Of Gods and Men
A god sits upon his throne
Made of gold as yellow as the sun
Interlaced with veins of silver.
He wears silken robes of white and purple
With streaks of blue like the sparkling sea.
A white beard curls down his strong yet tranquil face,
His mouth set in a frown.
A circlet of white gold is set upon his brow.
Bronze sandals lace up to his knees.
Upon his arms are bands of diamond
Inlaid with rubies and sapphires and pearls.
Across from him sits another god,
He sits upon a throne
Made of pewter and ebony as dark as the night.
Robes of black satin envelop his thin body.
His face is pinched and gaunt,
His bones showing through the skin.
His neck cranes forward beneath the weight of
A bronze and iron crown.
He smirks with cool smugness,
Leaning forward in his seat to gaze at the pool,
Made from intertwining bands of various metals
With a copper basin resting on top, that rests
Between he and his brother.
The pool shows a boy,
No more than a few years past manhood,
With his eyes closed and
A look of eternal peace on his face.
Kneels beside the maple box in which
The boy lays.
Tears stream from her eyes,
Dotting her black gown with
Drops of water.
“We must admit him
To our realm, ”
Says the kindly god.
“He was pure of heart
And true of mind.”
“No, ” says the wicked god.
“This boy disobeyed his mother
And was unruly in the classroom.
He does not deserve
To spend the rest of eternity
In the realm of immortals.”
“You wrong him, ”
Replies the loving god.
“He is but a child
And has yet to understand
The ways of mortal men.”
“He is a man
By their standards.
He knew full well what he was doing.”
“The lad came to worship us
“The urchin thought of things
Most pleasant to my ear, ”
Retorted the dark and evil god,
“Though you would find his words
Horrific beyond measure.”
And while the gods
Argued and bickered
In their hall of marble and silver,
With its sweeping ceiling
And fluted pillars,
Still the mother cried down below.
Husband and daughter,
Brother and sister,
Aunt and uncle—
All gathered around
The grieving woman
With her tousled hair and
Eyes red with misery.
Every man, woman, and child
Prayed to the gods above
To take care of their lost child,
And to welcome him into
Their halls so that he may
Find happiness in the land of the divine,
Where he could not find any with the mortals.
And yet still the gods
Argued, oblivious to the
Prayers of their people.
Comments about this poem (Of Gods and Men by Alex Garr )
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