A poem for the Festival:
Wine haired child of the Nysan cave
Standing on the dark headland,
Hair panther dark, eyes merlot,
So perfect you seemed carved out
Of some primordial substance, some antique
Wood from long vanished aromatic forest.
You wait to board the ship
(You who are always appearing from beyond)
But this boat is captained by thug
with stone eyes; you purred, yet
he still thought he could take you ransom.
Little did he know that
his ship would whisk into an eddy,
outside of time, where the original forest would grow
on his floating island, dripping the vine’s fruit over
a creek gushing wine, while bear and mountain lion
pad about. A fierce and fitting joy
to see the good sailors leap dolphin changed
into billowing sea, the captain impaled
in lion’s claws. O Lord of Animals.
Dinoysos take me into your hyle.
Note: Hyle is the ancient Greek word for forest, which in later Greek, due to Aristotle’s new usage, came to mean matter. I use it here in its older sense.