Andrew David Dalby
The Muses - Poem by Andrew David Dalby
I met the fair-voiced Calliope
whilst waiting For a bus: -
" You must go to Clapham! "
yet so sweetly I might add.
while I noticed she
-with vain indifference-
scratched her arse,
then flicked at her auburn hair
with torpid introspection,
with her busy right fingers
upon her bilious tableaux
resting within her left palm.
Though for what reason,
I could never guess.
"Clapham? " Asked Clio;
her crystal violet eyes bemused;
as she suddenly appeared
close to my right side
catching me totally off guard.
'why there? '
I then jumped as I noticed
times winds were blowing
through her long gold hair.
and paused to thus consider
whether Clapham was the place
where finally Odysseus could
finally lay his head at peace.
or Heracles had been overcome
with madness within his heart;
To slay those he loved so dear.
"Err... no.. but I might just-"
Calliope began, but never finished
with her subtle hint of night,
and her usual delicate sense of timing.
"Clapham...why there? " asked Erato;
who tapped gently upon Calliope's
shoulder, before allowing Her fingers
to gently strum upon her lyre;
then distracted she wildly span
Towards two gentle lovers
whose hands, gladly embraced
in the open sense of nakedness.
only to return a moment later to say
"Is that the place where
fair Paris and Helen exchanged
glances before the age
of brutal war broke forth
once more upon the land? '
"Well-" Calliope began,
her plum mouth ready
for sharing elegance.
But she was again interrupted.
This time by the wonderful Eurterpe
whose golden eyes shone stones,
as her gentle strident Form
screamed as she fell
from a great cloud down,
and with a resounding clumping Thump,
to crash upon the curved ridges
of the bus-stop awning;
once again and then bouncing
to the grimy floor.
I thought that then she would speak,
but instead She arose,
wiped her long, elegant
pure white robes,
and then began to play
an elegant sounding melody.
Upon her sliver flute
as she stared towards her sister
with tired but good humored eyes.
But as Eurterpe played,
Melopomene, appeared in a plume
of black swirling spiraling smoke
Whose sad mask filled the air with gloom,
and Began to recall with vivid disdain
the tragic tale of Hector, the brave
who's heart was bitterly broken
by the horses that tore
his body to pieces around
the walls of Troy.
I have to admit,
she did go one somewhat,
Bringing the crowded bus-stop
almost heavily down upon us.
"Now now, don't go on Mel..."
getting tired Of her sisters
interrupting her thinking…
But just then Polyhemia arrived
and spoke with a pensive look.
"We have to be Prepared!
for Zeus is on the warpath again! '
And this time nothing
is going to keep him quiet! "
Then the sisters all, looked above
and in their many faces
Masked and unmasked
beautiful or plain
and spoke now with a slow
Growing sense of trembling awe
with one heavy and distraught voice,
that made the very shelter Quake
with a deep and trembling state:
"Not Zeus! NO! "
"Oh I'm getting fed up of this! "
Said Calliope sounding
furious and frustrated;
A growing sense of annoyance
spreading upon her oval face
"I think I'll walk home instead."
But as she spoke,
the traffic began to increase
just as she three of her sisters
All arrived at once,
dancing with capricious comedy,
they jovially pointed
at the wonders of the universe.
as I saw new and distant Planets
formed upon heavens shores,
and spirals of gates displaced
revealing huge fantastic Star ships
made of crystalline cubed lavender;
whose engines rocked above my head
as all of London's buildings fell about me.
I felt my mind inwardly start to melt
and screamed in spectacular agony,
as Calliope slowly took my hand.
"It's alright." I heard her whisper,
as all her sisters many faces
Slowly began to blur into one.
Each being a reflection of the next.
And as the bus finally arrived
the weary bearded tatty fat grey face
of the driver slowly appeared,
I said the words word...
"Clapham, return please...."
Afraid of what she might do,
if I said something else instead.
And, As I took my rat eaten seat,
a gorgeous woman with raven hair
distant yet wanton desire
Written in her eyes told me this: -
'The stars about the lovely moon,
Fade back and vanish all too soon,
When round and full her silver face,
Swings into sight and lights all of space.'
And with that,
she winked at the woman to her left...Then vanished in thin air.
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