Ben Firetag
Works in Progression  

          Mermaid.jpg 2004 by Ben Firetag
 Poem 97.  The Ship of Living Dead

The demon picked his way with care;
To have the Great Worm by it's tail
Requires more than strength
Of muscle, will or even magics.

To reach the bilious shore
Is oft times without joy for struggle
Without care for time or toil
The demon's only thought the bones below.

In the deep pit there is no sence
Of day or night nor any measure
Less than the length of every
Denizen's eternal sentence.

The crash of waves in hell
Grind no less than the oceans above.
The only differences visible
Are the bony hands scraping the shore.

Bones of contention litter the sand
Awash with hatred and predjudice
Here the demon found ribs and hands
With which to build his ship.

Gathering both hands full,
The demon filled his lungs with stale air,
Flung both sand and bones at the waves
and bellowed the name of Ulysses' ship.

Obediant to the call,
Ancient crew rise and cut
Their enemies wooden limbs
To throw in place before the Demon's step.

Rigging and sail
Woven from sinew and skin
Cannot pull hope from death's shore
Raw power need birth this woeful beam.

With unforgotten ease,
The demon shaped his harnesses
Then held them at his knee;
All that was left to call his steeds.

"Come to me, my Kytos," he called,
"I have need of thee, Thera and Thalassa.
Come take me to the wind
And let the waves remember your fearsome form."
June 13, 2004
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