1. Penelope Waits why do I constantly look out our window hoping to see your ship returning to its harbour? why do I listen for the sound of your footsteps echoing up to our bedchamber? but I know you too well you've gone after your own desires & I'm the spider who waits quietly the thing with journeys is that they spiral inwards to your own dark heart should you return you'll find me here spinning a web to ensnare you & every night I unpick it while hungry men wait below none of them have your eyes or your smell all the heroes returned from the wars, except you long have I dreamed of your dark hair, tanned skin, & sinewy form to emerge out of the frothing sea-water & into my arms but I know you too well you will come home only when you are tired of your journeys your betrayals your lies & after so many threads I'm tired of waiting for our lives to begin again is there anything worth salvaging between us? 2. Telemachus Schemes I planned to go & find him in my dreams a goddess with long dark hair & ivory skin faintly whispered that he would return I traveled but found no word of him, just assurances so I pace the walls of our palace while fat old men drink our wine eat our food lounge around planning to covet my mother in my father's house they pay no attention to me I wander unnoticed & unchecked my mother hides behind walls picking & unpicking at embroidery there is nothing to do but wait my father left me for the wars I was too young to join now that I'm older my mother seems unsure of my intentions every day I look to the fathomless sea hoping to see my father's ship negotiating the waves one day I will find him my time will come 3. Calypso Sings It is surprising what a storm throws up on the shore - today walking along the alabaster sands after a tumultuous night I found a man he was bedraggled partially clothed in seaweed & rags, his skin tanned & muscles on his sinewy arms like knotted rope I thought him dead but as I watched he coughed up seawater so I got to my knees & softly sang to arouse him he awoke in despair he had lost everything - his men, his ship, his way home I led him to my house plying him with wine, goats cheese, & grapes, while singing to calm him slowly I fell in love with the scars on his back, his long sea-bleached hair, his moods, & his occasional smiles he explored the hidden caves of my island, the forests & secret waterfalls I wanted him to forget his family his own people I kept him here for seven years & took him for my lover I wanted him to love me but his heart was already taken the other gods wanted me to throw him back to the ocean & he was restless pining for his wife he would sit on the beach for hours watching the waves slowly sobbing & staring in the direction of his home I knew I was no longer part of his story so I let him go he will go back to his wife & I will be left here looking out to the sea watching over him as he sails away hoping my charms will keep him safe on the ocean paths he will return to his island & win back his lost kingdom I will be left here on my own again singing softly to myself 4. Eurylochus Laments Curse the Gods & all those who follow them I am not a fatalist, but I know we are all doomed he will escape though he always escapes it is us who pay for it we have faced a monster with six heads eating our crew-mates, a witch who turned us into pigs, women with beautiful voices trying to lure us ashore, a giant who dashed the heads of the crew against a cavern wall & ate them whole, & of course Gods seeking vengeance for his own transgressions & deceits & each time he survives he is my lord & king but when you gaze into the chaos long enough you get to see how things will fall into place he will make it home & win back his kingdom our wives, sons, & daughters will grieve, wondering what became of us all will marvel at his survival; the story of the lost sea-wanderer emerging like Orpheus out of the Land of the Dead sparing no thought for us we will be lost amongst the waves, scattered across these islands & forgotten he will return & sacrifice us all for it 5. Athena Watches it was not meant to happen like this he wasn't meant to take so long to get home events can spiral even out of our reach when you play everyone like puppets the strings can get tangled the human race is nothing but story individual lives threads of narrative to be told in the dark night by the roaring bonfire under a black sky burning with bright stars we gods know this & yet we also know that we are part of this story too; a story within a story I contrived for everything to turn out the way I wished yet the path always branches onto an infinite number of other paths to take he was imprisoned on that island for so long I told her she had to let him go when he does return he will be alone there will be reunions & reconciliations & bloodshed I have done my best to set things right yet there are always other pathways 6. Odysseus Returns Saltwater is in my blood - most of my life has been spent in the sea or boats after Troy fell it was a rough journey home every day I dreamed to return to the rocky shores of my kingdom to see it's olive trees & quiet bays & wander the long hill-paths she held me captive for years & slowly I fell for her charms but then she told me I had to go she gave me a sharp axe & I built a boat from the tall alders, poplars, & firs on her island, once it was finished she loaded it with pomegranates, goat's cheese, apples, & wine & then off I went sailing the oceans paths home when I returned I was alone, there were parasites living in my house eating my food, drinking my wine & after I killed them all I was king again with a people I no longer recognise or understand a young man calls me father watching me intently with every step & my wife is not her not the woman I left she has erected walls within walls I cannot find my way through her labyrinth she kept suitors out of our bed for so long she has grown used to the solitude every night I dream I am lying on the white sand listening to the waves rolling lazily ashore & she is there standing over me softly singing while a breeze blows through her long brown hair then I awake it is still dark & I hear my wife muttering in her sleep on the wind I can hear the waves calling me to sail again - saltwater is in my blood Joanne Fisher
It’s nice to see it all together.
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