We Are Briareus
of hundred hands
and fifty heads,
of many heads one voice,
many hands one labor
fraternal for the common good;
we, cousin to Prometheus
the defiant one, the fire giver,
that fire that flamed all liberties,
his same blood coursing our veins,
all descended, we, of Gaea Redeemer,
her Phrygian red cap she bore even then,
she, as she rose broad breasted bold,
mother everlasting of earth’s
natural Furies, her Furies forever free
our poor mortals have all learned from:
the oceans, wind, and sky
churning— ocean’s wilding freedom,
and winds canting our prayers a lyric
of justice whistling through our ears,
streaming through our raving locks,
as skies fire our own opaline dignities
the natural in us of Gaea Redeeming;
We, Briareus, who never forget
her Furies, they scoring our veins,
Furies that raised our anvils defiant
for you, Zeus, on that cheerless tyrant
Kronos who left us bereft of our beauties.
Yet enslaved now by ignominious fate:
upon us cast the trickster, Sisyphus,
his cycles of Time’s accursed miasmas
that frustrate us back to the demi world;
memories, though, we shall never forget
even in the gloom of blackened Tartarus,
our heads bowed, and now in shackles
with the memories of Gaea’s Furies
still coursing through these veins in us,
but many hands tied in empoverished void.
How could you, Zeus, forget us here,
you, whiling away among your petty
discords, your conflicts, your debates
upon Olympus with Hera at your knees
wheedling her selfish desires notorious;
and your glorious progeny, all, do sway
by their charms, they all seduce on high
the lives and fates of mere mortals below;
this as they sip from their goblets of mirth.
Where the Dignity. Befallen.
Yet we hear across Gaea’s deep waters
mortals of Egypt rising a glorious swell,
and tears of adoration our eyes yet do fill:
compassion, and pride for Gaea everlasting.
That cycle— one tyranny to another
by Sisyphus and his accursed miasma
still with us here, the demi of Tartarus;
it gives us rise of our Furies to attain,
then fall at glimmer of dignity’s fires.
Olympus. We love and detest you.
What Has Happened?
It is over. Prometheus is dead.
The unimagined has befallen us:
his curse has been muted,
that gloried defiance of will,
that we who dare not speak it,
rose to Jove’s tyrannical blights
he fells upon us; thus from fear
and starvation we do not speak,
fear the depths of Jove’s blights
he casts from fiery gold throne;
and, this silence, now hell for us.
Prometheus, our Fire Giver,
first chained, now crucified
on the rocks of Gaea, mother
who bore him; and she weeps
with us amidst groans of pining
as darkness falls, and Jove’s
smug Furies feast upon remains
of our Titan’s crucified carcass,
we at the breech of Jove’s desolations.
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Chris Paris, PhD is Associate Professor of English at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas where he has taught for the past twenty-seven years, and holding administrative positions for at least half of his professional academic career, there, as Department Chair of academic literacy in English, Director of UIW’s Learning Communities Program, and Assistant Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Presently, he teaches English full time—courses in rhetoric, rhetoric theory, rhetoric criticism, literature, and creative writing. He received his doctorate in English Literature at Texas A&M University, College Station, where he specialized in the fields of medieval literature, seventeenth-century English literature, modernist American literature, and textual studies. Before his academic pilgrimage, he spent fifteen years in retail management in New York City, and in San Antonio. His children, Elizabeth and Nicholas, in his own words, “exceed any and all other priorities of my life; they are the true reason and inspiration for why we as parents do what we do.”
Chris coauthored a book of poetry in 2012, "The Beauty Between Words"
also in this issue
La Nuit Au Claire
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