The Poet’s Curse (a prose poem)

You humiliated the Netherworld Poet + now you must pay – the only way to avoid his curse is to sacrifice your first-born son. The Poet cackles like a hyena on arid plains of this sun-soaked frontier – you dared question his knowledge of tribe + kingdom that’s your birthright to lead.

You turn to the Sun god to exact revenge – the bare-chested deity sits in silence on his throne, saying you’ve made a fatal mistake even He cannot reverse. You remember this now, as you crawl the vast desert with chapped lips that bleed into an aching mouth – the kingdom is gone, the family buried in pauper’s fields + you’re an exile – your body deteriorates in the sands of Netherworld, another victim of the Poet’s curse.

(Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash)

Note: I was inspired to write this poem based on a story I read in a book of Celtic mythology. In Ireland and Scotland, poets held a high official rank in society and memorized royal family genealogies and other important histories and tales. Some of them were also known to place dreaded curses on those who crossed them.

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