Hermes in the Sewer

It has come to this:

Civilization declines itself

Right into the sewer

The routine maintenance of which

Turns up the likeness of Hermes--

God of cattle, travel,


The deal

Messenger of the gods

Upstart from Mt. Cyllene--

Descends from Olympus 

To the sewers of Athens.

Son of Zeus and

Grandson of Atlas,

What brought you here,

Made you old with thick features,

Downcast eyes

And a layered beard?


See how we mark our way

From cairn to cairn to the end.

Child of Maia

Born deep in the earth--

Say how to fly again;

Raise your eyes,

Trouble the water,

Point the way

Now that we have found you

In the style of Alcamenes

Known for the delicacy and finish

Of his works.

The delicacy, yes.

The finish.


In the sewer

We find ourselves

Wash the dirt away

Enter the dream

Climb Olympus

Tell your father

You are here.


Remake the lyre.