The Symplegades

by Peg Duthie

Thoroughly sick of the wheeze of the sea,
the drone of the wind and the doubts of their captain,
the sailors were ready -- raring to conquer the cliffs.

Strengthened by Athena, their dove became an arrow
humming as sweetly as the strings of Orpheus,
flying knife piercing the malevolent accordion

that had squeezed the breath out of so many ships
and pulverized their treasures. Arrested,
the rocks seethed in silence, while from the bow

of the Argo, the golden-voiced harpist
soothed all aboard into halcyon repose,
charming their dreams with silver-spun chords.

Copyright © 2003, Peg Duthie
Argo entering the Symplegades

Argo entering the Symplegades
by Johann Bayer

Peg Duthie works as a calligrapher in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Image courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Library