Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Oedipus Tyrannus

With care I limp along in blindness sight --
Oh, too much sight! -- developed in my soul.
This limp was given to me by my father,
These children given to me by my mother,
These empty sockets given to myself.
I leave behind the pestilence I brought
Because I sought to seek a pathway home
Away from my mistaken home, to flee
Into my mother's arms, away from mom
And dad, protecting them, I thought. I ought
To wander in a circle -- circles sought
Me out to bring me home from home, womb
To womb, and now near Athens is my tomb.
This cane, my curse -- it gave me sight to step
Before the Sphinx, her wings outstretched, her tail
Twitching, her lion legs low, crouched, her breasts
Wet-streaked in blood from victims she had killed
That very day, her face as beautiful
As it was awful, and answer her words,
Her riddle I in doubleness could answer.
I saw her fury press her wings down tight
Onto her body right before she threw
Herself onto the craggy stones to die.
I saw her simply lie. In triumph I
Marched into my new torture I mistook
For pleasure gardens and my just rewards.
I knew I knew and, knowing, knew I knew
How to be king -- appointed if not born --
How to be ruler over man. A wise
And sober king -- with brightness I would blind
Myself -- in too much light I could not see
The plague in front of me, that I had made
Because my virtue was a shade to hide
The outcomes of my choices. I had bound
All those I loved, who perished by my fate.
The weakest of my line is all who'd live,
My brother-in-law uncle left alone
To rule an empty city, empty home.

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