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David W. Parsley

Athena and the Zeushead

4 posts in this topic

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Revision 2 (with punctuation)

 

Athena and the Zeushead

How it really went down

 

There would be no keeping this quiet
with the formidable little tyke
squalling to the high heavens

in the pool of fluids still

oozing like lava from the
dilated cheekbone splattering off his

(till now) massively prideful shoulder.
No there won't be a soul
not informed on the subject

by morning and Hera will get all
spun up again about another
of his likely stories.  He sees

 

the plots start cooking themselves
into a brew behind the puckered
forehead while she revisits

the tawdry list of heifers and swans
at some point triumphantly dragging
Argus from whatever he had

gotten back around to since
his last assignment - all
his eyes blinking, at least six

of them fixing Zeus in resentful
disappointment now that they would
be spending more quality time together.

Cronus be praised the pain was easing!
He hadn't roared so lustily since
that crackling kidney stone

 

passed with phallic glory

landing with a sizzle to ignite

nearby cypresses and roof thatch.

Just look at the kid grow
like weed before his eyes.
At least she wouldn't be another

mouth to feed.  Indeed, isn't there

anyone in the gathering crowd
who could throw a cloak around

the meteorically maturing girl before
she stands like one of his misplaced
lightning bolts shimmering

womanhood between earth and sky?
Each blink now robs him
a glimpse of the burgeoning wisdom

in those ever darker eyes, she is soon
to depart without a backward glance
like a composition he must abandon.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Revision 1

 

Athena and the Zeushead

(How it really went down)

 

 

There would be no keeping this quiet

With the formidable little tyke

Squalling to the high heavens

 

In the pool of fluids still

Oozing like a lava flow from the

Dilated cheekbone splattering off his

 

Till now massively prideful shoulder

No there won't be a soul

Not informed on the subject

 

By morning and Hera will get all

Spun up again about another

Of his likely stories and so

 

The plots start cooking themselves

Into a brew behind the puckered

Forehead while she revisits

 

The tawdry list of heifers and swans

At some point triumphantly dragging

Argus from whatever he had

 

Gotten back around to since

His last assignment

All his eyes blinking at least six

 

Of them fixing Zeus in resentful

Disappointment now that they would

Be spending more quality time together

 

Cronus be praised the pain was easing

He couldn't recall ripping so lusty a

Roar since that memorable episode with

 

The kidney stone when it fell crackling

To land igniting nearby cypresses

And rooftops just look at the kid grow

 

Like weed before his eyes she wouldn't

Be another mouth to feed indeed

Can't someone in the gathering crowd

 

Throw a cloak around the meteorically

Maturing girl before she stands like

One of his misplaced bolts shimmering

 

Womanhood between earth and sky

Each blink of his own now robs him

A glimpse of the burgeoning wisdom

 

In those ever darker eyes she is soon

To depart without a backward glance

Like a composition he must abandon

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Original

 

There would be no keeping this quiet

With the formidable little tyke

Squalling to the high heavens

 

In the pool of fluids still

Oozing like a lava flow from the

Dilated cheekbone splattering off his

 

Till now massively prideful shoulder

No there won't be a soul

Not informed on the subject

 

By morning and Hera will get all

Spun up again about another

Of his likely stories and so

 

The plots start cooking themselves

Into a brew behind the puckered

Forehead while she revisits

 

The tawdry list of heifers and swans

At some point triumphantly dragging

Argus from whatever he had

 

Gotten back around to since

His last assignment

All his eyes blinking with at least six

 

Of them fixing Zeus in resentful

Disappointment now that they would

Be spending more quality time together

 

Cronus be praised the pain was easing

He hadn't roared so lustily since

Passing that crackling kidney stone

 

Just look at the kid growing

Like a weed before his very eyes

At least she wouldn't be another

 

Mouth to feed at this rate

Indeed isn't there anyone nearby

Who could throw a cloak around

 

The meteorically maturing girl before

She stands like one of his misplaced

Lightning bolts shimmering

 

Womanhood between earth and sky

Each blink now robs him

A glimpse of the burgeoning wisdom

 

In those ever darker eyes she is soon

To depart without a backward glance

Like a composition he must abandon

 

 

previously unpublished

© 2017 David W. Parsley

Parsley Poetry Collection

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Just read this knowledgeable and entertaining tilt at the carnal capers of Zeus. There's also a well worked irony that due to the way of Athena's birth, she became the goddess of intelligence and wisdom.

Creation myths have survived through the ages and fed the minds of different cultures. Arguably none more fascinating nor intricate than the pantheon of ancient Greek gods.. Wonderful stories that evoke parallel thoughts of how well they have worn:- transpose perhaps into modern seductions by the great god IT and a philosophy of "alternative truths".

Perhaps human imagination is too infinite to remain indefinitely tethered to the physicality of a frail host. :-) Excellent fare. G.

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Thanks, Geoff. And thanks for the lead-in tilt of your own at "alternative truths/facts", since the poem itself takes a few liberties with the original story. It is a Snopes-like joke among the dozen or so that sprinkle this poem, presuming that Hesiod and the rest of the gang were a little off on the whole business of Athena supposedly springing out of Zeus's head fully clothed, armed, and bearing a shield. Nor does the faux revisionism end there, since the whole business reportedly occurred while Zeus was still with his first wife, Metis. It also implies that the famous intrigues featuring the lover transformed into a heifer and Zeus himself taking the form of a swan, all to camouflage his "carnal capers" (love that phrase!), actually were repeated more than one time each. I had a blast putting this thing together.

 

As always, feel free to make suggestions. I am not completely satisfied with how the diction works. Does everybody like the lack of punctuation? I think it adds to the sense of surprise and yields alternate readings at strategic points. True?

 

Thanks Again!

- Capering Dave

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I will be entering this into a contest within a few weeks.  At that time I will be obliged to hide this topic until the contest outcome is announced.  Any recommendations before then would be gratefully received.

 - Dave

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