20. “Here Today, Here Tomorrow”

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Centering Heracles,
God of Strength and Heroism:

The days are long.

        But no, that's wrong.

     The days are short and monotonous,
       coming one after the next,
          never-ending,
             forever.

     That's something they don't tell you,
  before you become a god.
        The days
          are
       tedious!

Hebe doesn't understand.
     She's never been mortal,
  then suddenly not,
     surrounded by fires,
     surrounded by mourners,
     surrounded by grave-dirt,
  then suddenly stars.
Hebe was crafted to be a goddess,
        forever perfect,
   while I'm forever a lump of clay,
wedged in my mountainside nook.

     I haven't moved in--
          days?
       centuries?
          The time no longer matters.
          The muscle no longer requires release.
     I haven't moved since finding a vantage
          through the clouds,
  onto the war below.

     What is taking the Achaeans so long?

With Peleus and Telemon at my side,
     I broke Troy's wall in a day,
     I laid waste to its towers,
     I slayed its princes,
  and returned to camp in time for dinner!

Ah, but these are new times,
     and those are new walls,
  and our pretty-boy captive
        is now the King of Troy,
     and calls himself Priam,
and taunts the men of a thousand enemy ships.

I could break those walls,
          if I wanted to,
     and return to Olympus before Ganymede pours the cups
with Priam as my once-again captive.

     I'm a god now,
          the god of strength,
          the god of heroism,
          the god of completed tasks,
       or just another god of indecision and inaction
               as the world,
                  far below,
             turns and turns and turns
          without me in it.

I'm tempted to wipe these Achaeans from the field,
          to show them what real rage feels like
     and launch another thousand ships as replacements,

          despite all I'd have to endure:
               the wrath of Athena,
               the enmity of Hera,
               the rage of Poseidon,
          and a possible lecture from Zeus.

Would it be worth the effort?
     Possibly.
  But I have time yet to decide.
I'll be here today and here again tomorrow.
     I'll have every day of forever to wait,
          at the pace Agamemnon's army has set.

EPIC CYCLE ROADMAP:

* The Kypria
* The Iliad
* The Posthomerica
* Tales of Nostos
* The Odyssey
* The Telegony
* The Aeneid
  Rage is the first book of the Iliad. Amazons is the first book of the Posthomerica.
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