The Apple of Discord – Poem
There on the slopes of Ida,
Amidst vines and olive,
A mere mortal, yet a connoisseur of beauty
Even if it was Olympian.
He was to judge the fairest of goddesses
From the competitors three.
An apple it was.
A mere golden apple with the inscription
“For the fairest one,”
The apple of discord,
As claimants there were three,
Hera, Athena, Aphrodite.
Ah! The discord,
Olympian Zeus, with furrowed brow,
Had ordered Paris, the prince of Troy
To see, to ponder and to judge,
Who was the fairest.
An enviable task, yet one that fraught danger.
Fresh from bath
In the fragrant spring water,
Resplendent in their regalia,
Came up to him, one by one,
In their seductive best.
But Paris was unmoved.
He had a task at hand
And a woman at heart,
Again a mere mortal.
“You’ll be king of realms unimaginable,”
“I give you wisdom and valour,”
“You’ll have the fairest maiden on earth,”
Aphrodite was seductive…bribe.
Bribe weighed on bribe, beauty on beauty.
“You’ll do as I desire,
For it is hard to judge from what I see.
For my eyes and mine only,
You’ll disrobe. Show me your best.”
Hera demurred, so did Athena.
They dared bare their luscious breasts,
But no more. Then they left,
Numb with ire, both.
Aphrodite was different.
Born on waves, bereft of a mother’s womb,
She was as bubbly as the sea foam
And as wild and overpowering as a Tsunami.
Her face was radiant, eyes deep
As the unfathomable ocean.
Golden hair cascaded down
Her bare enticing shoulders
Like a turbulent stream gushing towards the sea
Her neck as graceful as a swan’s,
Her limbs as supple as lotus stem,
Poets could have written epics,
Bards could have composed countless ballads,
Minstrels could have sung timeless songs,
Such beauties were they.
White and soft as surf,
Swaying gently as she moved,
And heaving as she breathed
Like waves at high tide,
Surmounted by haughty ripe cherries
On petals of rose.
Swooping down, flat and white
Like the Tundra in winter, marked by
Her navel, as deep and as mysterious
Like a painter’s mind
Making slashes of colourful creativity
Upon a virgin canvas.
Her nethermost she kept covered
With a gossamer veil
That left more to imagination
Than it hid.
But as she turned
A gust of playful, naughty wind
Tore even that veil away.
Birds twittered, squirrels scampered about,
Rabbits scurried docking their ears
And bobbing their fluffy little tails
As a hawk circled silently
In the blue, cloudless sky above.
Without a word, Paris handed over
The apple of gold to Aphrodite.
“Who do you choose
To be your consort?”
Asked the goddess, with eyes
Sparkling with impish lust.
“Helen, wife of Melenaus of Sparta…”
Was all that Paris could whisper,
His loins afire from Aphrodite’s vicinity.
“So be it,” smiled the goddess,
And the seed was sown
For the destruction of