Home             About/Subscribe             Blog             Previous Issues             Submission Guidelines             Sponsors


Fickle Muses an online journal of myth and legend


(From Gods’ Mouths to My Ears)
By Michele Madigan Somerville

Weather
                        Sunrise:
                        Rosy-fingered dawn
                        will ascend above
                        the horizon, cloaking
                        the world with amber
                        warmth.

                        Tides:
                        Winedark.

                        Winds:
                        Advisory: Sacrifices
                        to Poseidon are recommended.

***

Local News

DATELINE: Aulis

SACRIFICE  KING LURES  VIRGIN DAUGHTER
            TO DEATH USING MARRIAGE  RUSE
            NO GROOM, DEATH LURKS IN THE LURCH

            Trousseau prepared, eagerly awaiting the celebration
            of her impending marriage, royal Iphigenia virgin
            daughter of King Agamemnon marched down the aisle
            to her untimely early yesterday as hundreds
            watched in horror. The body of the pert princess
            was recovered by local divers, as yellow-robed
            dawn was rising out of the river of ocean.  Shocked
            onlookers report the girl’s father, Agamemnon,
            engineered the cruel scheme to lure the girl
            to Aulis, promising her a wedding to the eligible
            half-god Achilleus.  When questioned, neighbors
            of the deceased had this to say about the victim.  
            “She was a lovely girl who always wore a friendly
            smile.”  The near-bride wore white silk and
            a wreath of gold woven by nymphs.  Delphic
            Meteorologists indicate the winds have been
            favorable for the grieving father and mariner king.  

 

Public Notice

Heretofore, I shall no longer be
responsible for debts incurred
by A.W.O.L. husband.
            Penelope of Ithaca, Daughter of Ikarios.

***

Cuisine

 

            Searching high and low for a quick and tasty treat
            that will really get your guest-friend’s goat?
            Try—KID ATREUS STEW! Simply dice your
            your guest-friend’s progeny in olive oil
            and unmixed wine, stirring the flesh
            of the savory juveniles well
            above a well-fed fire. Garnish
            with parsley and Kalamata
            olives, and serve your rivals
            a meal they’ll really remember.

            This message is brought to you by Atreus Palace Restaurant. 
            Why not stop on by for the AtreusPalace special—
            Hurry, don’t wait. This week only: first curse on the house.

***

Advice: Dear Oracle

Dear Oracle:
I am hoping you can draw on your infinite wisdom to help me
with an embarrassing problem I’m having with my wife. 
It is difficult for me to discuss this
problem with anyone, as I am a King and Hero of some renown.  
My wife has been acting strangely.  It all began when she invited
a mad scientist into the palace.  I’ll call him “Daedelus”
(not his real name).  It seems they’ve been working on a project
in the basement.  I should mention that my wife is expecting.
I’m starting to become suspicious.  Are they fooling around
down there?  She spends hours down there and sometimes
has this cow-eyed look at the end of the day.   Normally a slender
woman, she recently experienced a dramatic weight gain and
Just informed me she is expecting.  Is she horsing around
with scientist?   I need to get the middle of this! I am at my wit’s end! 

Signed,
King But Not Man Enough

Dear King But Not Man:

        I advise you to check out the palace for oversized sex toys and other
erotic contraptions, and to give some thought to investing in a large crib. 
        As for getting to the middle of this—honey, you don’t want to
get to the middle of it.  Keep a red cape on hand—and give that batty
scientist his walking papers A.S.A.P.  And tell ’em M.Y.O.B. from me.   
        Ole!
                                    Yours truly,
                                    The Oracle

***

Sports

                        Spartans shut out Asians early in the game.
                        Romans closed in remained 1st in the League,
                        licked Asiatics, traded Ugly Death for 2nd Round
                        Draft Picks: Women and Sheep.

                        In Trojan War Action—

                        It was a magnificent spectacle! 
                        There were pom-poms
                        and dithyrambs at Half-Time.
                        Ajax was Poetry in Motion.
                        Fending off rumors of a scandal,
                        pretty-boy, draft-dodger
                        “Broadway Paris” took off 
                        with the wife of a rival coach.
                        Sports fans selected Menelaos of
                        the great war cry as this week’s
                        “media hog.” Picking up the pieces
                        of his broken dreams, he began
                        Life as a free agent, taking  
                        consolation in a six-figure
                        multi-million drachmae deal
                        and the promise of lucrative
                        endorsement contracts.

                        But the real Man of the Hour,
                        Day, Month and Year, voted game
                        M.V.P., was the god-like Achilleus,
                        who tasted the raw thrill
                        of sweet victory.  The temperamental
                        demi-god (renown throughout Argos
                        for his off-season high jinx and work
                        as a moody musician) had dropped
                        out of the lineup.  The brooding
                        player watched the dramatic
                        events unfold from the sidelines.
                        While pinch-hitting
                        for the wondrous Achilleus,
                        close personal friend and team-
                        mate Patroklos was pulled off
                        the field in the top of the 16th. 
                        Batting cleanup, was the mighty
                        half-god himself, who returned
                        to the field of contention
                        with moments to spare—
                        just in time to lead his fellow Greeks
                        to a solid win.  The final score was
                        Achians All.  Trojans Nothing.

                        In the gruesome face of deadly battle,
                        in the awesome visage of bittersweet defeat,
                        Hektor of the shining helm charged like a Pegasus,
                        stung like a scorpion, went the distance,
                        22 rounds of sheer punishment at the hands of
                        the Mighty Achian! —
                        Achilleus took the T.K.O. by decision,
                        awaited word from the oracle for confirmation
                        of the decision, rushing off for an
                        Epson salt soak and whirlpool
                        for a foot injury had this to say:
                        “I owe it all to my manager,
                        the grey-eyed Athena.”

                        —On a lighter note—
                        on this day in Sport’s History, G.G.O.W.,
                        the Glamorous Goddesses of Wrestling,
                        cream of the pussy-
                        cat pugilist crop, went at it
                        on scenic Mount Olympus as
                        the deathless and beauteous
                        babes of bald-faced bellicosity vied
                        for the coveted Golden Apple Award
                        presented by judge and jury,
                        Broadway Paris himself,
                        to the loveliest apple-grappling deity.
                        Aphrodite, finalist in the swimsuit category,
                        took the grand prize. 
                        A disgruntled Hera cried out: “F--- the ump!”
                        as the winner volunteered, “I already have!”
                        A vicious melee then ensued among
                        the frenzied crowd who came out
                        for the immortal maulers.  The normally
                        cool-headed Athena intervened,
                        Jumped into the fray to join
                        her half-sister in some tag-team action.
                        The crowd went wild calling out,
                        “Cream ’er Athener!”

                        This is Herotodus Hercules, coming to you
                        From the Legendary Mount Olympus
                        With “In Sports Today.”

***

World News

            MOTHER  SLAYS  OWN TWO TOTS
            IN VENGEANCE BLOOD SPREE

                                                                        Dateline: Corinth
                        The distraught mother of two distraught
                        over the betrayal of philandering common-
                        law spouse, Jason (of Golden Fleece fame),
                        slaughtered her two children today in what
                        witnesses describe  as “a bloodbath.”
                                When reporters reached Jason, father of
                        the slain youths, for comment, he had this to say
                        about the tragedy:  “Certainly, my wife overreacted.” 
                                Referring to his newly acquired bride/concubine,
                        Jason added: “She meant nothing to me.  She was
                        just some girl I picked up while pillaging.”
                                Casualties include the local princess
                        Cruesa, whom reputed bigamist Jason recently took
                        as his bride.
                                As part of a cold-blooded revenge scenario,
                        the unbalanced assailant stalked her rival for weeks 
                        before presenting the would-be bride with a
                        purported nuptial gift and “peace offering”—
                        a golden couture gown which gleamed like
                        a jealous sun. 
                                The victim perished immediately upon donning
                        the garment.  Corinthian P.D. working closely
                        with Athenian Homicide Units finally caught up
                        with the alleged assailant today. 
                                She was spotted driving recklessly, erratically
                        maneuvering an airborne vehicle led by winged
                        dragons.  The responding officers were
                        unable at first to subdue the perpetrator, whom
                        they characterized as “emotionally disturbed.”
                                Medea was taken into custody following a high-
                        speed chase. She was arraigned will be detained  until
                        The Delphic Oracle can complete an evaluation to
                        determine whether the accused perpetrator, Medea
                        is fit to stand trial before the wrathful Eumenides.

***

From AROUND OLYMPUS

            The Slut that Launched a Thousand Sailors
                        Latest reports confirm that mega-tussle
                        we’ve all been hearing a lot about lately
                        was sparked off by none other than
                        the Insatiable Spartan Bombshell.
                        That’s right kids, Helen of Troy
                        met a handsome Prince on the beach
                        and decided it might be fun to explore
                        the lifestyles of the Royal and Barbarous.

            Love-struck Hero Back in Action
                        Speaking of boys... Remember all the fuss
                        between Agamemnon and his Numero Uno,
                        ‘Ace in the Hole’ Achilleus?  Well, we have it
                        on good authority that Achilleus has decided to
                        rejoin the war already in progress, a decision
                        hastened by his bereavement over the sudden death
                        of his very special thisclose fellow soldier,
                        Patroklos... Don’t you just love a sentimentalist?

            Wine God Busted in Mountain Raid
                        Celebulush Bacchus was nabbed, once again, charged
                        with drunken disorderly, sexual misconduct,
                        and endangerment of local beasts... Boys will be boys...

            Protest Gals Nix  Sex: Crossed Legs Over Arms
                        Undisclosed sources around the islands
                        report that Lysistrata and her bevy of crusader
                        beauties against arms are still going strong. 
                        Yes, those civic-minded glamour gals of anti-
                        Peloponnesian war protest are continuing
                        to hold out—What a serious bunch!
                        (Keep those legs crossed, girls...)

            Merry Widow Dons Black, Trysts Shrouded in Secrecy
                        Which Queen whose King died suddenly in the bath
                        (the most dangerous room in the home)
                        has given up her Widow’s Black for a black Merry Widow?
                        Well, according to intimates of the Royal Family
                        the only black her Mournful Majesty is wearing of late 
                        is that of her raciest laciest lingerie
                        designed to get a rise out of her next victim.
                        Not only that, but Her Majesty’s loyal, royal
                        and so very pulchritudinous knockout sister
                        has rushed to defend of the scandal-plagued
                        Queen. Hoping to set the record straight,
                        the queen’s controversial sister had this
                        to say in an exclusive interview with
                        Around Olympus.  “I give you my solemn vow that
                        Clytaemestra is, and always has been,
                        as faithful and loving a wife as I!”
                        (Well, thank you Helen.) 

                                    And now, this is your swift-winged messenger god,
                                    Hermes, clasping your knees, reminding you:
                                    all really is fair in love and war! And leaving you
                                    with these important words:  “Don't bite my
                                    head off, honey; I’m just the messenger!”


Read Michele Madigan Somerville’s poetry blog at http://www.michelemadigansomerville.com/

Cran Herlihy The Maiden Lay Dreaming

“the maiden lay dreaming” by Cran Herlihy

Cran Herlihy Palmleaf With A Twist

“palmleaf with a twist” by Cran Herlihy

Get Cran Herlihy’s art and poetry from Great Mystery Publishing, http://www.greatmysterypublishing.com/index.htm