#poetry : To Hero and Leander – Death’s Apology

For those unfamiliar with the relevant mythology, here’s the Wikipedia article on it, although I’d like to think the poem can be read without the background knowledge…


To Hero and Leander – Death’s Apology


I remember you and your love secret,

secret even from the gods.

I remember your smooth body bathed in fragrant oils, and his hair wet

with brine and ornaments of seaweed,

eyes glazed with the fever of love.

It was selfish, I know,

to wrap you in my shroud – two souls knotted like eels

to warm my eternal frost awhile.

Such is my fate

to not to be able to touch what I love

and to wreck with a single caress

all your creation.

Each night I watched

as you lit your lamp, for your dolphin love to cross

the sea, straight into your warm, and open arms.

Each night I watched

as from the spring of your lips

you gave him drink, while you fed tender whispers

to your hungry ears.

I could not bear to keep you apart,

so I took you both, my doves,

rather than break your lettuce hearts.

I plunged him into the depths of the waves,

and dragged you over a cliff,

on jagged rocks your arms spread,

wings that didn’t work.


it seems

the buds of summer

have withered too soon.

Gods cruel and silent,


what have I done?


15 thoughts on “#poetry : To Hero and Leander – Death’s Apology

      1. Well I thought you might be charitable and donate an idea. 🙂 However don’t worry, I have come up with something for this week and next week. This buys me more time before I start freaking out about poetry production again,

      2. No worries. Take care and drop me a subject any Thursday as this gives me time to write for Sunday. I once wrote a poem about CARPET, so.

      3. Hm… let’s see… subjects, subjects…


        Ooooo, here’s one:

        wreck !

        Either the verb or the noun. Could be either a physical, literal wreck or a metaphorical one…I just remembered a poem I read for my course using shipwrecks as a metaphor. Will see if I can hunt it down!

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