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Kudos to the winners of our second Odes to Olympians contest (Fall 2008), featuring Hera, or in the Roman form, Juno! Susan Peters of Overland Park, Kansas, won first prize in the adult category, while Thinarom Vogel won first prize for those under eighteen. We also had many fine honorable mentions. In the adult category, we had Tyler Powell, Greg Beatty, Lynn Veach Sadler and Ronald Cole. In the under-18 category our honorable mentions are Caroline Fulford, Lauren Frankle, Rachel Franklin and ten-year-old Lauren Tebben.

Please scroll down and read the fine poems of the winners and the honorable mentions.  And please come back for future contests!

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: line_R100_G0_B0_background_R206_G148_B116The 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 exciting stories, we think you’ll enjoy them!

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To see our novels at Amazon, available in either hardcopy or electronic formats, click on the covers below. Your purchase helps support future contests!

 

 

 

 

 

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FIRST PRIZE WINNER - ADULT

Becoming Juno

by Susan Peters, Overland Park, Kansas, USA

Yes, Hera was magnificent; great Zeus himself
could not resist her, even though she knew
it was the chase and not the prize that lured him,
the challenge, not the yielding. I recall our youth,
when for a time our dreams ran yoked together
and we would make the world a new Olympus .

Instead, I looked on--angry, disbelieving--
as that once noble being used his powers
to satisfy his lusts: a swan, a bull,
a golden shower. My revenge was quick
but never sweet. A bitter reputation
transformed a golden goddess into bronze.

And so I traded radiance for strength,
became the Mother, set myself apart
to brood upon the truth these Romans know:
Power alone endures. All else is dust.

FIRST PRIZE WINNER - UNDER 18

Juno Moves On

by Thinarom Vogel, of Herndon, Virginia

Roaming the city streets like the queen of a dejected underworld
Sharp as razors, biting fast and holding tight
The city lights are nothing against her.
Two-faced more than January, newer than spring, older than winter
The world has one sovereign
And no contestant to the throne of rebirth.
Sweet, bitter Juno gives birth to beauty and accepts none
Not when no man can stay true to fidelity itself.
The clicking of sharp heels against pavement riddled with cracks and potholes
Is a war cadence, a drum rhythm, a heartbeat.
With nothing to fight against, no struggle, no war, nothing else is left
Juno conquers the world on her own.
In the memory of ages long past she forgets; in the honor of days just gone she remembers.
All alone in a world where everything is amorphous, everything is changing,
And there's no stable ground to stand on when the glory days are gone.
Sweet Juno wanders the world finding new worship,
Searches for glory, seeks out devotion,
Stretches a hand thoughtlessly to a woman slumped on a street corner,
And moves on.

Honorable Mention - Adult

A Woman’s Prayer
by Tyler Powell

The world outside is cold and black now
And I am all alone
Still waiting for him to return.

I’m no queen like you are, Queen
I have no temple
I will die
But I know you, and I know your tears.

What power can keep them by our side?
Not threats, not wrath, not a thousand watchful eyes,
Not the last of our beauty, nor all of our love.
As the harvests pass, my own furrows deepen
And I know that my offerings cannot compare
To your ageless throne
Or your matchless grace.

But what do they avail you?

I tend to the fire.
It, too, bows to the chill, and threatens to die.
Hestia is a true shepherdess, as was Artemis before.
But I find no joy in you tonight, Lady.

For if you cannot command fealty
What chance, I?
I’m no queen like you are, Queen
But you know me, and you know my tears.

So I ask you tonight for your understanding
For your blessing
For your resolve

If I cannot keep him true, as we cannot keep them true,
Then they will know what it is to cross a queen.


Honorable Mention - Adult

Here, at Home, in the Heraion

by Greg Beatty

Topless Heraions stand in every land
empty, heartless, and forgotten.
Former shrines of devotion and
still homes for the misbegotten.

From them cries of pain soared high
and exaltations of joy rose too
after loss of love, a forlorn sigh--
sometimes hopes of some love new.

Argos called great mother theirs
and so did dead Mycenae.
Sparta love for Hera shares
but she embraces one and any.

Daughter of the mother of gods,
fathered on Rhea by time,
Hera blossoms when Zeus nods,
secured by sleep 'gainst crime.

He's cheated her so many times;
was Alcmene really sweeter?
Europa he drove through many climes,
foisted Persephone on Demeter.

Through it all, great Hera stood
forever ripe, forever to be married.
Loving him was all she could;
no wonder the goddess is harried.

In my backyard peacocks walk
pomegranates flourish. A shrine
to Hera I build. To her I talk.
I offer best of what is mine.

Here, at Home, in my Heraion
I goddess worship carry on.

Honorable Mention - Adult

Hera in Excogitation

by Lynn Veach Sadler

Homer never nodded over me!
He penned me as I am:
spotless, incorruptible.
Only lawful wife to Zeus.

And Zeus and I are closer than . . .
well, mortals cannot understand
that we gods are exceptions
to prove the rule of barriers
and quell their hubris, overreaching.

I help women
(except for those
who betray me with my husband).
Why, so pure was I,
he must come at me in guise of cuckoo.

Men, mortal men, pray to me
in rain, all seasons to salve
their familial woes.

Only I dare challenge Zeus.
Did I not pay the cost in
chains (though golden),
in anvil-weighted feet
suspended in aether?

I persist. Else no births,
no seasons’ change,
no Hesperidian golden apple tree
celebrating marriage.

Yes, Blind Homer well saw, knew me—
exalted me, made me severe.
I am goddess of no laxity!
Purity is beauty.


Honorable Mention - Adult

What I Have, I Hold

by Ronald Cole

The queen of heaven, yet a pawn of love,
I reign but seldom rule. Inside this cage
Betrayal makes, abandoned, yes, I rage
Against the laughing Lady of the Dove,
And strain against the chains devotion forged.
I yearly bathe in Canathus, and rise
Renewed, until I’m soiled by Zeus’ lies,
And feel again from Cronus’ mouth disgorged.

But love like mine survives each sudden whim
Inspired by passion’s source, the Foamborn whore
Whose sweating pleasures overflow their brim.
A jealous goddess, yes, but at my core
I rule the kind of love that cannot dim.
Despite a faithless spouse, my love holds more.

Honorable Mention - Under 18

The Murderesses

by Caroline Fulford

My tormentor is unspeakably fair to look upon,
The terrible Queen of Gods;
Blinding light blazing from her skin,
Glittering starfire cloaking her body,
Tremendous power in her every sandaled step.

It must please the Goddess to see me,
Lamia of Libya, mistress of Zeus,
The shapely legs that danced with him, transformed into a hideous serpent’s tail
The alabaster skin that pleased his eye, covered in soot-black scales
The sultry eyes that drew him in, wide open in terror.

She laughs in triumph
When my wails become a baneful hiss,
When my fingernails sharpen into dreadful claws,
When my child’s life-blood flows from my gaping maw,
And my humanity slips away.

But before I plunge into the abyss,
Before I die inside this monstrous creature,
I know one small, happy thing:
That whatever ghastly creature I am, murderer of children and men,
I will never be more wicked than she.


Honorable Mention - Under 18

Semele Burning

by Lauren Frankle

The acrid smoke is the opposite of doubt:
Not existence with no proof thereof
But lingering proof of an existence wiped out.
Through my jealousy creeps pity, myself in spite of

(Pity is the only thing more insidious than smoke.)
Oh, why did you doubt so much what was true?
All things can be hidden in storm clouds or smoke –
Animals and god-kings, and lovers too!

But in smoke, so too does love revealed shine –
Your lover was honest and true to his word
(Which is more than I can say of mine)
You ignored his warnings, could not be deterred.

Smoke is my offerings - and your offerings too.
I offered you my suspicions
You offered me, queen of vows, Zeus' own vow to you
That he would grant you - all of your wishes.

Honorable Mention - Under 18

IXION

by Rachel Franklin

I left my body long ago
Mind reeling, playing scenes of sin over and over in my head.
The trap gave way again. I let go to watch the man fall again
Blaze licking at him with hungry tongues again
And he screams “SON!” before there are no more words again.
(Open to soft touches, little lotus; I am turning)

I left my guilt long ago
On soaring clouds that fogged my senses.
I had never felt so free, escaping from the fire never so effortless.
But I wanted to share these wings with you.
(Open to soft touches, little lotus; I am turning)

I left my dignity long ago
When I first lost all reason in your turbid, murky cloud-eyes.
So much cruelty shone in them, a bud willing itself closed.
(Open to soft touches, little lotus; I am turning)

I left my placidity long ago
Seeing how He never gave you my freedom, only fogged your eyes.
Such longing rose to give you the wind and wings He’d held back.
(Open to soft touches, little lotus; I am turning)

I left my sorrow long ago
When I finally found you and descended into you
Touched your cheek as the petals peeled away and drifted into my hand.
Then your essence twisted floated away in wisps and He was before me
While guilt and shame I couldn’t smother burned in my chest.
(Open to soft touches, little lotus; I am turning)

I left my soul long ago
On spinning axels and pain like nothing I have felt.
But I’ll be waiting for you. Hear my cries echo through the fire
I am always revolving around you, all I’ve ever known stretched to the point of breaking
(Open to soft touches, little lotus; I am turning forever)

Honorable Mention - Under 18

Hera

by Lauren Tebben

Way up on Olympus high,
The Muses sing of Hera's sigh
A sigh of longing for her watchman
For her, of Io, herdsman
For her faithful servant, Argus

Hermes as a shepherd slayed
A monster whose story played
An important part in life
Survived Echinda, endured the strife.
Argus was one hundred eyed and died

"Remember Argus!" was Hera's cry
As on the peacock's feathers she laid each eye
The hundred eyes of Argus dead
But all the eyes went to the vain peacock's head
Now it spreads its feathers wide to show us Argus who has died

By Hermes, Hera was betrayed,
And Argus on peacocks feathers is displayed.

 

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Visit the winning poems of other Odes to Olympians contests!

Winning Odes to Zeus

Winning Odes to Poseidon

Winning Odes to Demeter

Winning Odes to Hermes

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.

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Concerned that you don't know enough about the Olympians to write poems about them? You can explore these websites:

Parada's Greek Mythology Link: A tremendously detailed resource

Theoi Greek Mythology: Exploring Classical mythology in Literature and Art

Timeless Myths: Greek myths and others as well

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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.  Still, we think that most of you will like them – and we’d appreciate the support.  Click on the covers below to visit their pages at Amazon – and if you like to read your books electronically, you can start reading today.  Your purchase helps support future contests!

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COT_cover_thumbnail (2)   RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)   

Return to Home for Tapestry of Bronze

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

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“A wonderfully nuanced novel”

 

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“Five quills”

 

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

“Very strongly recommended”

 

 

“A crackling good read”

 

Newly released

 

 

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 & Creon

 

βλία στα ελληνκα - Our Books (in Greek)

 

Odes to Olympians Contest Current:

 

Winners of Past Contests: Zeus  Hera  Poseidon  Demeter  Hermes Athena Apollo Artemis 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

 

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

“A wonderfully nuanced novel”

 

COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

“Five quills”

 

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

“Very strongly recommended”

 

 

“A crackling good read”

 

Newly released

 

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

“A wonderfully nuanced novel”

 

COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

“Five quills”

 

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

“Very strongly recommended”

 

 

“A crackling good read”

 

Newly released