Apr 232011
 

‘Artemis, with bow and quiver,
Stands aloft on Mount Olympus,
As the doe and hind, in silence,
Jump the clear and Star-lit river.

‘Swift they run. Like magic carpets
Are the green and silver forests.
Watch the bears – and bees with honey –
As the Goddess hits her target.

‘“Bravo, Sister!” beams Apollo –
Gazing at the sea below them –
“Never did you miss with arrow!”
Sinks the form of bold Orion”.

‘Lord Apollo watches, silent,
As the virgin’s beau drifts skyward.
Watches as the only question
O’er her virtue learns his lesson.

‘By a cedar stands she grieving,
Bows her head in shame, a-weeping,
Cries upon the smelted moon beams,
Chastens, then, her ruthless sibling.

‘“King of priests, my Lord Apollo,
‘Reasons for his death ring hollow.
While the muses – nine that love thee –
Contemplate their selves, you’d fool me!”

Laughs the god: “Your love’s a martyr,”
Facing fear the charging Taurus,
“Tempted by the Atlas daughters,
Girls who shine on lucid waters.”

Apr 232011
 

‘Then the son of old Poseidon –

He who roused Apollo’s hatred –
Shouts: “Assassin! Jealous brother,
Long it is for this you’ve waited.

‘”Sun-God, you designed my downfall
Cruelly, so the breath of sorrow
Falls anew on Winter evenings,
Feeds the dew each misty morrow.

‘“As the nymphs sang paeans, God,
You chose to then divulge my ‘fortune’,
Chose to fool your trusting sister,
Felled the seed of mighty Neptune.

‘”Jealous God, you made her shoot me
while I braved the deep, the blue sea,
Just because my foot was fleeter
And my love, God, that much sweeter!

‘”All shall know the truth of this:
The virgin loves, my Lord, my kiss,
The virgin loves, my Lord, my touch;
My Lord – she loves it – oh so much!”

‘“All on Earth shall know the real truth,
She has made me quite immortal.
Greatly shall this come to haunt you
Now I stand at Heaven’s portal.”

‘As he bathes in sun, Apollo,
Concentrates Orion’s sorrow,
Hail’s the starry-minded brothers,
Castor, Pollux, twins of Leda.

‘“Fare thee well, oh son of Zeus,
And how’s the child of Tyndareus?
Do me if you will, a favour,
Keep an eye on this old raver.

‘“Hale Orion scorns the heavens,
Struggles ‘gainst his fixed position.
Give the grave one bitter medicine,
‘Til he stands in soul submission.”

Apr 232011
 

‘Starman, brave, the hale Orion,
Laughs out loud: “These boys you fancy,
Golden king, are two-faced stunners!”
Now the hunter’s voice is angry.

‘“Why, pray tell, does noble Hera
Love the clawing, crabby creature?
Why, great Zeus, defend the Lion,
That which tortured all Nemea?

‘“Save me from that curse, Demeter,
Clamp the stinging beast of Ares,
Pluto halt the poisoned creeper.
Show me justice, I should meet her!

‘“By Olympus, I’m surrounded –
Gods, your beasts should all be grounded –
Yet I see my dogs are pining,
Faithful hounds are there compounded.”

‘Hearing truth, the god’s conceding
Forge three glyphs to raise the dog-star
High above. The bane of Thebans
Forms a flame to rival Ishtar.

“Centaur wise, the dearest Chiron,
Help me while away some hours,
Make of wine a crimson fountain,
Thus reclaim the heroes’ mountain.

Apr 232011
 

“Have a drink on me,” says Chiron
“Trouble not your self with worry.
Stand I guard; the heart of darkness
Sits behind me, far beyond thee.

“Child of Earth and Starry Heaven –
Lake of Memory; shun the cypress!”
From the stream that’s clear as crystal
Drinks Orion, knows he’s timeless.

‘“If I’m made to stand here waiting –
Forced by ties which bind, eternal -”
Hale Orion roars in fury,
“My revenge shall wax infernal!

‘”Long for I the Winter solstice,
When the Sea Goat meets the Sun King.
On that day the horn of plenty
Brims. How long will this event be?

‘“Might of oceans, old Poseidon,
Let the fishes  swim beside me?
Lest you grant this one diversion,
I shall die of boredom, nightly.

“Tell me this, as well, oh wise one,
When does Hades mete out mercy,
When young Eros drinks the ocean,
Aphrodite reaches thirty?

‘”Hestia’s hearth is icy cold,
Or Hermes sighs and says, ‘I’m old;’
Hera gives her heart to Echo,
Atlas cries and lets the Earth go?”

Apr 232011
 

‘From the swelling seas, un-silent,
Rising from the salt, through ether,
Neptune holds aloft his trident,
Cries: “The Spring has come; be patient!

As the centre of his offspring
Glows – outraged to so be lectured –
So much wisdom of the ages
Flows from father-ocean’s lectern:

‘“Take some good advice, Orion:
Watch and learn the way of heaven;
Time just moves around in circles,
From the fish becomes a turtle.”

“Onward then in time, a deluge
Caused a boar to swim the ocean;
Then the lion, Narasimha
Came before the dwarf Vamana.

“Then to life a noble hero
Sprang and rid the world of tyrants.
This made way for Rama’s charm,
Which came before the Bhagavad Gita.

“In this way the prince of paupers
Broke the wheel of earthly suffering;
Maybe, son, you’ll hear him teaching
In the realm of endless loving…”

‘“Thanks for nothing! Shouts Orion,
Show to me my loving mother.
She, at least, would save her scion.”
No; alas: She’s with his brother.’

‘Peering through the velvet darkness,
Seeks the Starman souls like-minded.
Souls who cry for freedom – ‘partners’ –
Ones to rend his endless bindings.

Apr 232011
 

‘Near, yet far, he spies another
In the spiral trap of Hera,
Milky star-way, whereupon is
Resting Perseus. Calls Orion:

‘”I have a plan to rout Olympus,
Woo the nymphs and plunder treasure,
Somehow try to storm Zakynthos,
Free the slaves and take my measure.”

‘“Maybe you – and then your brother –
Have some cause to join up forces?
Unified, we’d hold the weather,
This would bring immortals chaos?”

‘Half a sound is made by Perseus –
Just a calm, sub-sonic murmur –
Tone of one who’s done his duty:
‘Starman, you’re a cosmic learner’.

‘Peace is what we need in heaven –
This is all the wise are teaching –
Why not heed the words the water
Gave; why raise the fires against it?

Still the starman shuns his prison,
Rues the day his will was rendered
Helpless, though the sun has risen.
Never shall his soul surrender.

Apr 232011
 

‘So Orion tries the other –
One who killed the dreaded hydra –
Caught the boar of Erymanthes,
Spent a life in solid labour.

‘”Will you see, great Herakles
That we are stronger, still, together,
Strong enough to reach Elysium;
Gods are great, but we are better?

‘“Surely you, from that position –
That which marks the sun’s direction –
Could devise some plan to loosen
Ties which bind us in the heaven?

‘”Maybe you could snare the Cygnus
Or, perchance, the wild Aquila…
Else, pick up the Lyre, and swiftly;
Time does pass, but not too quickly!

‘“Now’s the time to break Olympus,
We’re the ones to end their incest;
This could be the final challenge.
Will you mark my words with interest?”

Apr 232011
 

‘Draws she near to bold Orion
Hoping, thus, to soothe his temper.
Points to one, the oldest Satyr,
He the muses loved to ride on.

‘“Bold Orion, please concede
That Crotus here – who lived and breathed –
Stands there now with arrows poised
To guard your captivated form.

‘“See as well the scales of justice,
Those with which the Lord Anubis
Weighed the souls of those departed,
Measured who should meet Osiris.

“Know thee not the queen of starlight
Calls to time: ‘Stand still, be halted’?
So shall she perform the black rite,
Bring to life the king through deep night?

‘Now Apollo speaks: “Your wisdom
Shines upon a hidden meaning;
You have placed him here with reason
On the font of deeper dreaming!

‘“Might he not recall the last life
When the stars by which you’ve bound him,
Shone upon Egyptian Pharaohs,
Helped them walk the sacred night, free?

“Queen of Egypt’s floodlit delta –
Isis – now returns, defensive.
Sirius picks up the pieces,
‘Fore the dawn can stun his senses –

Apr 232011
 

‘Then discern the Gods, Goddesses
That the one so named, ‘Orion,’
Calls to mind his ancient history,
Sees the wheels of time that move on.

‘‘Here’s the truth.’ He thinks in silence:
‘Now I comprehend my story.
Memories of the tears of Isis
Come and thus reveal my glory.

‘‘More than all the Gods of Greece
Could muster. Pales the golden fleece;
And yet that rogue – the Lord of tricks –
Has caught me in a spell of Nyx.

‘‘Something must rejoin the fragments
Here in time of Egypt’s ruler.
He’ll release the captured psyche
With a force that’s unifying.’

Apr 232011
 

‘Whilst Orion scans his life-line,
Golden God, Apollo, drones on,
Lecturing him to love the fortune
Which has favoured him, the brave one:

‘”Know thyself, you are not alone:
Standing beside Lord Zeus’s throne,
Leans the youth whose cup is flowing
O’er the Earth, and he’s not going!

‘”Lips more sweet than finest mead
Has the fair lad, Ganymede.
This victorious prince of Troy
Is now the God’s beloved boy!

‘”Weep as well for fair Callisto.
See the nymph in Ursa Major,
Maid of my beloved Sister?
Zeus’s fatal lust destroyed her.

‘“Stubborn Starman show some pity
For the nymphs and others like them,
Girls I’ve chased for countless decades;
Pity those who grieve for Hyas.

‘“Then be glad the dreaded Hyrdra
Lies beneath thy feet, not higher,
Praise the Lords you’re not poor Chiron,
Poisoned centaur, noble Titan!

‘”Look around thee in the Heaven –
Canine friend and sisters, seven
Comfort thee from loneliness –
Now count the stars, for thou art blessed!”

‘‘Vainest God!’ thinks hale Orion
I’ve a mind to rouse my lion,
Give the great beast reincarnation
End for good this indignation!

‘‘Powers come to raise Osiris:
Make me from the horns of Taurus
Such a crown. I’ll call on Isis,
Set on Greece the ire of Horus.’