return to

Tapestry of Bronze

home page

 

 

 

As always, judging poetry is difficult, especially when reading hundreds of entries.  We have finally selected a winner for each category: Alicia Ruskin, from California, in the adult category, for the poem “dawning” while Haidee Chen has won the under-18 category with “Chloris.”

There were many other poems that we feel merit sharing with you, and these are the honorable mentions.  In the adult category: Polly Atkin, Caroline Calloway, Julie Ropelewski, Michael Hudson, Scott Raven Tarazevits, and Masiela Lusha.  In the under-18 category: Josephine Benson, Eliot Yong, Rachel Wood, Calli Riggan, Andrew Nguyen and Andei Zoe Engracia.

Please read the fine poems below, and come back later to learn about future contests.

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: line_R100_G0_B0_background_R206_G148_B116

The Tapestry of Bronze is a series of novels set in Bronze Age Greece. 

 

There’s no need to read our books to enter the contests, but if you like mythology, or historical fiction, or simply reading exciting stories, we think you’ll enjoy them!

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: line_R100_G0_B0_background_R206_G148_B116

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: line_R100_G0_B0_background_R241_G226_B211crop

First Place Adult

 

“dawning”

 

Alicia Ruskin

the Diana time comes to all girls
it came to me
at the spear end of childhood
running wild in
the company of dogs
legs churning beneath a
kick pleat tunic
god’s blood hot under the skin
a time of solitary conquest
boys mere rivals in playground wars
nascent Apollos dragging at heel
the Diana time fierce but brief
eclipsed by adolescent awakening
a high noon of the sexes
some lucky few are Diana always
the Earharts, the Sacajaweas
the rest learn to be
the target of love’s arrow
letting go of  the Diana time
I made myself still and bright
so he could find me
claiming his prize
draining the blood
a successful hunt
but my daughter
is rising in the east
bow in hand, laughing

*

First Place Under-18

 

“Chloris”

 

Haidee Chen

 

My sisters, all clad in white laugh and dance around me

Making wreaths out of emerald green leaves

Water from the stream circle and wrap around the smooth gray rocks

Holding on until the last moment

Then tumbling away

Trickle

      Trickle

I watch, thinking that there is something wrong

Birds sing a blithesome song as white butterflies danced on bright yellow daisies

I lay on my back gazing at the cloudless azure sky

Still thinking that something is wrong

Mother’s sweet voice calls from a distance

My sisters make their way slowly across the field

Lingering and enjoying the last moments of the day

The sun sets while the blue sky turns pink and finally breaks into blood red

As it always does

But I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong

“ Now you will feel the wrath of the gods”

A powerful and resonant voice cries

Mother is running quickly towards me as one by one my sisters fall

A silver arrow glistens, wavers, and disappears

“Artemis! Spare her! Please! She is all I have left,” my mother cries

I look up and see a beautiful woman in a dazzling white tunic that nearly blinds me

She has no blemishes

Love and Valiance radiate from every pore

Glowing with kindness, but with an expression of strange and alien harshness that doesn’t belong

And a silver arrow strung on her bow

Her eyes shown with sorrow and regret

“Child, you will not suffer”

A whisper and a cry, the last thing I heard

 

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: line_R100_G0_B0_background_R241_G226_B211crop

Honorable Mentions – Adult

 

Potnia Theron

 

Polly Atkin

 

Our lady of animals, was it you in the meadow

in the mist where the calves grazed by starlight, their breath

white globes in the dark? We stopped dead, sensing

shadow shifting, our own breath pooling

into phosphorous moons, feeling the deep

hush of invisible hooves, drifting

over the tips of the blades of the grass

as though skating on dew. When the first stag raised

its head and its antlers were moonlight, we knew.

 

Now every evening the freezing cloud skulks

from the peaks, we listen for the quiet of their feet,

to find you shivering on the drive in the shape

of a hind. Inside, we expect the glow

of your eyes at the black of the window, your furred

face emerging from the field of fog,

the glass between us. To want you is dangerous.

To forget you, worse. Mistress of wilderness.

In the old tongue, there were only chattels and dēor.

 

In this wooded crater at the twilit limits

of domestication, we bake dense cakes

of honey and sesame, playing the bear.

 

*

“Luna et Lacuna”

 

Caroline Callaway

 

Groves and glades that flicker silver

And have for years

Rung with happy, sapphic laughter

 

Bells like nymphs and

Nymphs like bells

Kallisto hides a sapphire among the ferns.

 

Stillness now

At twilight her mistress sets down

The huntress’ crescent

For that of dusky, lilac sky

And with velvet fingers

Dipped in ink

Artemis unfurls the night.

 

Driads, hounds, and hyacinth sleep

Silvan satyrs with moths now sleep

The mother of Actaion, awake,

Still weeps

Into and because of the absence.

 

While the nymphs, playful

With wet hair and

Slender arms full of hyacinth were chiming,

 

Her son had studied the crumpled silk upon the moss

And knew: A woman bathes.

 

Yet had he studied the crumpled buds beneath his boot

He would have seen: Narcissus

Still grows with regretful flowers along the banks.

 

And perhaps tonight the moon would not shine on one stag less.

 

*

Actaeon’s Final Thoughts”

 

Julie Ropelewski

 

I wanted only to catch

a glimpse to learn if the tales

were true: that quiver leaning

past your honeyed shoulders,

firm breasts, pomegranate lips,

long legs like stems to hold

that budding tulip skirt of white

purer than milk, untasted but warm.

I’d seen all the paintings,

read the poets’ meager scrawls.

 

No, you were not what I imagined.

At first bent gently, washing behind the falls,

like a common maiden behind a curtain,

you stood, released your back from its curve

and shot moonbeams like arrows scattering

through the branches, a silver flood

of sweet contaminate light.  There,

still pouring through my mind,

is that liquid gleam, like the center

of a hungry lion’s bronze eye.

 

Even now, as the hounds

pant at my heels, their hot,

sour breaths slinking up

my weathered legs to press

this down fur with damp, I say:

as sure as my heart throbs

before this final collapse to your earth,

as sure as my reedy neck falters

from the weight of these crooked bones,

I know would look again.

 

*

“Fleeting Moment of Terror with Diana the Huntress”

 

Michael Hudson

 

The only thing ancient in that little Museum of Art

was the late Roman copy of a Greek

 

original: Diana, missing an arm and the tip of her

nose, bronze bow looted centuries ago

 

but a slim hound still muscled

and tense at her crumbling feet. He’d lost an ear

 

and a divot from his flank, but he still out-dogged

all the real dogs. Here’s an impressive

 

fake, I reassured myself, bric-a-brac with pedigree

but they’d never catch a thing

 

with eyes so pocked, pitiful and blind…

 

So there I was, adrift in an air conditioner’s hum,

a bloodless shade that’d somehow

 

lost its Hades. I’d almost talked myself to safety,

consoled by the blather of art history’s

 

knowing flimflam and its routine

blasphemies. But Diana and her disintegrating

 

mutt were out for the kill and I was on the hoof,

cursed and metamorphosed into

 

the last stag alive on Mount Parnassus, heaving

 

towards the summit, antlers hopelessly snagged

in treacherous thorns, bellowing

 

as each arrow finds its mark.

 

*

“DIANA”

Scott Raven Tarazevits

Ravaging through insufficiently stocked supermarket shelves,
there's a sale on venison and lamb.
Cutting through
coupons,
my wife settles on the chops.

She asks to
cut a head
in line
since Susie is waiting
to be picked up from swim.

Searching strip malls and sporting goods stores

for the perfect gift,

Diana's on the hunt again and I'm still
sitting on the sofa
watching

the game.

 

*

 

“The Sun’s Sister”

 

Masiela Lusha

 

Poor ivory maiden,

Your beauty is not your own.

 

You light upon our flesh

A broken portrait

Of rivers and tides

A gilded memory

And reflection.

 

Are you pale with quietness,

Relieving a narrow river of lamentations

Onto the sea of our company?

 

A somber roll across the world,

Friendless and aching;

A rocky shell of all that is light and joy

 

And you are gone.

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: line_R100_G0_B0_background_R241_G226_B211crop

Honorable Mentions – Under-18

 

 

“Faces of Artemis”

 

Josephine Benson

 

Artemis          the goddess of the hunt.

                       Even minus an “A” she

Merits             praise. Said to have killed Orion on a trick

                       from her jealous brother Apollo.

                       She paid her respects with solemn

Rites,              casting the giant among the stars.

                       She was never one to settle for

Ties                 —willing to fight it out. She calmed

                       the sea, prevented the Greeks from

                       sailing to Troy, made them

Sit                  foolishly in their ships. And although

                       Hera bested her at Troy, Artemis had

                       many more victories. Goddess of the hearth

Is                    nothing compared to her responsibilities.

                       She balanced being the protectress of the girls

                       with being the bringer of sudden death

                       and disease.

I                      think that’s divine, Artemis.

 

*

 

“Lady Di”

 

Elliot Yong

 

In the gleam of the half-lit, waxing Moon

With the stroke of midnight coming soon

The sylvan creatures start to croon:

“The goddess comes tonight”

 

Hark!  A rustle of the leaves

The brilliant shine of silken sleeves

With footstep softer than the thieves’

Diana hunts tonight.

 

Her step betrays no wanton waste

She treads with swiftness, not with haste

With virgin beauty, pure and chaste

Comes Diana, clad in white

 

Drawing back her lustrous bow

She nocks an arrow of silver glow

Taking aim at a white-eared doe

Stands Diana, clad in light.

 

Whistling through nocturnal air

Over creatures, unaware

To the target, soft and fair

Her arrow travels bright.

 

The doe is struck and stumbles down

And disappears within the ground

Without a single stir or sound

It vanishes from sight.

 

All the woodland beasts disperse

Through hills and valleys do traverse

To flee the forest creatures’ curse:

Diana hunts tonight.

 

*

 

“Disturbance”

 

Rachel Wood

 

I have been hunting without rest for years-

or at least, that’s what my body seems to say.

What I really need right now is simply a

        Warm,

                 Relaxing

                          Bath.

I reach my spring just short of collapsing

I eagerly allow the nymphs to undress me,

and let Crocale tie my hair in a knot. I feel

         Cool,

                 Calm,

                         Peaceful.

But suddenly--cries of anger break the peace

I stand, confused as nymphs surround me

But taller than them, I can still see him--a

         Young

                  Staring

                           Hunter.

I feel color rush to my face

Matching the embarrassment I feel

I turn my face away, unable to face my

        Hot

                 Unbearable

                           Shame

I splash him, with no other weapon available

“Tell of my shame now, if you can speak” I say

I watch, feeling no remorse, as he turns into a

        Prizeworthy

                 Spotted

                            Stag.

 

 

*

 

“Six Wishes”

 

Calli Riggan

 

“Father,” I asked

With bright, shining eyes.

“May I have six wishes,

If I promise to be wise?”

 

“Of course my love,”

He replied with a boom.

“For my first wish,” I stated

“I want a lifelong virginal womb”

 

“May it be so,

My sweet little berry.

Now?” he asked with a grin.

“My next wish is to never marry”

 

“My next wish is important

And may keep me preserved.

I would like a bow and arrow.

Golden and curved”

 

“A bow and arrow you say?

And it is done” he bellows and pounds

“Next” I replied

“I would love a protective pack of hounds”

 

And then there were dogs

Of all shapes and sizes.

“Now may I have some stags?
And a group of stags arises

 

“Last but not least is what I want most of all”

He looked at me with an unsatisfied “Hmph

“Oh father please! It’s simple I swear!”

“All I want is 80 pure nymphs.”

 

“It all sounds simple enough”

Said my father with a scoff.

He used his powers and quickly it was done

He admired his work and brushed himself off.

 

*

 

“Wind Surge”

 

Andrew Nguyen

 

Through day, night, twilight,

The woodlands merge,

Silently beating,

The earth, still as a cricket.

Only the steady pulse lingers,

The warm breath panting,

Waiting for the chance to strike.

Tension.

There!

The first arrow struck.

And the hunt begins!

 

*

 

“An Elegy of Life in Death”

 

Andei Zoe Engracia

 

The stallions’ pounding hooves echo,

As blood rushes through my veins.

In my mind I see their nostrils flaring,

With the bloodshot eyes of the damned.

Titters and snickers abound from the trees,

As her nymphs wait for my apparent demise.

 

She has caught up to me, but of course she would,

With the vengeance she brings like a thunderous storm.

The anger in her voice, the disgust in her eyes,

Do nothing but enhance her beauty tenfold.

And as I wait for the gate of life,

My heart is filled with wondrous joy.

For with the moon shining overhead,

I wait to die by my goddess’ hand

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: line_R100_G0_B0_background_R241_G226_B211crop

Visit the winning poems of other Odes to Olympians contests!

Winning Odes to Zeus

Winning Odes to Hera

Winning Odes to Poseidon

Winning Odes to Demeter

Winning Odes to Athena

Winning Odes to Apollo

Winning Odes to Artemis

Winning Odes to Ares

Winning Odes to Aphrodite

Winning Odes to Hephaestus

 

Go here to visit the most current contest.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: line_R100_G0_B0_background_R241_G226_B211crop

Several have wondered: who are we and why do we do this?  What exactly is this “Tapestry of Bronze?”

First, our names are Victoria Grossack & Alice Underwood.  We sponsor this contest because we want to encourage excellence and creativity.  We’re using the same method used by the Greeks back in Classical Athens: competition.  Instead of olive wreaths, we offer money and certificates for prizes.  We especially want to encourage the under-18 because we want to support educators and students in our own small way.  The idea occurred to us – most appropriately! – when we were visiting the ruins of ancient Olympia in Greece.

Second, the Tapestry of Bronze is a series of interlocking novels.  They are set in the Bronze Age of Greece – several generations before the Trojan War.  This was known to many as the “Golden Age of Heroes,” but to us they seem to be made of bronze and not gold.  Our series is a tapestry, because the books tie together, but one book may focus on one character while another focuses on another.  Each book can be enjoyed separately, or the books can be enjoyed together.  As we state above, it is NOT necessary to purchase or to read our novels in order to enter the contests.  However, purchasing the novels helps to support these contests.

Not sure if you’ll like the books?  Then electronically download a sample at Amazon.  Clicking on the covers below will take you to that company’s website.

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)    

 

 

  COT_cover_thumbnail (2)     RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)      

Return to Home for Tapestry of Bronze

Do you wish to contact us?  Write to us at “tapestryofbronze” at “yahoo.com”

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: line_R100_G0_B0_background_R241_G226_B211crop

 

 

 

You may be interested in visiting other parts of our website:

 

Our Books (in English)

      Jocasta

      Children of Tantalus

      The Road to Thebes

      Arrows of Artemis

      Antigone and Creon

 

βλία στα ελληνκα - Our Books (in Greek)

 

Odes to Olympians Contest Current:

 

Winners of Past Contests: Zeus  Hera Poseidon Demeter  Hermes Athena Apollo Ares Aphrodite Hephaestus

 

Pronunciation Guide

 

Maps (Thebes, Pisa/Olympia, Eastern Mediterranean)

 

The Stories Behind the Stories

 

Acknowledgements, Thanks, Bibliography and Links

 

About the Authors

 

The Highbury Murders

 

Victoria's Writing Classes

 

 

 

Buying our books helps support future contests!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University

 

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Newly released

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying our books helps support future contests!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University

 

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Newly released

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying our books helps support future contests!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University

 

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Newly released

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying our books helps support future contests!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University

 

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Newly released

 

 

 

 

 

Buying our books helps support future contests!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University

 

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Newly released

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University

 

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Newly released