Dr. Zeus – Book II – Canto VII

Of what has yet to unfold
Though it’s now being told
Of another set test
Where he has to impress
Of the way which he does
Telling tales of what not yet was
Of he who sorrowfully fell from the sky
As out to his lover he did mournfully cry
-Oh Halcyon Muses nine-
For you version I simply haven’t the time
As with Orpheus still I’m not through
And with him now I know what to do
So shall he sing his very next tale?
Hoping ‘gainst fate soon to prevail
Yes let’s once more allow him to sing
And see the trouble that some love can bring

Words to Inspire Fire

Onward and upward he continued to go
Ever he quickened, never he slowed

Cocytus’s wailing did eventually fade
As the heat increased in a most unfair trade

For to a new generation Orpheus went
One which, miasma, did readily vent

Beget from Cocytus a new river ran
And fire it spit ‘cross all of its span

The flames reached high, flew underworld black
And the rocks on the bank from the heat they did crack

Noxious fumes from the earth did leak
Leaving Orpheus both frail and weak

But through hazy air he continued to stride
For a future he had need to in the river confide

Ah but what tale to tell of what is not yet
Which one now will help for Eurydice get

For fire, of course! oh it’s so clear
He knew what to say when the god did appear

But through the hills, the bard, he continued to wind
This god, his quarry, he just couldn’t find

After a while on the horizon he saw
The end of his journey – a frown set in his jaw

His time to act, it did start to run low
And he still need speak to two gods below

But then as worry settled in mind
Laughter – he heard it come from behind

“Oh dear poet don’t turn around
Ignore me and all curious sounds

“Hidden in flames I saw you look
Saw you search all along my own brook

“Do not worry, I know your request
And simply was conducting a test”

As at his back, this, the god did declare
The heat and the fumes were dispelled from the air

“I wished,” he continued “to see you press through
To see that your wife you truly loved true

“But the way that you braved without shout or cry
Your feelings are real, this none will deny

“As for why I knew you would come
My father told what to him you had sung

“And so my fellow I still wish to hear
The story you chose to sweeten my ear

“Now not as a bribe or to help me decide
But simply as a matter of pride”

Ever so briefly a sigh of relief he expelled
And to the river relate, a story so great, he was wholly compelled

“I’m sure that you know” he started with smile slow
“To which engineer the Cretans do go

“For making machines of every sort
Was the spot of Daedalus at royal court

“But there’s one more famous than all of the rest
The one where Theseus will soon face his test

“The labyrinth of Minos which form none do escape
Is perhaps after all his achievement most great

“But king Minos, when the construction was done
Imprisoned both Daedalus as well as his son

“For a women does not a bovine attract
And Pasiphae asked him to distract that fact

“A box and a covering to make her a cow
Is how he did their union allow

“So when imprisoned they did not need to explain
‘Twas clearly for helping the family shame

“So father and son to pay must both stay
In a lone lonely prison overlooking a bay

“And though with dreams of escape is the father amused
With the gift of invention Icarus was not infused

“So all he could do was stare out at the sea
Wishing to, somehow, somewhere else be

“But one night soon something will change
Making his life ever more strange

“A man through the window will climb – no! – a god!
With taught muscled arms and shoulders most broad

“His skin will be bronzed as though by the sun
And burnt will seem to be what of his hair had become

“Every inch of himself he will unabashedly show
His radiant beauty oh how it will glow

“There will roll from him a passionate heat
Only once settled will he then his host greet

“”Icarus” he’ll say “I know who you are
Every day I spy you afar

“”You seem to do little but stare at the sky
Watching me as by you I fly

“”For I am Helios, the titan, the sun
And perhaps together we could both have some fun”

“The first night or two they only will talk
At suggestion of more Icarus surely would balk

“But after a while they’ll grow a rapport
And not one, but both, will want something more

“Unable to look ‘way from that glorious form
Behind his eyes a desire will form

“With an eyebrow quirked and a look quite coy
Helios motioned him to come and enjoy

“Bumbling kneed Icarus barely will stand
Touching a god he’ll ‘come hard in his hand

“By the end of the night they’ll have each had a turn
With the sun as his teacher he’ll be eager to learn

“For months and for years in the night they will meet
Together their hearts will contentedly beat

“But Daedalus still will both plan and plot
“Til one day he’ll have caught what he sought

“An escape from the prison he’ll then have devised
He’ll win with his mind, that which he most prized

“He’ll chase down the birds, he’ll gather their feathers
And stockpile the wax which they gave for his letters

“And he will, from all of those things
Piece together two human sized wings

“One for him and one for his son
Though he’ll know not what horror from this is to come

“Thus, to Icarus, one morning he’ll go
Saying “hurry, my son no time to be slow

“”I made us some wings, some means of escape
We need no longer lie down before fate

“”But they’re made of wax so there’re two golden rules
And I know that you’ll follow for I never raise fools

“”If you go too low from your arms they will rip
And Ocean will claim you ‘fore you see any ship

“”But if too high in the sky then you do fly
The wax of your wings will soften and cry

“”So come on, let’s go, let us make our escape
Let us fly from this isle which we surely both hate”

“And though Icarus will have been happy to stay
This way he’ll figure he’ll see his lover in day

“He’ll think that since for him, Helios does care
He’ll not be cast down, not be struck from the air

“So when out they set over the sea so blue
It’ll be higher and higher that Icarus flew

But no god is there that can just change their ways
And up in the sky Helios ever does blaze

“One by one his feathers will fall
‘Til of his wings there’s nothing at all

“And as he plummets to the sun he will cry
But all he can do is maintain watchful eye

“So river of flames one can easily find
That the fires of passion, to sense, makes one blind”

Finally himself did Phlegethon show
And all around him embers did glow

He wore a chiton red and a sash green and gold
‘Twas no hair on his face, he was not very old

“Good good” he said as along he pranced
“I do believe that you have a fine chance

“For you only have one more trial to go
And to be honest you put on a good show

“But my course is done so not shall I stay
Again, perhaps, I’ll see you one day”

“He turned and with vigour leapt back in the flame
And with a wave of his hand did them easily tame

But Orpheus could only look onward ahead
To the river of pain where cross all of the dead

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