Monday, June 27, 2011


Old white-haired Zeus, you don't fool me.
I see the dent Athena left in your dome,
And the way you've taken to wearing
Your pants
Almost up to your
The way you're prone to wandering
The pharmacy lanes
For something for
Your hemorrhoids and chilblains
Isn't godlike.
It isn't even manly.

...and now you come as a frothy swan,
a styrofoam cup in a bird bath...
Well, you're too late.

Night came across the water as I was bathing--
I couldn't see,
And she was just as ill-tempered as they say.

What could I do except to wrap myself around her, smooth and wet,
And that neck,
So long,
I had to kiss its every feather in order to believe in it.

Tired Zeus, a dark storm has settled over my world,
And I live inside,
Bitch and bride,
Marked by her and owned.
It's really no place
For an old man to be,
Disguised, decrepit, alone.


for Form Monday at One Stop Poetry


hedgewitch said...

For a moment I was lulled into the idea that this was a humorous poem. I think not. You shift from the general to the very private and sensual without missing a step and manage to paint two different pictures of seduction at the same time so that they become interrelated reflections. Loved it.

Daryl said...

I have read this 3 times now and need to wait, come back and read it again .. so powerful

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Absolutely fantastic! Whew!

Beachanny said...

Every time I read one of your poems, I don't think it can be better than the last. (I do have some strong favorites that made me cry or pulled at some emotion long thought to be drowned). But every work of yours is stronger, different, turns in a new and different way. You are fearless in plumbing your depths and brilliant in the ways you access them.
Always excellent, how could we all not fall in love with you?

Brian Miller said...

poor zeus, not even very manly any more...sound like you found the better place anyway...long neck would have swept me away as well...necks are much nicer than ears...

Hannah Stephenson said...

YEAH! Super triumphant--so shaming and belittling of Zeus. Just awesome.

Mama Zen said...

Wow. I love every word of this.

mac said...

Zeus can hang out with Neitzsche.
I'd take the long neck too .

HermanTurnip said...

Loved the way you wrapped this whole thing up. Convert this into an after-school special and I think we could all learn something...

Sioux said...

For those who don't read the labels for your poems, tney're missing out. Today, they're missing out on a bit of Annie Lennox.

I seriously cannot fathom what your brain looks like as you're creating these poems. The neurons must be firing like crazy (or something like that; I'm no science major).

Lolamouse said...

Poor Zeus. I imagine him as a doddering old fool wandering the aisles at Walmart, with a perplexed look on his face. Sad, really.

signed...bkm said...

I sense Zeus here holds a much deeper meaning than what floats across the surface of this write...introsceptive and intiguing ....bkm

Cloudia said...

unique mixture of the classic and the Fireblossom !

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral


> < } } ( ° >

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Lynn said...

This one boggles my mind!

Sara said...

Like hedgewitch, I almost thought this would a funny poem, but instead it seems very contemplative to me and personal. As usual, your imagery is so captivating..Zeus, as the old man and the black swan...they will stay with me today:~)

Where I live they do what's called "controlled burns" in the forests because the underbrush so thick it becomes more of fire hazard than the controlled burn.

After one of these burns, the areas look decimated -- black with no life. Then, two weeks later, there's all this bright green popping up through the charred surface. It always amazes me how determined life can be to live.

I'm not sure why this came up and how relevant it is, but I'm leaving it anyway:~)

Jannie Funster said...

Boggles me too, but I freaking love it!

I have known and have been one of those with pants up to armpits.

Much more I could say, like about those old armpit pants men smoking pipes in the hardware store too, but I think I shan't, and say I did. :)

Have fun today.

Laugh loudly for no reason. :)


Kerry O'Connor said...

I never grow tired of your unique perspective on the world... How utterly inspired to turn the story of Leda around in this way, and what a lampooning Of Zeus!! I love an iconoclast.

Tabitha said...

I LOVED THIS !!!!!!!!!

Holland said...

Another wonderful poem. Don't we all know some of them... some of them want to use you, some of them want to be used...

Anonymous said...

My first instinct was to of course be amused by the imagery of Zeus as anything less than -well- Olympian. But then...

"a styrofoam cup in a birdbath"

Damn! Remind me not to get on your bad side, okay?

And the last stanza - simultaneously lovely and daunting.

Once the man behind the curtain is revealed...

Most excellent write Fireblossom.

LL Cool Joe said...

The neck part got me. What is it with necks?

Anonymous said...

i love the way you form myths, Shay. myths, fables, fairy tales... your poetry transcends them all with the dark beauty of your words. stunning!

Jenny said...

Oh my. CAN write! I'm so short of time this week, but I'm going to come back and read until my eyes bruise when my Grands are gone for ten days!

Absolutely brilliant imagery.