It looks like today, tomorrow, and the day following, I’ll have about eight poems to do per day.
I’m fairly happy with this first batch–how do you like them? They are presented here in random order.
The glory of heroes from birth were you,
who even as a child had the grasp of Gigantes,
and with two hands swift and sure
you took the bodies of the two serpent assassins
and wrung the life from their forms
as their poisons would have done to your body
and that of your brother, Iphikles–
for it was in your nature to be a savior
to others in their times of need from the moment
when you emerged from your mother’s blessed womb.
Khaire Herakles Soter!
To you, son of Odin, husband of Idunn,
I send a word of praise and ask a prayer
that my eloquence be a twentieth of yours.
In every hair of your long beard
braided and plaited into tree-like strands
there are a hundred sagas, a thousand verses,
of Aesir and Vanir and Jotun, of elves and humans,
of dwarves and wights and every being–
may I be worthy to unbraid one of your hairs
and sing the songs that are woven within it.
I shall sing the praises of the worthy hostage,
noble Njördr, the generous giver,
the father of Freyja and Freyr,
who delights not in mountain-wolves’ howls
but instead in the songs of sea birds on shore:
may your indomitable chariot carry on
beyond the fires and dust of Ragnarök
when a god with beautiful feet will rule
among the Aesir, but your two feet more lovely still
shall stand proud again over Vanaheim.
Julian the Philosopher
Your words have praised many gods,
your words defined the worship of the gods
against the new dispensation of limited divinity;
you did not stint in singing of the Great Mother
nor of the celestial sovereign Helios,
and you heaped praises upon the good Emperors,
your predecessors in holding the Numen Augusti,
but you withheld praise from one god
who deserves it now as much as in the past:
praise him, O Philosopher, and I will praise you.
If the pulse of a heart’s beating,
if the swelling of lungs within chests,
if the flaring of nostrils at inhalation,
if the humming of vocal cords in speech,
if the movement of tongue against palate,
if the motion of jaws upon the face,
if the flashing of eyes across words,
if the scribing of pens upon paper
were thought to be a dance of the body’s limbs,
then in your honor, Lady Hathor,
is this dance dedicated.
Songs for the Tetrad++
Mark how Panpsyche, first of the siblings,
carries herself as a queen among goddesses,
a glorious being beloved of humans–
the flower of womanhood sprouting in strange soil,
an image of eloquence and a beacon of light
for those who have self-knowledge soul-deep.
See the intrepid Panhyle striding upon the ground
with feet firmly planted in inner strength,
a god among gods, a holy power of fame:
he is a man secure in masculinity, that thing more frail
than the precarious symmetry of a snowflake in summer,
from whom many might learn such authenticity.
Do not fail to notice Paneros, e who is unusual
in comparison to parents and colleagues divine,
and yet most beloved of the Six called Four–
the metagender race is sir descendants, and eir parents,
those who may love and be loved by all
no matter what shape their body’s limbs may have.
And observe Pancrates, sie who is all-powerful,
the pillar that braces all the universe
against the onslaught of total chaos:
there is no gender outside hir, no form of body
which sie has not known or been or become
though many still do not recognize hir name.
Look upon the fifth, Paneros, and see your delight
before he becomes she, or she becomes he,
whether your delight remains or not–no matter,
for the flux of eternal transformation, transition,
transgression, and even transubstantiation
is the very nature of her and him always.
ANd though you may not see the sixth, Panprosdexia,
among the shadows between genders, the void
amidst the pleasures of sex, they can see you
with two black onyx pools–their eyes–viewing all,
absent bias of love and hate, without rejection,
they who receive all…be praised, each one!
A thousand runners from Marathon could not surpass
the sadness of the news of your defeat to death;
a hundred fleets of ships to the far shores of Ilion
would be insufficient to repay the offense of your taking;
ten titanesses could not come with reparations enough
to reunite your foster-father with the joys of the gods.
But one voice, now, is all it takes today
to remember you and praise you for your life–
though short, precious; though ended too soon,
etched into the very roof-beams of the heavens.
The light of the moon is not your own light;
the pleasures of fragrant flowers aren’t yours;
not from you is the cool darkness of night;
and on your wings no phoenix above soars.
The thyrsus, an attribute just borrowed,
the caduceus stolen from the stealer;
for lotus, Apollon has not sorrowed,
and no sacred serpent is your healer.
And yet, a god in all Olympus’ halls
cannot compare with the way your hair falls.