Jack D. Harvey

Unmourned to Orcus

Wait, the hero,
maybe half a god
is coming,
Caesar or his like,
even Hercules;
hail ceaselessly,
stay put,
don't move an inch,
look out for everything,
look out for a triumphant entrance,
big enough to show even
heroes and demigods deign
to pass pass pass by
on their way to Olympus
or the lord of the shadows.

Salute, raise your arms, swoon,
but don't hail the wrong Hercules
screaming in the Nessus shirt
or Caesar, stuck with knives;
they don't exactly exist that way.

You nothings, you nobodies
crowding the streets
be thankful you're ciphers,
bless your stars
you didn't end up
with that Nessus shirt
or sharp steel;
there's more
to being big
than fame and glory
or a name babbled away
down the centuries;
you'll never know it,
groundlings, on your way
unmourned, unsung,
silent and nameless,
one after another going 
going, oblivious, gone down 
forever to Hades.

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. He has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.  He has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired. His book, Mark the Dwarf is available on Kindle here.