Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 23, 2013

Neptunalia: Antinous and Poseidon

Today is the Roman festival of Neptunalia, which is the day for the syncretism festival of Antinous and Poseidon. Some poems for this occasion can be found from years past here and here. And now, a new one!

Antinous and Poseidon

Their king rarely stands above his waves,
like most-ancient hands direct their surge
and churn all the sea to caps of white
causing gulls to flee and shores to shake
as Poseidon, sound, beneath the blue,
with dolphin as hound, the whole earth’s churn.

A glance at him made every heart churn
and vertigo stayed with flushing waves
at the sight of boy against sky’s blue;
but without guile’s ploy or lustful surge
Antinous, youth, made princes shake
from fragrant hair, tooth, like sea’s pearl, white.

His visage was not always thus, white-
bearded, seashells caught from current’s churn
within it; from old, his head would shake
with cascading bold locks in great waves
which caused Nerites’ desire to surge,
lost–as poet says–in eye-pools blue.

The Aegean’s deep an azure blue
and by cliffside steep the sand was white:
the memory came like ocean’s surge
frequently to frame, in mind’s thought-churn,
Hadrian’s picture of boy who waves
in starlight’s tincture and Nile’s flood shake.

His mother-in-law’s death was rude shake,
as death gave him pause, made his mood blue,
visited and reigned in several waves;
Pelops died but gained a shoulder white
with ivory, not marred by cauldron’s churn
as love was not barred from sea-god’s surge.

Youth turned divine met sea-god in surge
of Nile’s river wet, from cold the shake
came over bodies as feet were churn
for silt, oddities from depths of blue
surfaced like the dove of goddess white
who blesses with love from Cyprus’ waves…

Old loves did not purge in new love’s surge
but instead stayed true while sea’s dark blue
rocked, made the earth quake as heartbeat’s shake
and eyes flashing bright amid caps white
spared skins from sun’s burn, their fleshes then churn
as memory saves–new love’s fresh waves…

The new lovers surge, their eyes flash blue,
from passion they shake while flecks of white
from bodies soon churn and gush in waves.


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