Most men have heard of Helen,
symbol of female allure and
fecundity, idealised image
of male lust and desire;
the Bronze Age sex-goddess
for whom men burnt with passion
to the point of self-immolation
in her beautiful, seductive fire.
Most men have heard of Helen
who, with Aphrodite and Eros
at her side, evoked a need to possess
in Theseus, Menelaus and Paris
and brought grief to Troy
and Mycenae’s House of Atreus.
Helen’s name meant hell for
mighty men in metal armour;
hell for Hector, Hecuba and Priam
and carnage and chaos for the Hellespont.
Many men have since met Helen:
a woman who attracts like no other;
a woman who becomes an obsession;
who prompts her beholder to abandon
all for her passionate embrace.
For the man who meets Helen accepts
she brings blood with her beauty;
that she destroys as she delights and,
for the opportunity to experience her charms,
consents to sorrow, ruin or death as
the fee for sensual felicity.
[Jeremy Gadd have published over 220 poems in newspapers, periodicals and literary magazines in Australia, the USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, and India and has a Bachelor of Dramatic Art degree from the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art, Master of Arts with Honours, and PhD degrees from the University of New England. He is a Writing Fellow of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (NSW). Periodicals in the United States which have published his poems include: Art Times, Tucumcari Literary Review, Aboriginal Science Fiction, Prophetic Voices, Mind Matters Review, Conservative Review, Dream International Quarterly, Pirate Writings, Mobius, StarSong, The Eloquent Atheist, Performing Arts Review, Poetry Break, Muse Literary Journal, Ancient Paths and Manna. Kelsay Books’ White Violet Press imprint (USA) is publishing a selection of sixty previously poems in 2015.]