Archive for the ‘epic poetry’ Category

Flight of ashes

Posted: May 9, 2011 in epic poetry


I should have known this world was an insect, it is

Posed like a fly about to take flight, earning

Her name-right. Preening her wings with black hands, she has

Her orbed eyes are on me, she sees me here now

Infinitesimal, immeasurable, small.

She is a fly, this world, floating in my bathtub,

Tiny black legs fly-paddling through my bath water.

Shift your eyes, don’t concentrate on her, look away!

Man, you will lose all sense mesmerized by her,

Reality will be re-named and shifted,

In the wet flutterings of her wings you are lost,

Rather close those deceptive eyes that enlarge her.

Climb into the bathtub, maybe the displacement

Of the water will cause her to start and fly off.

(Unless, of course, she is stuck, her wet wings useless,

And then the water ruined by this minute world!)

Don’t imagine it, man, (your eyes closed seeing

Still her insectile form swimming) just climb in there,

That’s it, one foot at a time, the temperature

Of the water is just right, not too hot or cold.

The idea is to sink into the water,

To soak your hardened muscles into rubber,

Okay, sinking, got to open my eyes, focus-

Don’t want to slip and fall, rather grip the sides, yes.

That’s it, now I’m in, the water a perfect height,

The tops of my knees just sticking out, floating there,

The water comes to my chest, lots of breathing room.

Is she in here with me? Swimming around? Hidden?

Infinitesimal, immeasurable, small.

No, don’t look for her, focus on anything else.

The light bulb, yes, look up at that, your green light bulb.

Why did I put a green light bulb in here? Seems strange,

I wanted some ambience, white light is so harsh,

Green seems comfortable, welcoming, nurturing,

Like a big green sun for my photosynthesis.

I feel so plant-like now, a peaceful lily pad.

But look how it makes my skin green, pale and sickly!

The illusion made all the more ghastly by the

Water moving in gentle ripples over this

Unnatural form, this lanky-legged goblin,

Contaminated, adulterated, tainted.

I have to get out of here! This tub sickens me!

It was the fly, her world polluted the water!

Now the soothing heat of the tranquil liquid and

The alluring ambience of the calming light,

Has made my body weak, my mind unsuspecting,

A trap I saw all along and still crawled into.

I can never escape, I am forever bound.

Here in my watery prison I need to find

A peace, a focal point, some kind of harmony.

For if the fly truly caught me (as a spider

Would catch the unsuspecting fly in its webbing)

Than I need a clear head for the moment of fight,

For when she comes to feed on the prey she has caught.

I must sustain some level of strength, some power,

I must forge a weapon of my eyes to defeat

That miniscule tyrant of the bath water, she

That has disturbed my rest and sought out in me

A fight that I never intended or fore-saw.

So I scan this porcelain cell for my weapon.

I see the bulb first, but so far away, useless,

It cast its light, making everything look green.

The walls are square tiles, inseparable, useless,

(For how could a prisoner wield the very walls?)

The water tap is dripping, a torturous sound,

I cannot trust the source of her soggy ambush.

From the overflow drain my eyes quickly advert,

(Imagining hordes of flies marching from its gap.)

To my floating knees I finally focus, yes

This is the answer! My knees are a part of me,

They can be trusted and wielded for my success!

I cast my eyes out towards the caps of my knees…


The top of the mountain permits a clear view of

The sea, it is colored pale green by the sun.

Epimetheus walks down towards the shoreline,

(This is not difficult as the surface of the

Mountain is smooth, with only sparsely growing

Plants that are so thin they resemble giant hairs.)

He hesitates before testing the water though,

He thinks; ‘This is not like you, Epimetheus,

‘It is not your nature to stop and to ponder,

‘You have been called upon as a warrior,

‘You must brave the water, though strangely green, as

‘Odysseus once braved the Aegean Sea.’

So the hero dives, both hands first, into the sea.

The water is not too hot, nor too cold, but luke,

He swims to the deepest of the green depths and here

Epimetheus finds an ancient tree root,

Wrinkled and stunted with age, floating in the deeps.

This is the oracle Homunculus, to which

Epimetheus asks; ‘Ancient oracle,

‘To what purpose have I been summoned hither,

‘To this vacant green sea of floating mountain-hills?’

Which Homunculus answers ‘Epimetheus,

‘You have been called to destroy Petoketos,

‘The great monster that pollutes the waters of Bath.’

With his answer Epimetheus swims back up

To the surface of the great body of water.

He has come to a cliff face of the same substance

As the mountain he scaled down from earlier.

Swimming around to the back of this greater mass,

Epimetheus enters a cave of darkness.

Suddenly the hero finds himself face to face

With a gigantic monster! Her skin black as night,

With deadly spikes numbering twelve times twelve times twelve,

Her body paddling along with one hundred legs,

Her great head containing one hundred bulbous eyes.

This was the tyrant fly known as Petoketos.

Now Epimetheus had no sword, nor sickle,

Not even wit enough to battle the monster,

All Epimetheus had was courage with which

He rushed Petoketos and with one arm swung,

And mounted the beast broad back as he would a horse.

Then the hero broke off one of the long black spikes

That numbered Petoketos’ skin, and with it

Epimetheus pierced one the monsters eyes.

This angered the fiend so much that she took flight,

Splashing out from the green sea in a great fury.

His mount tried to spin and lose Epimetheus,

But the champion held tight with all his courage.

At first Epimetheus thought to steer his steed

Toward the great black hole that appeared above

The water. But then he imagined this drain

As being the fiends’ place of origin, and from it

Hordes of similar black menaces may overflow.

Just above the drain was Epimetheus spied

The end of a great steel aqueduct, with water

Falling off of it in drops, ‘The source of the sea,’

Epimetheus thought, ‘I must not plug up with

‘The filthy body of this terrible tyrant.

‘As well I must not crash us into these massive

Square tiled walls, clearly erected for the gods.’

At last the rider realizes the path to glory,

‘I must fly us too close to the green sun and burn

‘The wings off of this fly!’ says Epimetheus.

And towards the sun he steers her, till its heat melts

The beast wings and as one they fall, Petoketos

And Epimetheus, plunging into the sea.

The monster was destroyed. Epimetheus,

Floating on the waters surface, witnessed the

Cliffs and mountains shake and rise from the ocean,

Then a rushing sound began and the water was 

Drained away around Epimetheus, till

All was barren. The hero stood on a white floor.