how is it
the promise of sight
bodies, bloated and rotten
littering the beach
It probably wasn’t such a good idea -
History is littered with the carcasses
studiously avoided by those who thank the gods that someone else got it this time
of brave and foolhardy alike.
But hubris is tempted by false praise, especially when it comes from the tongue of the rich and powerful.
I suppose it was like an Olympian
Battle of the Bands,
with a little gladitorial, Roller Ball-ishness thrown in for the entertainment of those divine sponsors.
It was her own daughters, gloriously feather-clad in rainment meant to defy even death, that were set against her sisters and herself.
The warm-ups, the last-minute run-throughs, scales in every mode known to man, and probably in some only known to the gods -
I wonder if it was just three judges, or perhaps, like an ancient “world’s got talent”, a studio audience filled the space.
I’m sure there must have been a bit of anxiety backstage — to be competing for the world prize of music, against your own kin — did they shoot each other dagger-stares? Or clasp one another in true familial love?
The sounds that must have floated over the sea, rising to the distant clouds above. The sounds and songs, of upper and lower worlds,
set, for some meaningless title, one against the other.
Some say the losers fled, and fell into the sea, their bodies stripped by the victors of the boon of a goddess, leaving their bodies white as bone, while the Muses, those fabulous Muses, fashioned those feathers into crowns about their head.
But Terpischore, sad Terpischore, never got her crown — perhaps it was a snub from her sisters for having raised such daughters as would have the gall to challenge them, or perhaps, the smell of blood simply too much for her heart. I like to think that she must have stood upon the heights of Aptera (which means featherless, surely you knew?) and shed a tear, for the lost Sirens.
whispers of Aegean wind
through gleaming pinions:
i cannot find them,