The Logos of Dionysus
A full belly and empty amphora is not an ill wish for a man
a state of bliss unto itself, with the mind free
of the chains of order, the shackles of manners
and the leash of law ever pulling on the larynx
For when the flames flicker dim, who wishes to feel
the sting of cold's dagger, or the the wind's salted scourge?
Drink! For the amphorae are full and it will only be the sun
which provides the toil and the song to find more
Dance, for the night is cold, and the movement of the body
heats the sinews. The honest exertion of performance
soon to be met by the same by some fair lover within a nearby tent
And none shall be judged for it as is the nature of man to celebrate
Sing, for the dark surrounds and crushes, and it is only the songs
which may bring the cold and afraid to the fire.
Play as well, for where the voice may wither over distance
the notes of the lyre or the flute may find some ear's pleasure
Love. For while the fools may sneer at fair Aphrodite,
and curse her for the scarcity of her gifts
she gives them freely to all, and I begrudge none who wish
to revel in her embrace, as I have many times.
And pay no heed to the ravings of Ares, for he will
like all others find himself adrift when the heat
of battle has faded and the night closes in.
He may find his redemption in song, or in wine, or in embraces
But he will put them all aside as soon as the horns blare
and claim that those who refuse to support him are cruel
and that we withhold from him his due glory
for refusing to be the dummy in his games of valor
Far more elegant are the games of sport at home
For when they are completed we can give each other honors
and upon the next day, challenge anew upon the same terms
Only with a deeper and more radiant knowing of the other
Perhaps I am a fool to prefer a game of man
to the more brutal and savage game that the beasts play
where the victor feasts and the other competitors are no longer spoken of
But far better to fall three times and rise, than fall once and for all.