Altars


1.

Bulky black rocks beat back

the tide toward the lonely lighthouse,

sole beacon of aid in the skittish sea.


Venus paddles past on her half-shell,

beaming as the archetype of beauty,

lithe legs extending as living oars.


Green, blue, white, gray -- colors

roil in waves surfacing for air.

Breath baptizes the pagan Aegean.


2.

Ancient Greek ghosts inhabit

the ragged coast. Bays of solitude

beckon. Weary Odysseus squirms.


Sail beyond Sirens, Calypso,

all embodiments of evil. No mast’s

lashes can hold back temptation.


Home again, nothing stays the same.

Jealousy, lust, betrayal paint a portrait

of world-weariness. Sailor seeks his bow.


3.

I wander the ruins of Agamemnon’s palace,

Giant rocks on hillside overlooking

infinity. Kingdoms conquer space.


Massive lintels defy gravity, rebuff the trail

of failure. Long, black ships sprout wings,

rise above melodrama, build altars to Apollo.


Light, order, reason cannot create epic poems.

Passion holds the helm, guides the rudder.

To suffer is to dine on freshly killed offerings.

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