Cameron Hawke Smith

Cameron Hawke Smith p.2

Lazarus Aaronson

The ‘Splash’ Talks

Athene’s Child

Lazarus Aaronson

He was my first live poet and he came with trumpets,
fierce auras of white flame around the immense dome
of his cranium, one of the Old Testament prophets
stepping from a Morris Minor into our Northamptonshire home.
And we waited for him to unfurl his grey whiskers
and take up a pose and wave his burgeoning rod,
and stand there in the garden beside the hibiscus,
cast his eyes up to heaven and to his God
and perform. In fact he politely took tea and a scone,
talked ever so cleverly about Laurence Olivier,
smiled sweetly and slipped off to sit on his own,
and watch the last shadows drift over the lawn,
and took out a pencil and paper, then put them away,
and watched the last shadows drift over the lawn.

Copyright © 2013 Cameron Hawke Smith
Lazarus Aaronson read by Cameron Hawke Smith
'The Splash' Talks
Steeple Bumpstead, 2013

A dribble, a trickle, a tuppenny ha’penny
flash-in-the-pan of a stream,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
and yet I’m not what I seem!
Some call me The Splash –
when they’re short of the cash
They’ll use me to wash down the van;
the dogs will swim in me, but by jiminy
They do not know who I am!
And most of the time I lay so quiet,
sober, thirsty and dry,
But then I’d up and there’d be a riot:
water, water up to the eyes,
Floods in the houses, a village tsunami,
and then I named my price!
One million, two million, three, no – four!
is the price to stop my anger,
Then I’ll behave, not crash through your door,
ruin your carpets, drown your hamster,
run amok like a ravenous beast.
I promise I’ll not behave like a gangster –
Well, for the moment at least!

pub. The Yellow Book, Steeple Bumpstead Parish Magazine May 2013

Copyright © 2013 Cameron Hawke Smith
‘The Splash’ Talks read by Cameron Hawke Smith
Athene's Child
(with apologies to Homer: Odyssey Bk 1 , 11-98)

All the rest of that famous ensemble who fought at Troy
and escaped its tumble were now at home.
At least for them warfare and sea-faring were done,
but not for Odysseo, the ultimate one,
crying out for the day of his home-coming
and the pleasure of bedding his own woman.

It was Kalypso kept him, star of the seawater
daughters of god, in caves that twist with dark declivities
she lusted after his body. But even when he reached the knot
the gods had put in the thread of his life,
when time should turn its wheel and put an end to his travels,
he was not yet shot of his toils, and back home with his wife.

Poseidon the pernicious ruler of the waves
slapped Odysseo with his hand
this way, that way
until the moment he set his foot on his own homeland.

There is a country called Ethiopea, divided between the horizon
of the rising sun and the sunset, and here far away sat Poseidon
contemplating with a smile a sizzling pile of roast beef and lamb.

Meanwhile on Mount Olympus the gods sat tight in the megaron
giving ear to the words of Lord Zeus:

Oh, whoa-ho! Is there no end
in sight to the empty-
headed ways of men ?
They like to put
the blame on us of course but nine times out of ten
the fault is theirs. Take Aigistho for instance,
he bedded Agamemnon's wife and welcomed back
the husband on the point of a knife, knowing full well
he stared into the pit of hell. We even sent Hermes,
the one with eyes that pry everywhere,
to warn him off it. What use? Well, he's paid the price.

Athene the goddess replies
without a flicker of the lids of her owlish eyes:

Father, greatest of the great, sure that man got
what he deserved. Any other like him
should share his fate, but for me it is Odysseo
who cuts my bleeding
heart in two –
a brainy man but a miserable one,
cut off from his own folk, stranded on
an island like a tummy-button in the sea,
an island thick with bushes, the haunt
of a she-god daughter
of Atlas the Gaunt
(who keeps the blue sky from falling on us
by the arch of his massive cranium).
Well, she keeps that poor man under her thumb
with sexy talk and innuendoes, till Ithaka, his home
beyond the ocean, is lost in the blur of her magic potion.

Meantime Odysseo wants only to see a puff
of billowing smoke rise in the chimneys
of his homeland and cries out for death's stroke.

Are you not bothered,
Olympian Lord?
Were the offerings he paid too few on the beaches of Troy?
Is the word 'Odysseo' odious to you?'

To this the great marshall of storms:

My dearest pet, what a phrase to let
slip through your teeth! Odysseo is almost one of us.
How could I forget this most astute of men,
and the most punctilious in his offerings to us,
the people of the sky.

It is Poseidon
who won't let drop
the Cyclops'case, he won't excuse
that put-out eye of Polyphemo,
lion of the monocle race, nor forget the wet and wild
sexy nympholeptic rave with the sea-girl Thoösa
in that cave, when she conceived his monster child.

So what does my brother, the old earth-rattler do?
He stretches his hand
but cannot kill,
he can only hold a rein on Odysseo
from reaching his fatherland.

But now it's over to us, let's ponder.
We'll get him home, Poseidon
will soften. He has to go under
if this is the course we are all allied on!

Athene the goddess replies
without a flicker of the lids of her owlish eyes:

So it's all agreed: Odysseo the multi-brained
will indeed find his way back to his estate,
item: the messenger-god Hermes will speed
off to Ogygia to give that well-coiffeured
nymphet our final set-in-concrete word,
that Odysseus is sent on a course for home.
Meanwhile I'll shoe my heels to fly
away to Ithaka and maybe drum
a little sense into the cerebrum
of the son and heir. At least I'll try.

I'll get him to call up those long-haired Greeks
filling their bellies with the choicest steaks
of his mutton and beef, and give them instead
a piece of his mind. Then off he'll head.
He could do worse than go to Sparta
and learn what he can
of his reverend pater,
and maybe pick up a bit of the èclat
of that great intelligence, his papa.

That said, she strapped the twin micro-engines on her feet, adjusted her bra,
pressed the button that said 'begin' and entered the dimension of time and space.

Copyright © 2012 Cameron Hawke Smith
Athene’s Child read by Cameron Hawke Smith

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