Saturday, March 19, 2011

Song without Music

If someone sees what’s coming they imagine where it ends.
The words cannot sing without lifting their little wings.
The air floating the body is filled usually with music.
Aging birds die by leaving a claw on the wire as they fly.
Only at the beginning and the end of flight is this so.
If the music lies between the arms of the wind, it soars.

What’s coming is what’s gone and has no need to live again.
If only the gods would release their children they could die.
Aphrodite sees herself in the reflection of sea foam.
Her body welling up in ecstasy is what she knew.
Dionysus preens on the mountain before dancing down.
Women in thrall follow him everywhere he leads them.

But they are the singers of nothing but flesh and blood.
Dionysus would wait until Aphrodite came to him.
She has no reason to love him unless she’s addicted.
Love then would be nakedness, orgasm, childbirth, tragedy.
Orpheus begins with tragedy and never leaves there.
It is so tempting to believe a song must have its music.

He loved the one who pricked her finger with a poisoned thorn.
He could call her by any name he was brave enough to know.
She lived half the year below the earth, half the year up here.
It is when she goes down there she knows what is coming next.
He who pays the rent in such hell uses her for money.
A woman who grows corn mothers her the rest of the year.

There were cults springing up everywhere but sequestered.
No one but initiates could enter the abandoned cave.
Her mother kept her safe under the sky and warm in her arms.
Of course Orpheus found her there and she fell in love with him.
It was a long fall all the distance from here to hell’s pillows.
You cannot imagine what she knew by feeling her pulse.

Does anyone need to declare there is no harvest above?
All the blood pools up here and the flesh is scattered below.
The tenant of hell with all his women can spare one.
If you do not know the story from here remember the climb.
Ice at first, then shale, sound of water, song from meadows.
Aphrodite heard Dionysus singing and there they were.

The sea became part of the mountain and is wearing it down.
The mother of Eurydice does not know Orpheus.
He turns around to ask his beloved, Who is your father?
The clouds are too low to get out of the way of lightning.
When a flock of birds fly up they still mean death is here.
When a god sings without her he knows his music will die.

(19 March 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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