VxPoem ID: 42977
Posted: September 27th. 2012 11:01:07 AM
by Radko Vacek
Age Group: Adult
Gather around me, friends, for the story
Of Philandrea and Penelope.
Did Philandrea live up to her name
As a lover of man? No! She loved fame
For herself most of all. She did train long
And hard, may no one short her, but went wrong
In the spirit of her running: vain pride.
A nobler spirit puts us on the side
Of Penelope. Her love of running,
Done for sound sportsmanship, was that one thing
Quite lacking in Philandrea. Well born
With talent both young women were! They stormed
Across the racetrack as no other Greeks
Could do, people of the utmost physiques.
When at last the much awaited time came
To compete in those first Olympic Games,
Both had put countless hours into practice.
Heartbeat on heartbeat, callus on callus,
Meter on meter, second on second,
The efforts of both stars matched one on one!
In that final stretch, a handful of feet
Divided slim victory from defeat!
But how Philandrea, much inflated
Over her crown of laurel, equated
Her triumph with the magnitude of Zeus!
"Against me, how can anyone not lose?
I possess the speed of the lightning bolt
Of Zeus! I have legs like the brilliant colt
Bred for the Chariot of Helios!"
Nobly Penelope took her sad loss,
Rather as a challenge to run faster.
The spirit was her asset to master,
Hers to use, but needing to be reined in,
The sole difference which would let her win.
Her name, meaning "Duck", does not spell defeat.
Does a duck not have quite some wings to beat?
She kept faith in secret magic: "Oh Fate,
To whom must submit even Zeus, as great
As he is, please make your force the arrow
Of fair destiny! Thus soften sorrow
And show us your true justice once again.
May the best runner win. Still, it is plain
That the attitudes of some hurt the Games.
Any victory to them is a shame!"
Philandrea, like some perfect engine
Down to the last part, may be made to win,
But Fate gave Penelope that great soul
Which uplifts EVERYTHING - upgrades the whole!
That adds a whole dimension, and the core
Now shows the force which lifts eagles, to soar!
Penelope trained as before, but now
That force was backing her, which Fate endows.
At that next Olympic Race, she outran
Philandrea, that great lover of man!
Hers was not after all the utmost speed,
If the spirit of opponents is freed.
Author's Location: Toledo, Ohio
More Poems: Radko Vacek has posted 351 additional poems- View them?
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