Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hephaestus Alone

Painting by Pietro da Cortona

Hephaestus Alone

His heart is like a boat
that sets forth alone
on the ocean and goes far out from him,
as Aphrodite proceeds
on her pleasure journeys.
He pours the gold down the runnels
into a great mystery under the sand.
When he pulls it up by the feet
and knocks off the scale,
it is a god.
What is it she finds with those men
that equals this dark birthing?
He makes each immortal manifest.
The deities remain invisible
in their pretty gardens
of grass and violets,
of daffodils and jasmine.
Even his wife lives like that.
Going on yachts,
speaking to the captains
in the familiar.
Let them have it,
the noons and rain and joy.
He makes a world here
out of frog songs and packed earth.
He made his wife so she contains
the green-fleshed melons of Lindos,
thalo blue of the sea,
and one ripe peach
at five in the morning.
He fashioned her by the rules,
with love, made her
with rage and disillusion.

Linda Gregg

Posted over on The Poetry Foundation

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