Wednesday, February 29, 2012

54. Alexander the Great

Years later
During King Philip’s reign
A prince was born.
“This boy will be great,”
The soothsayer said,
“He shall be called a lion”
“The he-goat king of Javan.”
“Macedonia is too small for his ambitions.”
A horse came from Thessaly
He tamed it
His father was amazed.
Aristotle came to teach him
In the palace of Nymphs.
The lion gave the book that guided
The Macedonian lion to his destiny.
The young cub grew.
His father sent him off to hunt
When a new prospect came for love and other things.
“My son,”
He said to the boy,
“Macedonia is too small for your ambitions.”
“Leave this country.”
“Fulfill your destiny.”
With that he went back to his new concubine.
From out of the shadows
Philip died.
Called from his wilderness
He took the throne.
His attacks to east and west
Brought a final peace to his Balkan homeland.
Athena, Ares and their friends
Fell to their knees
When they saw him in their land.
Zeus adopted him at Olympus
Handing him his lightning fury.
“Greece is too small for you my boy,”
Zeus whispered in his ear.
He pointed eastward
Where the sleeping dragon lay.
“You have a duty to your people”
“To slay that evil dragon.”
“Go out.”
“Conquer the world.”
Racing eastward on his trusty ox-head-steed he cut the dragon to pieces
Eagerly thrashing at Gordium’s famous knot.
From Anatolia to Egypt
He raced
Where he gave the Nile a thinker’s light.
He pushed the dreaded serpent back.
Charging the ram in great rage
Hunting the dragon’s dreaded servant.
From Pella to the Indus
Shattering Media and Persia’s horns
Proclaiming himself the king of these mighty kings.
When his conquered people stood up out of the dust
They asked who it was that came
So that he can be properly worshipped as a god.
“Alexander,” was the reply
From the lion in all his armored glory
Then he collapsed.

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