Breathing in and Breathing out Mythology

If ever you should by chance encounter some snakes copulating
lest like Tiresias androgyny you start advocating
seek not the counsel of even the wisest of deities
and instead breathing deeply into shallow vales
where rattles give their place seek the council of whales

When vision Hypnos visits—
whose thoughts implore us
a journey take in underconscious—
with amazing alacrity:
who sees with any clarity?

Speeding slowly past the holy gates
of Erebos what souls shine
that are solely stolen from the Fates
from the horrible knowledge that glances
like the burning sun, seek not chances

Leftovers from the fevered feast
blithering butts of swift-swine
prickled wrath of the Erinyes:
suckling sows gift no kindness
itching sight into blindness

The herds of Hermes once pilfered from Apollo
are not always the most fortuitous guests
as razing fields and stampeding wolves suggests
though many forget and their elixir swallow,
habitually harried, haoma follows

A chariot rides a bit too close:
Phoebus flicking his wrist,
misses the red-burnt chorus
chanting as one: He sees us; He sees us!
as horses’ foam sprays and coats

Experience the heat of amour
without the distinct pleasure
feverous sweating amidst
Aphrodite’s displeasure
the choir is wondering What for?

Once, after smelling sweetest-Daphne-Artemis—
her fragrance wafting through branches assaults rank hounds—
I knew too late not to breathe deeply her essence
and though fortunately I knew not staghood
what wisdom stuffed me fully then words were not found!

Metamorphosing into a tree:
wondered I if the leaves would
wind their way into the wood,
therein transposing the once could be
from breathless flight to rememory…

Hearing not the admonishment of Hebe,
concerning more than fun, play and infancy
embarking on surrealist wax-filled fantasies
of fanciful flights following the free bee
sound diminishes now awfully slowly

Who it might be that astutely connects
astral feathery flight through the ionosphere
with this piercing dizzy knows the disconnects
when liquefying wax Icarus won’t fear
and neglecting father’s calls, falls, a killdeer

Naked vision of Poseidon’s fury—
seething foaming, salty spring deemed unworthy
after losing to Athena’s olive tree—
pronely shivering on a wave-crashed blustery
lonely island in the cursed cold wintry sea

When the fetus Athena grows
gestating pains of kicking slows
not, so soothing Zeus’ aches shows
naught but ignorance in shadows flees
disillusionment the captive pleas

Then, the instant the infant Athena’s born
the aches like bursting open turn to pains
of splitting apart and breaking asunder
as grey matter a’splatter from skull is torn
and anesthesia becomes empty thunder

But, let us not be timid in the telling
lest embodying Prometheus’ horrors
lungs in chest reeling, doubled up in his terrors
of unrelenting pinioning fast chains
and jagged beak tears we forget the swelling

Finding myself stuck in a pale loop
of repeated ritualistic romps with Ah-Shoo!-Hades
I now tire of the gray wracking group
for who desires to be smothered
or who spattered, grisly covered?

Instead of seeing formless shaded reflections
of myself in every shielded mirror
it is the mug of Medusa in my visions
whose turning visage feeds every terror
‘til seeing sees nothing but hallucinations

At darkest hours when Hephaestus works
and then on his anvil he pounds
oh, the panoply of quirks and jerks
as lumbering becomes wishes for reclining
and slumbering alters wishes from confining

Everyone enjoys festive feasting
until afterwards when they feel the effects
of Dionysus running his course of visiting
whereupon the notion of overindulging
loses its attraction owing to the bulging

Finally said, there once was a troupe
who never left the billowy tent
Bacchae one and all willowy rent
and though springing were the desire,
and back more, still danced they higher!

About this poem

I wondered one day while enduring the travails of the flu that year, what would such sound like as more than mere cacophonic wheezing, coughing, hacking, sneezing, blowing, honking, sniffing, scratching, rushing, sitting, and making all those rackets. Indeed, said I, what does that read like?

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Written on February 18, 2022

Submitted by ScottMPotter on May 06, 2022

Modified on March 18, 2023

3:15 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 3,916
Words 650
Stanzas 20
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

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