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While on a hunting expedition, Actaeon had the ill fortune to spy Artemis bathing. Changed to a stag, his hounds tore him down; wandering aimlessly, they grieve their lost master afterwards.
Neptune Looks Down on Mortals
A Little Poetry on the Side A Quiet Godhammer Thinking Space!

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A Quiet Godhammer Thinking Space! A Quiet Godhammer Thinking Space!


Spider-lights went scampering up my back as I
    basked in lyric, ancient myth
And let a blind poet led from the past tell all man
    and me my fortune.
We milkbeards heard sloth undulations of dust-gilded
    sound as he, aloud, read
Of time before plastic, in a tome bound (like all good books)
    in leather.
And we lust a virgin god, but fear her shield, girt
    with the head of a Gorgon.
And we lie back, become as stone, and feel our minds,
    silence-honed, downward slip.

And we taste her sweet nectar, and we grope
    inside her sheep-woven slip,
And we creech and squeak and chatter, and found
    our own Together myth.
I am become swank Medusa; of snake siblings,
    one in three — a Gorgon
Prometheus, shackled against a crop of rock, howling
    at the sordid fortune
Of man, who long went cold, long munched raw flesh, low crouched
    in musky caves, wearing leather
Tunics the women chewed soft — unable,
    in the guttering godlight, to read.

And we, stripped islands, with unripe'd seed and dilute
    wine, we learned to read
More of life than pain, and even that great
    garden-grown slip
From grace was proved mundane. We went legend-sifting;
    mused on days when leather
Clad heroes struggled for their lot, and we knew
    their saga was not myth
But only truth, the rough paean of all hard men battered
    by fate — a fortune
Of former follies we could skirt this time, looking askance
    at the scale-faced Gorgon.

Uranos and Perseus; Herakles and Triton-these the names
    we used to gorge on
In our brown cloister, with its baked-brick floors. We dreamt
    of that which we read:
Olive stumps hewn into headboards, of Croesus and
    his sleek Minoan fortune,
The tawny Nemean garb and Persephone's dog and, speaking of which,
    we once let slip
Our very real belief in Hades, in rilles like Styx and Lethe. Remember
    the crippled smyth,
Hunched under the mountain, hammering gold? Nettled Hephaestus,
    who took untanned leather

And made it bronze, and whether he forged or twisted
    or laced, mail was made; leather
Worth fighting for. I want wingéd thongs when I find
    my thick-necked Gorgon,
And I want a polished shield. I want weapons worthy
    of my own sad pseudo-myth,
Where I'll have no bide to think, nor pause
    to skip ahead and read
The end. Alecto, hear me! Furl the modern flags, loose
    the blood-fed shades, let slip
Cerebus and all the traps of war. Bid we few
    who still seek faith try our hands at fortune.

No man answers, and I am alone, impotent Orpheus,
    with poems and a lyre for tune,
Wearing a shirt I bought at last year's Renfest, fingering
    the fringes of leather
As I gouge my eyes hollow and eat my hot children
    soup — and later I know I'll slip
Into bed, beaten. Old. For I know I can't cavort of nights, or
    creep, a slithering Gorgon,
& I cannot sit in pale drifts of witches' light, seeking vision
    in mead, and I cannot read
& I cannot dance. I mark the volume with a nylon ribbon,
    and set the dark bard aside, his myth

An empty urn now, and all fortune is come to this: you, my modern
    foil-feathered, petty Gorgon,
Are Adonis on the cheap, of tweed and leather, a cravat
    that goes to work but doesn't read
A single thing save dog-eared paper slips; quick outlines of day's
    drudge and the freedom myth.

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A Quiet Godhammer Thinking Space! Neptune Looks Down on Mortals
Mythology & Epic Poetry
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