Open To Interpretation
What battles have been won
And taken for granted
Some critter invented
Some critter invented
Then comes along this critter
And we invent
The Black Deck
Hephaestus and Medea aboard her Black Ship.
Your automatons are boring, Hephaestus.
Yes, like rain finding ways down a mountain.
I can have an ensemble sing for us.
I've heard all the tunes,
They have about them a sameness.
Yes, my authorship, such as it is.
Medea holds up her scrub brush.
Who authors this?
Compelled I am, like eating and breathing,
To keep this Black Deck clean and polished.
And you, Hephaestus, an Olympian no less,
On your knees beside me.
I don't know.
You, among all the gods, must have a clue,
The why of this scrubbing,
And the nature of this Black Ship.
I study, and I've been humbled.
Here, let me show you this Black Deck's magic,
Magic even you, daughter of Hecate, may find entertaining.
From storage, Hephaestus gathers a tarp,
And tosses it over both himself and Medea.
Underneath it they both sit on the Black Deck in darkness,
Shaded from the sunlight.
A sunless world for a tryst, or are we camping?
I hadn't thought...
Oh, it is this you should see.
The crap rained down from the rigging
By the Ravens and Gulls
Is nourishment for the Black Ship.
And our scrubbing is like teeth masticating,
Helping the Deck eat the crap, absorbing it.
It's no ordinary crap,
The Ravens and Gulls no ordinary birds,
Though on their foraging they consume the same,
Fish and bugs and such.
They crap some magic transformed from their digestion,
Magic food for the Ship.
The Ship is no ordinary ship,
Not an automaton as I first thought.
I considered it may be a creature, or even a god,
But it is some new category on the Tree of Things.
Here, in this sunless ink under our tent,
Set your hand to the Deck with mine.
Before them the Deck begins to fluoresce,
Colors and geometries,
And then a scene,
The round earth and the sun and moon and planets
Against the backdrop of stars.
This much we Olympians perceive
And consider proudly our domain, our universe.
In truth, all we know, and thought to know.
Just so mortals are told. I see no beyond this.
Just as Medea speaks,
She feels the deck is speaking to her,
Showing to her,
And the scene changes,
Another sun but with different planets and moons,
And then she sees the galaxy,
And understands she is seeing the Milky Way
With countless suns.
Yesterday I was a child.
And I an immortal.
Careful now, what you feel and think,
With your hand on the Deck.
It is a black mirror of sorts,
Giving back reflections
Of our innermost feelings and thoughts.
The deck ripples with images and scenes,
Lifelike as can be,
Snatches of Medea's thoughts, feelings, memories, imaginings.
She watches entranced, feeling one with the Ship.
A scene of her sons graves makes her pause,
And scenes cluster of their time together as they grew,
And she catches her breath in shock to see again the travail.
Her hand recoils.
Think of just one thing, it doesn't have to be a perfect focus.
I can think of Jason?
I have reason to think he lives.
The Deck can tell you so.
Medea holds her hand to the Deck,
And sees again when the Helios chariot dragon swallowed Jason,
And then the scene with Athene, including Glauce and Creon,
When the dragon vomited Jason up,
And they were all taken away to Pegasae in Helios' Chariot.
I thought as much,
By Athene's intervention, along with Creon and Glauce.
Would our sons had escaped me too, Hephaestus.
The Deck only relates, it can't make.
Making is our purview.
I would see where Jason is...
A scene presents of Jason with Orpheus
Aboard the Black Ship Argo,
And the scene fades,
Along with the Deck's colors and geometries.
It is barely fluorescing.
Hephaestus stands, and stows the tarp.
After nightfall, we can explore, see more scenes in the Deck.
At night, the Deck doesn't dim.
In the meantime, my appetite for scrubbing returns!
What does this all portend Hephaestus?
Days now beyond the Pillars of Hercules,
On this vast ocean,
We sail like a ghost ship without destination.
I have my amusement, the mysteries of this Ship,
But I understand,
A queen needs a palace.
Notes: I've arrange things like a movie script, I think...have to study movie scripts!...but not to make a script, but rather a poem that includes back and forth dialog, and descriptive asides...there was a little video game for Macintosh computers at the outset...shadow something...it had little dialog balloons in the present tense!...there were torches that faded as one meandered in the dungeons...if one was too slow, they went out...SHADOW GATE!
The game is notorious for its many opportunities for death, including being burned by a dragon's breath, attacked by a cyclops, sucked into outer space through a broken mirror, dissolved by acidic slime, mauled by a wolf-woman, eaten by sharks, and suicide. Virtually any action taken by the player which is not the correct solution to a puzzle will result in a fatality.
I wouldn't have even gotten in the door if I hadn't overheard someone telling their friend, 'click on the skull'...