Death of Aeschylus

David Alpaugh

"Only when a man's life comes to its end in prosperity
dare we call that man happy."  —Aeschylus

"It's knowing what to do with things that counts." —Robert Frost

Eager to breakfast on the gamey meat
sequestered in the hapless turtle's shell
the eagle rose hundreds of feet in the air
till it saw that rock moving along the sand.

When the rock stopped at water's
edge the raptor opened its talons:
Like a cold-blooded scion of Icarus
the reptile fell from the sky.

Direct hit! The bird chosen by Zeus
to bear Ganymede to Mt. Olympus
dove to the beach, ready to ravage
the flesh of its disarmored prey.

Poor player (dazed; but carapace intact)
was hobbling toward the wine-dark sea.
The Father of Tragedy lay still as stone,
blood dripping from his hairless head.

The disappointed king of the broken dawn
seized its meal and climbed skyward again:
stubborn shell dangling from stubborn claws
wiser eyes searching shore for truer grit.

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©2012 David Alpaugh
©2012 Publication Scene4 Magazine

David Alpaugh is an award-winning poet, writer, teacher and playwright. You can visit him and his work at:
For more of his writing in Scene4, check the Archives


Scene4 Magazine — inSight - perspectives on arts and media
writings: poetry

May 2012

Scene4 Magazine - Arts and Media


May 2012

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