasshopper chirped idly from the tree,
In sleek and oily coat the water-rat
Breasting the little ripples manfully
Made for the wild-duck’s nest, from bough to bough
Hopped the shy finch, and the huge tortoise crept across the
slough.

On the faint wind floated the silky seeds
As the bright scythe swept through the waving grass,
The ouzel-**** splashed circles in the reeds
And flecked with silver whorls the forest’s glass,
Which scarce had caught again its imagery
Ere from its bed the dusky tench leapt at the dragon-fly.

But little care had he for any thing
Though up and down the beech the squirrel played,
And from the copse the linnet ‘gan to sing
To its brown mate its sweetest serenade;
Ah! little care indeed, for he had seen
The ******* of Pallas and the naked wonder of the Queen.

But when the herdsman called his straggling goats
With whistling pipe across the rocky road,
And the shard-beetle with its trumpet-notes
Boomed through the darkening woods, and seemed to bode
Of coming storm, and the belated crane
Passed homeward like a shadow, and the dull big drops of rain

Fell on the pattering fig-leaves, up he rose,
And from the gloomy forest went his way
Past sombre homestead and wet orchard-close,
And came at last unto a little quay,
And called his mates aboard, and took his seat
On the high ****, and pushed from land, and loosed the dripping
sheet,

And steered across the bay, and when nine suns
Passed down the long and laddered way of gold,
And nine pale moons had breathed their orisons
To the chaste stars their confessors, or told
Their dearest secret to the downy moth
That will not fly at noonday, through the foam and surging froth

Came a great owl with yellow sulphurous eyes
And lit upon the ship, whose timbers creaked
As though the lading of three argosies
Were in the hold, and flapped its wings and shrieked,
And darkness straightway stole across the deep,
Sheathed was Orion’s sword, dread Mars himself fled down the steep,

And the moon hid behind a tawny mask
Of drifting cloud, and from the ocean’s marge
Rose the red plume, the huge and horned casque,
The seven-cubit spear, the brazen targe!
And clad in bright and burnished panoply
Athena strode across the stretch of sick and shivering sea!

To the dull sailors’ sight her loosened looks
Seemed like the jagged storm-rack, and her feet
Only the spume that floats on hidden rocks,
And, marking how the rising waters beat
Against the rolling ship, the pilot cried
To the young helmsman at the stern to luff to windward side

But he, the overbold adulterer,
A dear profaner of great mysteries,
An ardent amorous idolater,
When he beheld those grand relentless eyes
Laughed loud for joy, and crying out ‘I come’
Leapt from the lofty **** into the chill and churning foam.

Then fell from the high heaven one bright star,
One dancer left the circling galaxy,
And back to Athens on her clattering car
In all the pride of venged divinity
Pale Pallas swept with shrill and steely clank,
And a few gurgling bubbles rose where her boy lover sank.

And the mast shuddered as the gaunt owl flew
With mocking hoots after the wrathful Queen,
And the old pilot bade the trembling crew
Hoist the big sail, and told how he had seen
Close to the stern a dim and giant form,
And like a dipping swallow the stout ship dashed through the storm.

And no man dared to speak of Charmides
Deeming that he some evil thing had wrought,
And when they reached the strait Symplegades
They beached their galley on the shore, and sought
The toll-gate of the city hastily,
And in the market showed their brown and pictured pottery.

— The End —