Skheria and Scarier

As tumultuous waves furiously leapt at starlight and lightning, so Poseidon with fiercesome visage consulted with pers elder sibling, Zeus.

"A grandchild I have who cherishes the sea. A grandchild I have who reaps great riches from the watery expanse," said Poseidon, "This grandchild has transported Odysseus home without incident."

The stars winked patiently at the coming complaint.

"I accept that Odysseus has a right to her homecoming. Yet I sought to place suffering before each step of her journey. How did she pass this last leg so serenely, landing with more wealth in gold, bronze and fine fabrics than if she had come directly from Troy?"

Though the air was electric, no lightning struck that very moment.

"Alkinoos' sleek trireme is even now gliding through the morning mists, like a landing swan, on the way back to its own beloved port. How I would like to transfix that smooth hull, pierce it right through, with rock or coral. How I would like to raise up a ring of mountains around Skheria with a magnificent shudder and thereby end all seafaring."

I fine white line rent the sky and the voice of thunder, the voice of Zeus replied,"You need not hold back your wrath. If some human defies or cuts you, you may demonstrate your deific displeasure. All in heaven and earth respect you and your decisions. Though might I suggest that instead of simply impaling that ship which has lost you some expression of anger with Odysseus, rather make of it an eternal example to the Phaiakians and those who visit them. Do not throw up a mountain ring when you need not lose devout worshippers."

Twice more electrical etchings, spidery and white, flared brilliantly between the stars. Then all was silent.


Getting Stoned.

Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps