Saturday, December 17, 2016

OTI:one poem and notes:12/17/16

Open To Interpretation


Inside the ship sheds
Workmen's voices echoed loud
Under the roofs
And over the dark water
And dank stone quays and bollards.
Theseus' ship, mast lowered,
Tied up, and
Theseus and Daedalus
Followed on after the crew
Descending the gangplank.
Ascending were the old women slaves
With their buckets and brushes
And whatnot for cleaning
And restoring and refurbishing
Ships of the Athenian Navy
When harbored at Piraeus.
It was the old women's
Expertise and their employment
When not laying out the dead.
"What manner of ship is it, Daedalus?"
Asked Theseus,
Shouting and dodging the old women.
"I don't know." said Daedalus.
They passed out from under
The roof of the ship shed
And into sunlight and the
Sound of calling Gulls
And croaking Ravens
Swarming the rigging
Of the Black Ship
Theseus had towed back to
Piraeus from the soft sand beach
At Pegasae.
"The graves, they were Medea's and Jason's sons."
 Said Theseus.
"Was it Jason's bones beneath the
Argo's prow?"
"I think not." said Daedalus.
"Medea spun the prophetic rumor
He would die so."
"Just so she addled my father Aegeus' mind."
Said Theseus.
"Rumor in Athens has it you killed him
To become king." said Daedalus.
"Not so."  Said Theseus.  "I caught out his spies,
Sent to watch and assure him
The Minotaur had eaten us.
They confessed that Aegeus
Had been forewarned by Medea
Of plotting by me to poison him at banquet.
So in turn,
He plotted my doom in the Labyrinth."
"So all Athens now thinks."
Said Daedalus.
"I am their rightful king,
Son of Aegeus." said Theseus.
"Son of Poseidon, the Council thinks,"
Said Daedalus,
"And will have no truck
With a half mortal half immortal."
"Am I so, Daedalus?" asked Theseus.
"I don't know." said Daedalus.
"I don't know either," said Theseus.
"This festering sliver in my hand
Seems to say I'm all Athenian,
Prone to mortal pain."
"The Argo's fallen prow was
Absent the talking plank of Dodona."
Said Daedalus.
"My hands cut too from digging
Through the rotting wood
Where the prow once held it."
"Athens thinks me a patricide,
Throwing Aegeus over the cliff
On my return." said Theseus.
"Just so." said Daedalus.
"But it wasn't so!" said Theseus,
"I startled him,
Arriving at the cliff top
In my hurry
To set right what Medea had set wrong.
He slipped and fell."
"Athens thinks a push." said Daedalus.
"His attendants saw true!" said Theseus.
"But so many opposed
Have bent the attendants' memory,
Least they find themselves in my plight.
At every turn
Things conspire against me.
So things have been
Since Medea and her Black Dragon
Took the sandals and sword,
Athens' and Aegeus'
Royal heirlooms.
I'm no coward, Daedalus,
But I cowered before her Dragon
When he breathed fire at my head.
I had never known the like."
"Medea bears Aegeus' son." said Daedalus.
"And I am king
And this I know
Though no one else agree." said Theseus.
The Black Ship
Shown like a star spangled night
In the sunlight
Moored before
The tall white marble Piraeus Lions,
Guardians of the Harbor.
"I need to retrieve the sandals and sword."
Said Theseus,
"Maybe this strange ship is the means."
Daedalus and Theseus climbed aboard.
"Holy shit!" said Daedalus,
"The deck is a mess."
"The old women on my ship!"
Theseus shouted out to the workers on the dock,
"Bring them here!"
"An improvement,"
Said Daedalus, kneeling on the Black Deck,
Much work by the women having been done.
"Don't know but I feel a compulsion
To join the women on my knees 
To see closer the marvel of this black surface."
"I as well!" said Theseus, and joined
Daedalus crouched.
The women laughed to see them so.
"Am I to drown in shit?"
Theseus heard his hand
With the splinter say
As he scrubbed the Black Deck.
"What marvel is this, Daedalus?"
Said Theseus, holding up his injured hand.
"Success!" Daedalus said.
"You've come away from the Argo's prow
With a fragment of the talking plank!"
One old woman nearby overheard,
And said,
"I can remove the splinter,
Many such I've taken from the war torn."
Theseus offered her his hand,
And she washed the wound clean,
Working the splinter free with a long needle.
And the splinter spoke to the old woman,
"In thanks I am yours
To wear about your neck,
An amulet,
And this ship to sail as well
Beneath your feet and yours."
And all the old women
Rose to their feet,
The cleaning task complete.
The Black Ship pulled at its mooring
As the women crewed the rigging
And set the Black Sails.
"To you I'll speak,"
The Splinter continued,
"But it is for Theseus to understand.
He misunderstands you as an old woman
Ariadne, such is your disguise,
So you will be known for all women
Who are abandoned with age, neglected.
Theseus will know you
As Captain of this Black Ship.
In your cabin is clothing for you
And your crew. 
Theseus is your first mate,
And his quest to complete:
Retrieve the Sandals and Sword
From beyond the Pillars of Hercules."
The Black Ship, set free from its mooring
Before the White Marble Lions,
Galloped across the Aegean.


Notes: oh, I did this whole bit just to work into the Tale the harbor at Piraeus, and the Piraeus Lions!


The statue, which is made of white marble and stands some 3 m (9 ft.) high, is particularly noteworthy for having been defaced some time in the second half of the 11th century by Scandinavians who carved two lengthy runic inscriptions into the shoulders and flanks of the lion.[6] The runes are carved in the shape of an elaborate lindworm dragon-headed scroll, in much the same style as on runestones in Scandinavia.[7] The carvers of the runes were almost certainly Varangians, Scandinavian mercenaries in the service of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Emperor.




In the Middle Ages, the port was usually called by the Venetians the "port of Sithines" (that is, of Athens) and in the 14th century, the name "Lion" is first attested, after the colossal ancient sculpture of a lion, the Piraeus Lion, which stood at the harbor's entrance. This later become Porto Leone (Πόρτο Λεόνε).[12] It was also called Porto Drako (Πόρτο Δράκο) by Greeks, drako meaning not just "dragon", but any monster.[13]


update 12/22...I missed something...I didn't realize Ariadne was among the old women disguised...I had thought to just name the one to be Captain and carry the splinter Ariadne, after Ariadne, who was abandoned by Theseus on Naxos...but that didn't made a change which works much better with this:

The Splinter continued,
"But it is for Theseus to understand.
He misunderstands you as an old woman
Ariadne, such is your disguise,
So you will be known for all women
Who are abandoned with age, neglected.
Theseus will know you
As Captain of this Black Ship.



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