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Algol

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When gazing beta Perseus, a star with many ghoulish names, one dares not be discourteous, for many fear his flames, and ghastly, ghostly games. Ancient mariners would watch with dread and chant their prayers out loud, when that “Eye in Medusa’s Severed Head” was held by Perseus proud high o’er the heathen crowd. Sailor’s hairs would stand and straighten when they glimpsed its grim Gorgona. The Hebrews called it “Rosh ha Satan” for its demon head persona, with serpent hair corona. Dubbed “Ras al Ghul” in Arabic, or “Algol” in the West, “The Demon Star” plays quite a trick, “The Ghoul’s Eye” says it best, of this I can attest: In early evening blazing bright, guiding galleon ships, then dimming deeply late at night, by means of an eclipse of stars in an ellipse. Three days hence his trick repeats with pre-ordained precision. His demon light again depletes when he winks with wild derision, which begs a bad decision. Oh Ras al-Ghul! Oh Ras al Ghul! So near and yet so far. Do not take me for a fool that fears "The Demon Star,"The Devil’s Demon Star.” Yet many who think it mirth or myth, still double down in doubts, when that wily eye would wink forthwith they’ll watch their whereabouts. Better watch your whereabouts! For those Gorgon snakes give you the shakes, and chill you to the bone. And one wrong look is all it takes to turn you into stone, eternally alone. Submitted June 27, 2020

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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Date: 8/13/2020 5:14:00 PM
A super write, great mythologically too.
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Date: 7/15/2020 8:40:00 AM
Great write Eric! Wonderful melding of fact, legend and mythology. Have astronomers determined whether there is actually a large planet revolving around the star or is it sun spots that are causing the blinking?
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Eric Cohen
Date: 7/15/2020 12:13:00 PM
Hi James. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Algol is actually a multiple star system with at least three and possibly five stars in orbit. They eclipse each other from our point of view causing the blinking. If you haven't seen comet Neowise, its visible just after dark under the big dipper for the next few weeks. Its bright enough to see with the naked eye, tail and all.
Date: 7/10/2020 10:53:00 PM
Oh, man, Eric - this is a masterpiece! Where do I start? The seamless intertwining of mythology, the wonderful cadence/rhythmic lilt and phrasing, the unusual-yet-pertinent word-use and ambiguity, the rich imagery and intelligent creativity, the romantic, melancholy under-tones ... this poem is full of all the elements that I hunger for in modern poetry but RARELY see - that blend of classic style with present-day element! This is going into my fave-of-faves, my friend - be VERY proud!
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Eric Cohen
Date: 7/10/2020 11:27:00 PM
Wonderful to hear from you, Greg, as your opinion matters to me way more than most. I especially appreciate your comment on this one, which I had written off in my head as a "miss" based on the "crickets" reception. Thanks.
Date: 6/29/2020 2:45:00 PM
Witty, beautifully written and with a lot of wisdom. A big big congratulations! Well deserved.
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Eric Cohen
Date: 6/29/2020 3:31:00 PM
Many thanks, Funom. Keep looking up (but careful)!
Date: 6/28/2020 3:57:00 PM
with mythology i am a fan....but as a strong God Fearing man....i have no fear demons nor stars....not even the ones in fancy cars....and as a black man i dont even fear police....for i am protected by the Destroyer Of The Beast....because the Blood Of Christ Has Already Been Shed....because of that, i can not be misled....good write man....had to check out what eric has to say....lol
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Eric Cohen
Date: 6/28/2020 4:49:00 PM
Yo, thanks Eric. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Great comment, you might even want to post it as a poem. Better than most. Glad to make your acquaintance.