Muses in Knickers

The Muses sat in knickers,
three deep and three across
musing on
their specialities.
Straw hats askew they rolled
black beady eyes at one another
to see how the others were doing.

Calliope of Epic Poetry
and Eloquence
was chief among them but knew
to wait till all could speculate
on the impasse before them

Harmonious had become Vociferous,
Graceful downed in Raucous Rhythms
and strange licks, Balance according
to "The Highest Ratings." Cultured meant
nothing with the coming
of "multi, multi" culture and Inspired
implied you had a Submachine gun
at your side. Once observed the Muses

understood their new physiques,
all with beaks, stiff with stuffed limbs
and black cotton smocks. As unstereo-
typical as possible of Greek Goddesses
who sought poets and truth
as austere as their austere mother who
never could remember their names.
"Truth was a matter of not forgetting"

And now thanks to the Gods who
cried. "Fowl" at the earnest disregard
of poets. They were ready, twenty
centuries late, to be rediscovered.

Euterpe, most highly favored,
as Lyrics and Music could stretch
words beyond plain-saying.
Country music gaining.
She sat smug while the others eyed
her over-arching ambitions with
dismay, everybody calling
their poetry "lyric".

Erato scarcely heard a word during
these empowerment sessions. She had
inspired Ovid and he'd overdone it
--lasting two thousand years
and Ted Hughes with still another
edition. She stared off
into space doubting
erotic poetry could need a smock.

Polyhymnia who spoke for
Oratory and Sacred Poetry
was not displeased with her black robes
and took credit for the poetry
in every hotel room. Still she
had shared eastern poets
with star-eyed Erato.

Melpomene with her melancholy
could only be Tragedy but hardly
knew where to start. Their remote

Olympian retreat tempted the Gods
to set up Internet. Then Tragedies came often
with too few heroes. Reporters no longer
kept their distance. Making and unmaking
heroes by the news hour, praising
without knowing why.

Now Thalia of Comedy was ready
for rebirth with nightly sit-coms
thirty channels wide and thirty deep
with replays by the score
but few to seek out language
and censors got those. The joys
of George Carlin were rare indeed.

The Muses that remain brought music
of the spheres. Clio of History
claimed rote and musical note.
Terpsichore of Choral Song and Dance
echoed her voice in Broadway stars
and Urania of Astronomy arranged the skies
in images of beleaguered men
tormented by gods.

Muses once spoke with one voice,
the pole around
which academies had sprung
and their music
encouraged the memory of man.
No wonder Muses sat in a heap,
confused and disguised.
Only so many digital patterns
can be grasped and sung
before passwords recover sheer noise
but never the forgotten
mother tongue.

L. Fullington

If you've any comments on this poem, L.Fullington would be pleased to hear from you.