|Haddon Hall, Elizabethan England|
An Old Mask Sings
Now you cannot pierce me
nor blind me
nor cut my tongue from my throat.
I have proofed myself against
the fires of hell
striding into the very sea
immune to the wrath of the Siren
and the surging sea-mammal's jaws.
Who am I
I have bound my sex from you
I live by wit alone
on the salt flats
of the Messina Strait
As you like it and when
I strike like the brazen lightning
to make your mortal empire
3-- Again, the Mask
When I saw this prompt I thought about the centuries of incursion by Rome and others of Calabria, my spiritual home, specifically the fishing village of Scylla. This area is one of the most mythical places in the world-- Homer set the battle of Scylla and Charybdis here and sent Odysseus into the fray. I spent a few weeks there in 1973 in the arms of a delectable, sweaty, tender Calabrian man I met in Verona. He wrote The Song of the Resistance in my journal with a fountain pen and picked a wild rose I pressed in the journal. See my memoir Nightfall in Verona, posted in its entirety. xj
Thanks to Tess Kincaid and Magpie Tales for this disturbing and interesting prompt. xj
Wikipedia has a wonderful discussion of this novel that was a best seller in 1902 and quite a wonderful story involving the Monarchy and Mary Queen of Scots: I had the first edition, given to me by my grandmother, Helen Rodey Stamm, daughter of Bernard S. Rodey.