Elysium



Here lies the end of the daylight dream,

here the last of the brightest beams

of yearning, spread wide to open the gates

of Elysium. Slide in and wander

the isles of the blesséd, who practice

all virtues of the dead, drenched

in paradisiacal joy. Fields of flax wave

in the wind, waiting to be woven

into blades of iron, residue of the gods,

who offer no hope, their lives wracked

by eons of ruin, by errancy, and the drunkenness

of war. Their powers crumble into dust.


And so they wrestle with relevance,

these wayward deities, invoked only

to broadcast beams of a more than

earthly beyond, not the glory of the sword,

nor Trojans' blackened blood,

but the lure of ambrosia's delight.

Sailors row to Olympus' crest, strut their best

in Athena's wake, pray for a laurel

in the name of courage, or a reckoning

of the unreason that forced them

deep into the wine-dark sea. There,

immortals flail, bereft of the will to live.


Here stands a wall as tall as the arc

of Icarus' flight, high over the bay of mortality

that welcomed his melted wings, that mated

his heedless fling into the void with the pleasure

of forbidden heights. Elysium bids him come,

without fanfare or drum, just the saddened

chants of sirens and Charon's beating of the oars.

Call this the magic of myth, the golden renown

of Greece, no warrior abandoned to the bier,

no poet plucking on his lyre without a paean

to the past. Elysium calls, but who can hear?

The prudent, the prince, those bereft of fear?



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