03 May 2011

Found in the Sea off Cape Artemision, ca. 1920

Another ekphrasis inspired by a statue I fell in love with on a trip to Greece. 

Found in the Sea off Cape Artemision, ca. 1920

Raising your arms high, you are mistaken for your brother.
They change the tales that made you king of all the children,
whose feet run in the dusty, dirt road clouds. The dust sticks
to our feet, turning our heels black – our bulwark against civilization.

Our sun-baked limbs carry us to the shore and the others squawk
their excitement like gulls, their eyes falling from the sky to the ocean
to watch you emerge. The sea has changed your form – to them you are
now the sea king in your brother’s place, swathed in seaweed finery.

They declare he has been found again, a god among them, while my eyes
fill for you. Your speechless mouth does not contradict, for your arms
spread too wide, your height too tall: they can no longer look in your eyes
and see who you are. They merely stand in awe of your striking figure.

Waves still crashing at your feet, you have not been found. You know
now that every story of his will be indistinct from your own, your legends
collapsed into one. They turn and leave you alone amid the sea shells,
their forms so small to you now. You always were a giant among them.

Grown too tall and too broad, you no longer belong to them. I take
your hand and our gaze meets on level ground. Head held forever high,
you step forward, unafraid.

For a photo of the statue: http://www.namuseum.gr/collections/sculpture/classical/classic02-en.html (ps - it's Zeus, not his brother Poseidon) I could also post my own photos of this piece, but it needs to be read first.

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