Chapter I
Soldier in the Sea


Sadness informs me as I walk this treasured island.
It shines, reflecting the golden light of Helios.
Oh, I left Olympus long ago, exhausted by the petty squabbling.
Not to mention irresistible gods with roving eyes and angry wives.
On Olympus I could be innocently, righteously meddling,
Hoping for one afternoon of family tranquility.
But, of course, I am a lesser god.

Grandmother, noticing my distress, told me of this isolated place.
Sadly, deeply, a door opened and there was clear blue sky.
To be honest, a few clouds have floated by.
I know something Zeus doesn't know.
Not even he can change the rules.
The door has opened, sadness has entered, and I have retreated.
This cannot be undone, even by the sky god.


Sadness is my friend, I do not fear,
But I do desire company.
Are there others like me?
I pray to the ancient sacred powers.
I make the required offering.
I fall to the earth.
Unconsciousness brings a vision.
In the sea, a soldier prays for help.
Awake, I send my nymphs for him.

Gray, he is, close to death.
These humans are usually pink.
I provide for him, and he colors back.
He wakes, and as we watch each other he begins cry.
It is an effect I seem to have.
To calm him, I tell him what I know.
The door, the sadness, the world as it is,
And the meddling of the gods.

He knows a great deal about their interference.
He is smart – for a human.
Perhaps it is my sadness that informs him.
He recounts the story of his perilous and interrupted journey home,
And I can see how powerful meddling is.
Poor creature, the gods and war have tortured him.
After eons of dodging Eros, I find I love him.
He will find solace with me, love informed by sadness.
Sadness knows I cannot keep him.
But I desire it, and I have the power to hold him for a little while.


Sadness informs me.
I am no better or worse.
I am different yet equal.
Worthy I exist.

Odysseus has lost everything.
I wonder; do all kings suffer?
If kings suffer do they suffer greatly?
Do kings listen to the sirens of sorrow?

Oh, I am mad for him.
Passion informed by sadness
Whispers you cannot have him.
But what does passion know?

He loves my embrace.
He craves my ardor.
He knows the sadness.
He's found the door.

Passion informed by sorrow
Murmurs I cannot bind him.
Yet we reel in passion unbridled.

But pleasure is not happiness.
When I sleep, he watches the sea.
Deep in perfect sadness he weeps,
Though I offer him immortality.