Monday, October 17, 2011


Achaean! Achaean! A chorus leads you, Achaean!
You cannot, will not falter. Not your fate.
The sandy beaches, the blood warmed sea,
Plunder and all the wonder.
Achaean don’t forget your home,
Your stallions, your women.
Pure silk and soft spoils are yours here—
Don’t forget Argos.
Come home from Troy. Don’t stay buried in the sand
To have songs sung of your blood.

Fathers hearing the cries of infant sons from across the sea
The sons they’ve never seen.
A wave carried his first lock of hair
And it rests on his hero father’s grave.
Achaean be wise not brave,
Achilles learned as much—
Death’s grandeur deserts us,
            When life’s blood leaves us.

The rigid face upon the shore seeks you out,
Songs in the wind take hold of your cheek
Cunningly plain, though you would not be the first they ensnared.
You would not wear the wax,
Would rather see it come at you
Like the tongues of those spears you stared down.

In those ages you were young,
Guile was yours to spread.
You were the lion stumbling on an undefended flock;
But you returned with your scars as payment.
The tide took under with it your share of spoils.

You looked your adult son in the eyes,
Stranger’s eyes.
The sea poured down your face,
For never again to see your wife.
The son killed his mother for land and wealth
Though no crime was committed.
Achaean look at what you have defended,
The murders, the burglary, the rapes, the gods offended.

The trickery in being Death’s mercenary:
His silver is never spent in this world.
The kingdom of the dead will hold marks for you,
A bronze shield is a hefty weight to for eternity bear
After your body, in kingly robes, is burned in a single flare.

Patrick Conners Jr

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