The Logos of Heracles

It is rare indeed that a man is named for his mother.
For in all ways save birth, my mother did
cause me to flourish. Each hurdle a step
higher than the last, but all within the reach of my stride.

A mortal life is short indeed. A labor thought
long and arduous. But as soon as it is done
another labor rose to challenge me.
For it is in my greatest triumphs

That I realized there was always yet another
monster that would besiege the temples
Another creature that would savage children
And another prize that I would be sent to claim

My mothers lesson was not that I could accomplish
All the tasks that man could set before me.
For when my tasks were done I wandered,
for still the smoke clouded my mind.

I sought to once again regain that which I had
Thought lost, seeking a princess, gold, and honors.
And so I lost my dearest companion, all in seeking
that which my Mother had tried to warn me of.

When my rage at my success once again took hold,
I slew those who had thought me kind and good.
A man who stood by me when all others had betrayed
Lay broken at the feet of the wall I sought to protect.

I prepared myself for greater labors of strength
To prove my worthiness of forgiveness
And it was within the scrubbing and polishing
among the burns of weaving and baking

That I found true joy, and laughed at my own pretensions.
I had feared the laughter as I wore the clothes
of the role ordained to those I thought lesser.
And yet such demands as my labours were light

compared to the incessant call of the loom
the blast of the oven, the endless cadence of the broom.
Every day began a task as my captor sat upon a throne
wearing the skin that I had taken in such dire time.

I laugh, for it is indeed a virtue to do women's work
and my mother did well to set such a task upon me.
For such labours were never praised, though their completion
was as grueling as all other steps within my stride.

And in those final tasks of guiding a child
from grasping at a flower upon a precipice.
That I learned what my Mother was teaching me.
And the tears fell.

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detroitmechworks's picture

Than I expected, but at the same time, it's amazing how the myth of Heracles can portray somebody finally coming to grips with the idea that glory isn't the secret to happiness. :;

Edit: Forgot to say thanks to Heracles and the Muses for this one. It was a great experience to write.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

enhydra lutris's picture

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

detroitmechworks's picture

@enhydra lutris that Hera always Hated Heracles. Some traditions and myths have stated Hera stopped being angry when he became a God, and that interpretation also struck me as too easy.

So, as a result I went with a pretty complex relationship, to match the fact that Heracles himself was a complicated hero.

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smiley7's picture

cheers for another success.

Thank you for sharing!

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detroitmechworks's picture

@smiley7 Course, once again, this came to me pretty quickly and felt old when I did it. Smile

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.