Every man who has a serviceable soul
Is not whole but contains a chimera
The twin girl child of his earliest youth
Whose emotions live on enveloped.

[No doubt it is the same for woman
With the polarities and negatives
Reversed - the ambivalent Sappho singing
Of the imperishable hero Achilles.]

But as manhood rises, the she-soul fades
Trapped in the frame of masculinity
Though she is never wholly transmuted
Whispering as she does of lost divinity

Singing softly from the mind's shades
Of the perils of mortality and eternity:
A shadow of His mother, sister, lover
Sotto voce - the silent S'ibilance of He.

Now we know of what the sirens sang
When Ulysses, chained firmly to the mast
Of his nameless ship heard the enchanted
Sounds - straining for the dangerous coast.

And why Orpheus looked back in Hades
Unable to return to life the nymph
From whom he will never be parted:
Paired victims of Elysium's serpent.

And why Hylas gazed deeply, knowingly
At the naiads who drew him down to drown.
And why Narcissus at the surface found
Only hopeless longing in reflection.

Remember also Aphrodite and her revenge:
Psyche's beauty sacrificed to a dark god
Nightly awaiting the unseen lover
Too trusting of sisters, too lacking faith.

All betrayals of the substance of Eros:
The theft of the rib and not the fruit
The ripping apart of male and female
And the imperfections left in duality.

And this unfolding, this drawing down
This enfolding of hidden opposites
Of which dissension is the essence
Bedevils our good-standing with the gods

Of which I have no answer - only this
That we should engender harmony
Between the shadow and the soul
And share our secret selves in love.

by Keith Shorrocks Johnson

Comments (10)

Working through duality and seeking harmony within ourselves and in this world is indeed the lessons taught through all those ancient stories. Even those gods and celestial beings aren’t Immune to this friction. Great poem!
This should be everyone's duty to maintain peace and harmony. A nice poem indeed. To quote from the poem. 'Of which I have no answer - only this That we should engender harmony Between the shadow and the soul And share our secret selves in love. ' beautiful. Congrats on being selected poem of the day. '
Of which i have no answer! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
The chimera occurs only as figments of the mind and that woman in the mask, that chimera of a night, that fancy of an hour all are but ripping apart of male and female and the imperfections left in duality.........outstanding piece deserves POD.....10++++++++++.
endanger harmony between the shadow and the soul. Great conceptualization. Congrats on Poem of the Day.
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