Slivers of sunlight peeked thru the dense foliage
lighting a path, leaf-covered, under the canopy;
Fearful, yet courage intact; guardedly hopeful,
Bellerophon surveilled the tunnel debris!
Behind the tall trees he sensed sinister eyes;
unearthly creatures he hears yet could not see!
Still he labored on; for the sunlight meant hope
that his stay in the labyrinth may temporary be!
A tree branch he picked up and fashioned a sword
with his short knife, he sharpened one end
Ferocious beasts and one-eyed ogres may lie in wait
behind trees, maybe the sword could fend—
He’s otherwise unarmed against perils he faced;
his prospects bleak, nary a friend
To depend on; his heroic alter ego he summoned
nonetheless, himself single-handedly defend!
How he ended in this dismal place, he’s not sure,
one moment he’s riding in the sunny blue sky
Astride loyal Pegasus, his silver mane flowing
in the wind; then the world suddenly gone awry
A sonic boom! Thunder bellowed in the heavens
Zeus’ bolts flashed; all earth’s creatures cry
Consciousness left him; waking up in a hellhole
bruised, armed with a short knife, asking why!
He looked around; chose to walk to his right;
followed circles of light on the forest floor
Forty-five degrees, the angle of the light beams
striking the pathway; can’t be noon, but before!
He’s got time before nightfall; find a way out of
his plight; sadly, he can’t simply open a door
It’ll be a struggle to get out of the labyrinth;
he needs all he could muster, perhaps more!
There’s movement, leaves rustle behind the trees
he heard sibilant whispers; he kept on walking
He swung his crudely-crafted sword repeatedly;
slicing air, hoping the sound of a whip cracking
Loud and threatening; to shake off creatures that
lurk in the dark; dissuade them from attacking!
Fretful, he gazed at the dark tunnel of trees
seemingly endless; in his gut a sinking feeling!
But he marched on; walking, sprinting, resting
then walking again; heartbeat a rollercoaster!
Sweat beads flowed down his cheeks and his arms;
fatigue sets in, praying his body won’t falter
Flies buzzing in his ears; unseen mites nipping
his exposed arms and legs; in pain he holler’d
Pain blocked away the terror; fatigue erased his
fears; still he hoped he’d find shelter!
Minutes, hours passed; yards, miles faded away
though there was no way to be sure in the dark
The angle of the light beam has shifted, overhead
at first, then to an acute angle; the mark
That the day’s progressing, hopes slowly dimming;
he knew by nightfall; his fate will be stark!
Did he offend the gods? But who? he’s not ready
to abandon ship, nor from the mission disembark!
Onward he moved; eyes ahead as he sprinted,
lo! a break in the trees, a glimmer of hope
But then a roar, a menacing growl; much too close
he braced himself; dashed down a steep slope
He tripped and fell; but a thick pile of leaves
cushioned his fall, was it the end of the rope?
A pair of bloodshot eyes he saw, on top of him!
he thrust his dagger at the wolf-like antelope
Blood flowed as the chimera breathed its last,
warm, sticky and blue; oozing down his right arm
Pushing away the beast, he stood, sprinted again
to a break in the trees, away from harm
And there in the distance, glaring sunlight
size of a pinhole, hopes rise; the feeling warm
At last, a chance to escape this hellish hole but
behind him hawk-size gnats, swirling in a swarm!
From the forest floor, he heard sibilant hiss
of giant snakes, pythons ready to swallow him
Hybrids and crossbreeds, wretched mongrels
converging, to tear him limb from limb
Overhead, giant bats block what little light
between the leaves, hence the labyrinth dim
All seem to be closing in, but the light ahead
getting bigger; his odds no longer slim!
In his heart new hope; in his limbs a new spark;
as he swung his mock sword, himself to shield
In his gut, he feared he offended the gods,
and wondered if his fate’s been sealed
In his mind, he knows he’s done no wrong;
in time that truth will be revealed
But he may yet survive this ordeal, for ahead
sunlight streams in, outside an open field
Suddenly, Apollo’s dazzling glare too powerful;
too strong he had to shield his eyes
Like vampires, the beasts in hot pursuit
retreated; in the background, hideous cries
The sky in full magnificence, harlequin colors
unlike the dark labyrinth he’s grown to despise
And up in the heavens, the Olympians hold court
no antagonists among the gods, only allies
It appears he’s been forgiven by the gods;
for what transgression he did; it matters not
Lo! Pegasus flew by, landed next to him,
sword and shield, the steed hasn’t forgot
Bellerophon mounted his friend; soared skyward,
his next exploit he’s not given much thought
But there’s lots of time to think about adventures
now that the gods are no longer wroth!
© Vic Evora 04-09-2019