Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I am heading across the seas to Edinburgh, Scotland and the Theatre Festival. As I bid a fond farewell to Hellas, I am reminded of a conversation I had while here. Someone asked me who my favorite God was of the 12 Olympians. Owning a sailboat, the first one that came to my mind was Poseidon, but I have since switched to Hephaestus. Still, I figured I should write an ode to Poseidon just to keep things on an even keel next time I'm on my boat.
So here goes...

I hear your Neptune.

The sea murmurs its sweet Saronic song.
A fishing boat cuts a soft V in the iridescent plain.
A donkey brays.
The wine glass sweats.

There is a conspiracy afoot.
It is carried on the dry evening breeze and whispered to my skin.

Where is your toga? it asks.

You look ridiculous in modern clothes, It says.

I swim in your elixir where the time smoothed rocks- each one separate, perfect, holy- spiced with the black star bursts of those spiny sea urchins that are so ready to turn the errant toe into a speckled pin cushion.

A flag flutters your code words.
A plot is afoot.
And Salt, the messenger.

Your evidence is everywhere.
In the calloused hands of the ferry boat captain you can read the palm of Odysseus.
In the watery eyes of the widow shuffling down a white washed alley sound the echoes of Medea's silence, watching Jason flirt.

O Poseidon.
It's the salt that speaks your name.
I feel you like I feel the salt drying on my skin.
That tightness against my pores.
That's you.
I feel you like the sea salt on my food that stings so lovingly.
How did you get so perfectly sprinkled on this french fry?
Were you waiting all day in that shaker?
Just for me?
I tasted you earlier today when I dove off the cliff into your turquoise. You filled my mouth with the sharp tang of countless sunsets.
You burn a message to my lips in the cracks the wind has made.
You cauterize my wounds and heal my longing.
I feel you in my sweat.
A drop of you crawls between my shoulder blades.
The wind cools its trail.
You pool in the small of my back.

Your salt , Poseidon, is the residue of time.
It is the stain of the seaman's toil.
The memory of hardship.
The remnant of the sun.
It is the remains of tears.
The last thing we'll feel.
The first thing we'll grieve.
I taste the salt of your Myth, Poseidon.
It is the dust of the sea.

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