Friday, December 11, 2015

The True Nature of Hermes Trismegistus

The True Nature of Hermes Trismegistus

Hermes Trismegistus
trimmed his beard into a taper
thinking silent he could caper
through Athena's steel-grey hair
and never wake her.

But that smile as she lay sleeping
showed plainly she was dreaming
his humors into being
a distillation furred and spliced:
her owlfood made from mice--

leaving mortals to discover
why one god eats another.

~August 2014, 
revised December 2015

posted for real toads

a bit of fluff for Hannah's Classical Elements

Image: Minerva, or Pallas Athena, Gustav Klimt, 1898 Public Domain via
The Tailor Mouse, 1902 by Beatrix Potter. Manipulated. Public domain via



  1. This was just so perfect! The last two lines are epic!

  2. Ah.. you had me searching through the mythology... those gods should not be trusted... :-) Especially if they have owls and you're a mouse.

  3. I love it! I have trouble being humorous in my poetry. You've inspired me!

  4. Don't mess with Athena... owl food indeed.

  5. Awesome, Hedge!! I enjoyed this...thank you!! :)

  6. What a strange beard....loved the owlfood. There is no understanding the gods. I LOVE that adorable little mouse!

  7. Messing with a woman in armor will get you eaten every time.

    You've made me giggle. Thank you. ♥

  8. No escape. No matter the syllabication. Ay me. So thought provoking. K.

  9. What a way to start the day! I needed this.

  10. big smile here :-)

  11. A delightful read, well done. Greetings!

  12. I read this like a bit of admonitory marginalia on a sacred text by ole HT, whether from a wised-up copyist or perhaps part of the secret canon, the profane scriptures. Hermes Trismegistus unlocked the alchemy of words a long, long time ago—some say the Egyptian scribe-god Thoth learned his chops from HT, that there was a secret library in an Egyptian temple filled with HT's writings, dating 9,000 years .. OK, that's just Wikipediaing, point is, HT's heavy metal in the table of sacred elements, perhaps divine (nothing like making the maker of sacred words so), but his opus contra naturuum -- dudes stealing from Cerridwen's pot and then calling the inspiration their magic, their brand -- is laughable if you're Her, Athena here. I mean, all this eloquence will eventually just be shat from the rough end of the devouring worm. Athena's post-meal happy burp here is like the oldtimer in AA who says he spilled more booze on his tie than the upstart sober bucks claimed to have cisterned in their drunkalogues. Perhaps Athena wrote the marginalia, and deservedly so.

    1. As always, you appreciate my not very subtle stab at the Glistening Patriarchy of religion--the mysteries were so exclusive, so forbidden to women--and so previously totally owned and known by the old seeresses, the oracles and the volvas--and of course, that owl, mistress of eternal night. So, just for fun I reversed the historical order of eater and eaten here. Thanks for reading my little silly allegory, B.

  13. This made me chuckle, but I have to say, even when you're being clever for the sake of amoozement, you're still awfully awfully clever!

  14. the cadence and subject are linked, and again you perform magic - smiles, yet also the longer stare, once the smile lets go - there is something dead serious in that final stanza ~


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats