April 3, 2022

Zeus Returns, Briefly, By Eric Pinder

 


Zeus scowls down one summer Sunday

afternoon at a town unconcerned with a grimace

from the sky. He glowers. He glares.

He strives to blanch the tame blue blush

of pristine July. His frown intensifies.

A single wet drop of Olympian spittle

descends through contortions

of cumuli.

 

His grumble exacts no tribute

save an idle upward glance and the half-hearted curtsy

of my umbrella. Every other passerby ignores the once-lord

of weather’s unheralded return. No one asks

him for an alibi.

 

The braised rage of the sun

pierces a cloud in two places—

his unblinking eyes. Blind

to being so scrutinized, vacationers

occupy beaches and benches, luxuriating

in the leisure of their waning weekends while

high above the trimmed green park,

intermittent Frisbees fly.

 

Only I spot Zeus

observing the frolics of fearless

apostates until the sharp breeze foretold

on TV by pinstriped oracles with Hollywood smiles

shears off his beard with such precipitous

vigor and smothers

his final, silent,

harmless goodbye.

Eric Pinder is the author of Counting Dinos, If All the Animals Came Inside, How to Share with a Bear, and other books about animals and nature. He teaches in New Hampshire at a small college in the woods, a few miles down the road less traveled.
Cover: Amanda Bergloff

Twitter @AmandaBergloff

Instagram: amandabergloff 

7 comments:

Kelly Jarvis said...

This is wonderful--I love all the old stories that paint the skies with gods and goddesses, and this poem evokes both their power and our loss.

Katie Jordan said...

Excellent word building. “ A single wet drop of Olympian spittle
descends through contortions
of cumuli.” Very nice!

Anonymous said...

Oh, the assonance is BEAUTIFUL, especially in the beginning of that third stanza. As expected from a man with his talent!

Eric Pinder said...

Thank you, Kelly and Katie!

Sarah Garcia said...

Fantastic job, Eric! I loved how you represented Zeus here in all his wrath being completely cast aside. Especially love this line:
"The braised rage of the sun
pierces a cloud in two places—
his unblinking eyes."

Deborah Sage said...

The line "and the half-hearted curtsy of my umbrella" is a well aimed dart of imagery and conveys perfectly just how little tribute Zeus inspires. I also love the lines mentioned in Katie's and Sarah's comments. Your piece is wonderfully written.

Eric Pinder said...

Thank you, Deborah, Sarah, and Anonymous for the kind comments!

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