Oct. 16th, 2010

cedarmyna: illustrated image of a white bird on a branch at night (Default)
April 15, 2:27 a.m.

It started as a struggle.
When the ship sank, Collapsible Lifeboat B
was set to sail, but not yet boarded;
when the last ghastly sound ended
and the ship was sucked under, she floated free.

Two dozen men each saw her first.
Some had been trying to board the nearest lifeboats,
ladies be damned, but were beaten back
by officers with oars. But Collapsible B had no officers,
or at least none already aboard.

She overturned quickly, with fifty arms
tugging her in different directions.
Her sloping underside was slick, slippery,
water turning to ice in the cold air.
A mad king-of-the-hill scramble ensued.

As the water slowly stopped feeling cold, the men knew
they were dying. Jack Thayer was atop the boat then,
and instead of pushing the men off, he began
to help them all on. They all stood, front to back -
they had to, to fit. Then they waited,

soaked and shaking, holding their collective breath
as the water around them got quieter
and the darkness got dimmer, struggling not to shift
their weight, waiting and looking toward the horizon,
waiting for the next bright thing to cross it.


----
I've just realized I should have been doing all of these completely differently.
Revision is going to be extensive.
cedarmyna: illustrated image of a white bird on a branch at night (Default)
Victory

Paionios could not have known,
massaging his Nike into being
like a lover, like a mother giving birth.
The paint must have come off first,
golds and greens peeling away
like a hand being degloved,
Then her wings, crumbling
in an earthquake, her triumphant hand
severed as a spoil of war.
Her other arm went in pieces,
a series of small accidents
taking it away over time,
and her face was defaced by - who?
Some faceless, angry enemy of the Greeks.

In the Olympia Museum she stands
with a dozen other fallen gods,
held together by wire and glue.
She resembles a giant child's push puppet:
press up on the base of her pedestal
and she will collapse.

February 2011

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