The God Morpheus vs. The Little Baby Kuppy

You’d think in such a fight – no contest
To be sure – immortal gods happen not
To happen, but have always been best
And around to give humans their best shot.

That’s it – perhaps complacency, the sense
That once in a ring’s endless symbolic spin
Such assurance comes, why should a god be tense
Or Morpheus consider other than he’ll win?

Already there, to cheering crowd’s acclaim –
They’ll worship him lest what he’ll do to them –
As down the aisle the new contender, lame
And helpless comes, and enters, dribbling phlegm.

How Morpheus mocks and laughs to see the baby,
New-born, addicted to his mother’s milk,
Fast as a tractor in a hemmed-in layby,
With fists he can’t clench to punch through worn-out silk.

There, within the ring, Kuppy en-swaddled close
In clothes of utter comfort, with his dummy,
Unsubdued, exuding confidence – does he know
How Morph steals in as outwards goes his mummy?

And so it is that they engage, and Morpheus
Who long before defeated Gilgamesh
And so many heroes familiar to us,
Strikes first with deadly aim, and hits the flesh.

Poor Kuppy reels and reels and rolls his eyes,
His eyes are all for covers – who could bear
To see the final, fatal blow’s bye-byes?
It looks as if Morph has Kuppy unaware…

But then, that sudden shock, that surging blink,
That upraised arm for victory and Kuppy!
And baby who’s determined now to think,
Fight back, soil Morpheus with his nappy.

What horror then does Morpheus encounter?
Not just the dirt of life but steady wail
Which pierces veils of godhead to his centre;
Now Morpheus staggers – will he be man, and fail?

Under the dim halogen’s faint glow,
By comfy cot so clean and freshly made –
Unfair advantage it all too clearly shows –
Morpheus resumes oblivion’s trade.

Assaults afresh with every weapon known
To god, and more thrown in beside to still
That ear-splitting axe of a whine, and drown
The child in the muffled blanket of his will.

But Little Kuppy’s not done, repulses with
A fist’s surging shake and promise of
Ultimate horror: baring gums sans teeth
With raspy, purple tongue, flat as a dog’s.

The little critter’s one hell of a mean
Machine, implacably hostile to gods,
Their ends and pointless orders and even dreams.
One ounce of milk’s worth more than all of Hesiod;

No-one lays him aside without permission,
And if Morpheus will beg to differ then
It’s bowel time with full nuclear fission,
A mouth stuck screaming, like a kipper’s, open.

At last, in ravages of despair, quitting,
Morpheus seeks a softer option to practise
On. Anxiously, they wait below, sitting
As if enjoying life, as if all were nice,

But mummy, daddy, all the while alert
And worried – should they? Is it premature?
Time to go up: to delay is to shirk,
But giving in – are they really sure?

Too tired to move, now under Morph’s dark spell,
Some consolation godhead gets in getting
Two thinking that they’ve heaven, when it’s hell,
That beauty’s in vigils and bed-wetting.


A Shirt of Nessus

Together, man and woman, God bless us:
May joining not impede human progress,
Or prove the ultimate shirt of Nessus.

To be a hero’s difficult to suss:
How can – if the art’s our loneliness –
Together, man and woman, God bless us?

And given experience, we’re suspicious
Of warm words, cute contact’s caress we guess
Will prove the ultimate shirt of Nessus.

Suburbia’s where our real address is,
So why pretend we’re epic? Nonetheless
Together, man and woman, God bless us,

Because betrayal’s hard, cruel emphasis
Hurts still, despite our own unworthiness
To prove the ultimate shirt of Nessus –

Perhaps – which makes us so, dear, precious:
We risk ourselves becoming her and his
Together, man and woman, God bless us
Loving the ultimate shirt of Nessus.


© James Sale 2015
Burnham Gardens, 43 Burnham Drive,
Queens Park, Bournemouth BH8 9EX

James Sale, FRSA is a leading expert on motivation, and the creator and licensor of Motivational Maps worldwide. James has been writing poetry for over 40 years and has seven collections of poems published, including most recently, Inside the Whale, his metaphor for being in hospital and surviving cancer, which afflicted him in 2011. He can be found at and contacted at james@motivational He is the winner of Second Prize in the Society’s 2015 Competition

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