If Looks Could Kill (a Tanka)


Murky dark hallways
Stone statues silently scream
Frozen in granite
Forever held in terror
The Gorgon smiles; turns away


This is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 48 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: STONE & TURN

Image is Medusa by Arnold Böcklin (16 October 1827 – 16 January 1901). Found on Wikimedia Commons.

Early Morning Greetings

Orion rise early, before morning,
Jeweled belt shining in the night,
Waving good-bye
As I leave for work.

Bright Selene peeks out
From mother Gaia’s shadow
While orange clad Eos
Prepares to unlock the gates
For Helios’ daily ride.


Father Zeus


Dyēus Pater, Iou Pater
Zeus, Shining Sky Father: Iupiter.
Kronos child, Saturn son,
Faithless Hera husband.
Grandson of Gē Mater, Earth Mother Gaia.
Brother-lover of Dē Mater, Earth Mother Demeter,
Who bore Persephone, Grain Goddess, Underworld Queen,
Kidnapped by Zeus-Brother Dis Pater, Rich Father Hades.

Mother and son plot against husband and father,
Justice for siblings, sons and daughters,
Cyclical family history repeating.

Siblings vomited up from poisoned pater’s belly,
Monstrous uncles freed from grandma Gaia’s womb.
A revolution started with Cyclops forged thunder,
Hundred handed boulder hurlers,
Invisible helmets and earthquake tridents.

Siege of Mount Othrys end with Titans exiled to Tartarus,
And a new golden throne on Mount Olympus.


Pronunciation Key:
Dyēus Pater = Day-yoose Pa-tare
Iou Pater = You Pa-tare
Zeus = Zoose
Iupiter. = You-pit-er (aka Jupiter)
Gē Mater = Gee Ma-tare
Gaia. = Guy-ya
Dē Mater = Dee Ma-tare
Demeter, = Duh-meter
Persephone = Per-sef-o-knee
Dis Pater = Dis Pa-tare
Hades = Hay-dees.

Image:  Zeus with a laurel crown. Gold stater from Lampsacus, Mysia (ca. 360–340 BC), obverse. From WikiMedia Commons.




Ouranos, Uranus, Caelus: Sky.
Heavens born of Aether and Earth,
maybe just Earth,
Or generated from Chaotic chasms in the Night.

Heaven and Earth came together,
Producing monsters, titans and gods:

Bright Arges orb-eye,
Brothers Brontes and Steropes,
Thunder and lightning,
Craftsmen, skilled smiths forging
Thunderbolts, sunlight and moonbeams.

Hundred handed, fifty headed
Strong Briareos, Cottus and Gyges,
So terrible to behold that
Sky Father pushed them back
Into Gaia’s womb.

Mother Ge, in anguish and in pain,
Asked the youngest of her eldest children,
Crafty Kronos Saturnus,
To see justice done.

With a flint sickle,
Fashioned by his mother,
Kronos castrated the Sky
Throwing away the testicles
To be swallowed up by his uncle, the Sea.

Drops of blood from the open wound
Became Erinyes, Furies, Eumenides,
Kindly Ones, spirits of vengeance and death.

Semen foamed up from Pontus’ throat,
Birthing Aphrodite, goddess of love.

Kronos declared king of gods,
Kept his ugly brethren imprisoned
In his mother’s uterus.

Gaia wailed as eunuched Uranus squeaked,
“I hope you have a son just like you.”


Pronunciation Notes:
Ouranos = Or-an-nos
Uranus = Your-an-us
Caelus = Kay-lus
Arges = Ar-gees
Brontes = Bron-tees
Steropes = Stare-op-ees
Briareos = Bri-ar-e-os
Cottus = Kot-tus
Gyges = Guy-Gees
Gaia = Guy-ya
Ge = Gee
Erinyes = Erin-ees
Eumenides = You-men-i-dees
Aphrodite = Af-fro-die-tee

Image: The Mutiliation of Uranus by Saturn by Giorgio Vasari & Cristoforo Gherardi. Found at WikiMedia Commons.