Narcissus and Echo

A tragic flaw
does not always a hero make.

She thought it did –
despite her beauty,
despite the Zeus’ who pursued her;
she set her sights on the unattainable.

Was it self-degradation or the sting
of a jilted spouse that tarnished her –
either way she lost her voice,
her autonomy shattered.

He tolerated her –
to a point – let her fawn
perversely intrigued,
no doubt flattered,
by her willingness to cloy.

Love was not in his DNA –
he lacked the missing component
so wrapt in his own drama;
he had no empathy –
no capacity for compassion.

Was it Nemesis, or
did they just reap what they’d sewn –
for theirs was a tragedy of Greek proportions –

the more distant he grew
the more she desired him
like a flower, too delicate to grasp

the less she demanded for herself
the less visible she was to him –
meaningless words lost on deaf ears

Sadly, theirs is a common tale –
though mythical in its telling, the patterns
repeat – love continues to elude.


(Pretty sure you can guess today’s prompt. Β Hope you enjoyed.)



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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

10 thoughts on “Narcissus and Echo”

  1. excellent poem V.J. Whenever I hear the phrase ‘reap what you sew’ I think of Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’. Hope you have plenty of those on your travels πŸ™‚

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  2. This sad tale is so common that it’s practically archetypal β€” but you’ve breathed wonderful new life into it with your well-chosen words. Nicely done!

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  3. Love that.. πŸ’• your really talented. I can not write poetry, but I admire it. And I think I’ve definitely dated this man you write about way back when… 😊 πŸ™

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      1. It was a long time ago, but helps inspire my writing. Hope you are enjoying your weekend. We are headed down to Oregon tomorrow, passing through on our way back to Ontario, Canada.

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