Christopher Michael, gay, gay poetry, homosexual, lgbt, queer



Echo, in Greek mythology, mountain nymph
darling of painters, friend of the great god Zeus
party to his amorous adventures
distracting his harridan wife Hera with her chatter
cursed by that viperous goddess, made unable to speak
except to repeat another’s last words

Echo, like I, fell in love with Narcissus, a man whose
beauty outshone the gilded stars and sent them squabbling
into the night, though she too rejected by his fair beauty
beauty none in all the land could compare
I know this well, speaking of beauty who taunts
dreams and restless in the night, screaming for slumber
unlike Echo, rejected in her amorous pursuit of mortal
beauty, this sweet narcissus flower to become,
I do not pine away with only my sweet silver voice remaining

Narcissus, unaware and haughty, lost in his own beauty
lost in his desire to enthrall
he cannot be possessed nor taken, reigning loftier
above we mortals,
to Echo’s pleas for love he became angry saying:
“hands off! I would rather die than you should have me!”
Echo, heart destroyed, left the woods a ruin,
oh! I have been there, have not we all?
Echo she ran to the mountains, yearning for a love
never could be returned, though unlike Echo,
whose grief killed her, I do not die in his wake
I do not turn invisible, bone and flesh turned to dust
For love of him, his eternal beauty unpossessed
Echo’s body became one with the mountain stone
all that remained her voice which replies in kind when
others speak, the final stroke of Hera’s curse

alas, poor Narcissus cried, and as he cried Echo replied
poor Narcissus did not move, nor did he eat or drink
but gazed longingly into the pool at his beauty fair
and suffered, pining away he became gaunt
his beauty lost, alas! poor Narcissus like Echo died
with grief his love, his reflection unpossessed
his body disappeared, where it once gazed a flower grew
nothing more than a flower, beware then vanity for
in its wake there’s little left but shallowness, though
the nymphs mourned his death, mourned Echo’s loss as well
Echo, only a voice that can repeat, mourned love
in repetitious voice


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