Poseidon’s Game (poem for New Orleans)

Poseidon is the Greek god of the sea. Demeter is the goddess of agriculture. Here is a summary from Wikipedia– “Poseidon once pursued Demeter, in her archaic form as a mare-goddess. She resisted Poseidon, but she could not disguise her divinity among the horses of King Onkios. Poseidon became a stallion and covered her. Demeter was literally furious at the assault, but washed away her anger in the River Ladon.”

Poseidon came to reclaim,
to take back the land
meekly shielded by Demeter,
who deigned to presume she
could hide from him.

He ripped the tether,
unleashed the reins
of his terrible force.
The beast came to consume,
to blithely rape and fill
with its cold, slimy juice
the body of New Orleans.

Her muffled screams at first fell silent
amid the torrent of violence.
Stunned and weak, gurgling beneath
she writhed under her conquerer.
But now she cries insanely,
ripping her own flesh from its
battered bones, picking at tender wounds
with misguided rage empty of dignity.

Her bloated form, a grotesque buoy,
life raft of death, now languishes
sickly among the splintered grid.
Internal organs have bruised and burst,
arteries clog and crust, the pulse
is weak, seeking a miracle
to revive her.

What fruitless glory she has endured.
Poseidon’s thrust has vanquished her for now.
But she will heal, she will endure.
The excruciating task will occur.
Perhaps her agony will field
a new body, a new hope, a new form.
Will she tremble at the waves’ whisper?
Yes, but she will forget,
slowly she will forgive.
She will revive and regrow,
cleansed by the healing
green river Ladon.
The body is destroyed,
but the spirit will rekindle.

Poseidon lies asleep, gorged
with wasted lust, dripping
blood and grime, smothering
the spoils of his conquest with rot,
oblivious of his own sodden force.

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