|Oct/Nov 2013 Poetry|
Electronic/fiber artwork by Phillip Stearns
Of Gods, Love, and Grandma
For my thirteenth birthday, a friend gave me
a mini-radio, silvery, glinting at every twirl.
I sat under an orange tree in front of our house,
listened to a story, laughed now and then.
My Grandma asked why I was amused.
Poseidon was the Greek god of the sea, I told.
Like other gods, he raped the maidens of Arcadia
the way he did to Medusa in Athena's temple.
Athena turned away from the evil, but punished
Medusa, changed her hair to revolting snakes.
Grandma did not turn away her face;
she merely asked: Is that a reason to laugh?
But that was years ago. Grandma is dead.
Many wars have been fought,
many more women and girls have been raped.
Leaves have yellowed, reddened, fallen.
Everything will pass away, I know,
but not Grandma's voice and brown eyes,
deep with many stories untold,
many questions yet to be answered.
Story of Mother Antelope
Until the lion learns to speak, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. —African Proverb
Once upon a time on the prairie, the sun stretched its massive arms to embrace the earth,
and squeezed the dead and the living in between.
The ruler of the wild roared.
Was it at the sun?
The sweating animals shivered.
Is it our time to die?
But when the lion's voice thinned in the distance, the antelope kids said to their mom. "Mammy, mammy, tell us a story that we may have a peace of mind."
Their mother cleared her throat and told them a story. And when she was done, the kids wiped their eyes and said: "Why us, what have we done to them?"