A Visit by Athena on the Festal Eve

The goddess of wisdom appeared as I sat guard
Over the dry Dionysian festival
Immortal student of plants
Sitting this once on my left side
My right seduced already
By the Hawaiian fertility goddess
Flashing sights to conquer men
As I collected in their cash

Skimming through my sketchings
Same book as on the Loma floor
Gilgamesh' gift so long ago
Black with frantic scratchings
She chided me
Soft face of compassion (I almost drew her)
For leaving out her loved ones
More beautiful than the faces
Upon which I'd lost my time
They would offer pure love
But no return for a money-grabbing man

Why did I let that ancient whore tame me
To draw what men will buy?

Once I drew cold temples
Monuments to the untouchable pristine
Raising block on block
To hear the goddess' own theme
Yet here I sit between them
Beauty having me book-ended
And draw nothing of their glory
Two perfume's mingled in one brain
Waft canceling wave
Tawdry lines on tawdry paper
Capturing only what will fade

Botanical wisdom leaves me
Motions of the seasons
And the body
To sell my soul for nothing
To sit the edge of revel
As she goes in to dance
Turning relieved from guilt remembered
To my temptress of the right
She too was gone to party
On dry Dionysius' night.

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This work is Copyright (c) Mike Fletcher 2002