Beet Salad

Somehow I managed to Potluck myself into a corner.
It took longer than I thought to shop, roast, peel and slice.
I went to dinner bearing a beet salad bordering on the alchemical.
A cut-glass bowl clutched in the red-stained fingers of a murderer.
. . . . .

Reading Ovid

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, so many turn to stone,
whether from sadness, fear or retribution.

A solid state was the fate of ruined Niobe:
“Her neck unbending, arms, feet motionless,
Even her entrails had been turned to stone.”

Against Perseus, Eryx disbelieved his men:
“’It is your fear and not the Gorgon’s head
That makes you stand as if you were asleep;
Wake up with me and cut this monster down,
This boy who talks of magic spells and weapons.’
He charged, but as he lunged, floor gripped his feet;
He turned to granite in full battle-dress.”

And Phineus, “whose neck at once grew rigid,
And tears of onyx hung upon his cheeks.”

All this is because, I suppose, in the beginning:

“(Some find this fable more than fabulous,
But we must keep faith with our ancient legends)
Pebbles grew into rocks, rocks into statues
That looked like men; the darker parts still wet
With earth were flesh, dry elements were bones,
And veins began to stir with human blood –
Such were the inclinations of heaven’s will.
The stones that Deucalion dropped were men,
And those that fell from his wife’s hands were women.
Beyond, behind the years of loss and hardship
We trace a stony heritage of being.”

Suffice it to say,
I am careful not to fall asleep while reading Ovid.
. . . . .