AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes

AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes
I love a sunburnt country / A land of sweeping plains / Of ragged mountain ranges / Of droughts and flooding rains / I love her far horizons / I love her jewel-sea / Her beauty and her terror / The wide brown land for me / ~ Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968)


Monday, July 18, 2011

Remember Orpheus and Eurydice

One Stop Poetry ~ Poetry Form Monday ~ Poetry and Myth ~ hosted by Brendan MacOdrum
Monday Form Challenge: Post a poem that is somehow based on a myth or folktale. Put your history into its mystery; you’ll discover the gods are still very much with us, raising all kinds of heaven and hell between the margins of the page.

Beyond my clouds are your stars ...

A long
Long time ago
You drifted into the caverns of mystery
Some call death
But I was a child
And death was not a place
Or a friend
I knew well

In many dream sequences
I tried to wander there
To find you
To bring you home
But a dark
Wide river
Menacing between
Me and thee

I saw a boat
A tiny boat
But the currency I carried
(Just a few pence
Moneybox scraps)
Failed to please
The ferryman

One night
The dream opened
A new stargate
I watched as I carried
Not pence
But a small
Aeolian harp
Playing musical oms
Each time I held it
To my heart

I was by the wretched river...
The waters were still
Like glass
Like a mirror
And the ferryman seemed

My father whispered my name
He was near
He told me to walk
To walk
And hold the harp close

I could not walk for long
Innocent excitement
Spurred me into dance
And whirling with my music
Our music

We were going home

But then
One whirl

I was alone

The whisper
Near me
Was gone

And the music


Our Lyra plays softly

Beyond my clouds are your stars...


NOTE: My Orpheus and Eurydice poem links with Dean Regas' blog post Lyra the Harp ~ 15th September, 2010
This constellation represents the musical instrument invented by the messenger god Hermes. It has also been visualized as an Eagle or Vulture. Although small, Lyra holds many bright stars including the fifth brightest star in the sky, Vega...
Lyra, Orpheus’ harp remains in the sky as a reminder of true love, love lost, and why death is so hard to cheat.

One Stop Poetry – For Poets, Writers & Artists


Brendan said...

A wonderful retelling. It's interesting that you discover that one can't pay their way into the Otherworld, though song has something in it of value to the Other side ... A token of the life the dead had lost, perhaps .. or, a yearning for the perfect absolutes in which the everliving drink like ambrosia. Always the question at the end of the tale about the meaning of Orpheus' turning back a moment too soon at the threshold of Tartarus, dooming Eurydice to fade forever from sight (twice-lost, as the tale goes) -- the person goes but not the relationship, or, more essentially, the song of it. That's what we bring back from the land of the dead: words ensouled with the departed. Fine job. - Brendan

Anonymous said...

Our Lyra plays softly

Beyond my clouds are your stars...

This is a haunting, lyrical telling. I will remember these lines of grief, longing, and foreboding.

Mama Zen said...

This is beautifully done. I felt the loss.

Kerry O'Connor said...

One night
The dream opened
A new stargate
I watched as I carried..

I loved that part, and how you took the myth and made it your own... it's how the tales remain ever fresh and relevant to each age.

Reflections said...

To search, to pay the pence in other form, yet stalled when the watchman realized the pence would not suffice... To be so close to finding the star, reaching, unable to touch the tips of fingers of the outstretched hand. Beautifully shared.

hedgewitch said...

This is always one of the most heartbreaking myths, and like the parable of Lazarus, it carries an undercurrent of uncanniness at breaching the forbidden realm of death, which only the divine can possibly do. No matter how fine our song and dance, it seems, no matter how it may please the gods, it can never quite overpower death and loss. Though I believe it guides us through. Enjoyed this much, Gemma.

Beachanny said...

So beautifully sung here; the tale I knew early on, retold in many ways, bewitching, singing me softly, and you bring the music to the myth here throughout, fugal, layered, intertwined, love and loss, myth and folklore. Such elegance. Thank you so much.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Nice to see the old myths retold

Luke Prater said...

great response to the prompt. Fine write



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Archive of Blog Quotes

  • A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
  • Autumn is an introspective season when stray thoughts of the mind dive into the mystique of the soul - Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn is the bridesmaid of Summer and the flowergirl of Winter ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn whispers the tones of yesterday in a minor key ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Love is born / With a dark and troubled face, / When hope is dead / And in the most unlikely place; / Love is born, / Love is always born. - Michael Leunig's Christmas Song Cycle "Southern Star"
  • Spring paints the stars of heaven in Earth colours ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Summer sizzles with a sibilant hush / Broken by dreams of / Clinking ice ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. - G.K. Chesterton
  • Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
  • Winter is the fire, simmering lonely in the soul ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Winter is the shadow, the etching of the seasons in the mist ~ Gemma Wiseman

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