Monday, November 21, 2011

To Helios

The sun. The Greek sun. Bearing down on me –
I feel him pressing on my head, I’m pressed
To look for shade. I feel him on my neck,
My shoulders. More and I would feel distressed.

I understand the ancient Greeks now more
That I have been to Greece. The sun’s a friend,
Who brings us life and light, and yet he is
An enemy to make you bow and bend.

You live intensely in such lands, the sun
Will make you understand more than any
Texas sun-lit book can bring – for in Greece
The sun brings one death and birth and plenty.

But why is the sun felt so sharply here?
Is it because Greece is Helios’ home?
And, living here, he gives the best he has,
Not knowing the sharp heat from his sky-dome?

Yet, knowing that the sun is there, I feel
The sun and love him more than I loved him
In either Texas or Kentucky, I
Now know the sun – he seems to me less dim.

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