Turning round, ever round,
red flames dancing, leaping
in blackest night, most radiant and righteous.
Southern piety born of long generational suffering,
kings without crowns all, and free though
everyone tries to conquer them soon or late.
Life is cheap and easily thrown away,
in defense of liberty and love and love-of-country.
On to the mountain, to the mountain of ivy and fire
near the city of drowned Parthenope!
“And another thing!” Hephaistos swung his kantharos
to emphasize his words, sloshing wine over the rim.
“Another thing?” his mother laughed. “My, aren’t we demanding?”
“Well, yeah. And it’s about time folks started noticing.”
“Indeed.” Hera said proudly
(the first time she’d felt that way towards her son)
and then took a sip from her own cup.
“See,” Dionysos added, barely able to keep himself sitting upright.
“All you two needed was to get drunk and talk it out.”
“Don’t be modest, little vine.
I know what you did here today,
and I won’t soon forget it.”
“No, dear step-mother of mine,” Dionysos spoke,
eyes suddenly sober and far-seeing. “You won’t.”
Dionysos holds up the wine-cup
for his crowned Beloved to drink,
“O Light of my life,
through all time,
and all forms
and through stories beyond counting,
I shall seek you.”
“And I you, my Dark King,
my Mad One,
my Destroyer and bull-horned Seducer,”
you say, and then drain the cup.
“Because of your golden genealogy,
and the plentiful milk you gave my foster father
when you found him drunk and munching your rose bushes,
I shall grant your heart’s desire, Midas the king.
Choose your words carefully.”
While the Phrygian was plumbing desire’s depths
rather than consulting the wisdom in his breast,
Dionysos quirked his neck to an odd angle and squinted.
Certainly not. He must be hallucinating.
No. The man’s tall turban indeed twitched
periodically betraying perfidious concealment.
Did the man choose to dance among the stars,
or wine that flows for eternal years,
or even a new body to match his freaky ass ears?
No. He chose shining metal instead,
that he might make his beautiful daughter unchanging.
He did it from love rather than greed; the unwed girl was sick
and dying and he couldn’t bear to lose sight of her in her prime.