No More – A Poem

I have been obsessed with mythology, particularly Greek mythology which was what I was brought up with, since I was a child. To prove it, here is a poem, written when I was sixteen, in the sixth-form of my boarding-school.

No More

No more are the mud-hut kings and queens
In their hovelled hound-bitten wars
Gaping chariots and fly-spattered wounds
Their brittle armour and coarse and sweaty oaths
Whores for queens, unthinking brutes for kings.
No more is there flung breath of them.
Agamemnon, Oedipus, Electra, Helen,
All strident on their rafts, their carts, their rutted mounds,
Legs loud on their borders, cock-strutting
Flaunting brown muddied feathers like harsh-voiced peahens.
Their cry claims us, faint now, sweetened by years,
Roused by their petty family quarrels, though our world consumed theirs.
And we have softened them, endowed them with greatness –
They and their adulterous and too-familiar gods –
We have lent them a coat of many colours
Mourning that grandeur we never gained and lost.

Jeni Waterfield [my maiden name].