The Mountains of Atlas

Phillip A. Ellis

Beneath the stars that furl in shapes
and beasts and men who march on high,
the cynogriffons glide and fly
on wings the hue of bleeding grapes.

Around them, mountains pierce the air,
as arrows biting bleeding thighs
of dragons fleeing 'cross the skies
in haste to seek a sheltered lair.

But deep within the mountains' realm,
a single peak is garbed in cloud.
Around its flanks the mountains crowd
in case the sky does overwhelm

this curs├ęd Titan turned to stone
and doomed to bear aloft that sphere
on which the blemmyes look with fear
lest stars do fall like leaves windblown.

But stars stay fixed, though some still roam,
and Atlas ever bears the sky.
And though no ears can hear him sigh,
the Titan ever dreams of home.

And there, with wine both sweet and fresh,
without the burden breaking back
or butterflies with wings of black,
he dreams the stone return to flesh.

Top of Page