sisyphus by Titian

These pale nights without you
scatter me like buckshot.

 I would be Prometheus,
hero of my ordinary days.
I would wear love as the armor
I learned not to need,
and bring fire
to every corner of this dark.

In truth, I am Sisyphus
on a mountain too familiar,
putting my shoulder to the weight of my fears,
straining beneath the yoke of this gravity:
the same struggle, again
and again
and again.

Tasting the salt on my skin,
I pause to consider:
Fiery Prometheus, too, knew suffering.
Chained to that bloody rock, consumed and regenerated:
the same trial, again
and again
and again.

And Sisyphus, he carries a weightless gift:
memory, and anticipation.
An eternity of seconds at the summit —
the broadened vision, the flash of clarity,
the cant of courage in aching bone and burning muscle.

He might string those moments like pearls;
he might drape them over Prometheus’ bowed head.
He might say:  Brother.





  1. Biro Jasa Perijinan · · Reply

    nice poem, so expressive..


    1. Kind of you to say; thank you.


  2. That was a shot for a sleepy afternoon, got my mind moving again, thank you.


    1. You’re welcome. Thank you for reading and responding.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan Lukwago · · Reply

    You wrote this? You wrote this Cate? This is beautiful and expressive. Are you familiar with the Old Testament Scripture that states God gives ” … beauty for ashes …?” This is what you have done. Isaiah 61:3 if you chose to look it up. Thank you Cate.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “and provide for those who grieve in Zion …. a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” Thank you, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. this rates somewhere
    between exquisite
    & profound 🙂


    1. A lovely compliment, anywhere on that scale. Thank you.


  5. A stunning poem! Throw in Tantalus, and you’ve a trio of frustrated individuals.


    1. Indeed. I thought of calling this one “The Brothers Grim,” but it seemed unkind to poke fun at myself. 🙂 Thanks, Bob.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, Cate. Just wow!


    1. You can’t know how much that means to me, Bob, coming from you. Thank you so much for your appreciation.

      Liked by 1 person

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