adventures in dysthymia

Friday, July 24, 2015

Understanding the Manticore, a poem

Understanding the Manticore

To describe the Manticore we must
first know that the Romans misspelled
the name and it properly is called
Martichora, man-eater, by the Greeks
and before them, the Persians.
Does the misspelling of a mythical
creature's name change its nature?
Does it become a new and different
beast of the imagination?
There is still something of the lion
about it, and something of man,
not unlike its cousin, Sphinx.
It, too, was known to dine
on passing mankind, though it oft
enjoyed a riddle or two,
first. Martichora, with its deadly
tail, not scorpion-like, as later
described, but a thrower of spiny
projectiles. Martichora with three
rows of shark-like teeth in the face
of a man. Who understands it?
The Martichora poses no riddles,
asks no questions. It only
hungers; in the high peaks it hungers.
Beware if you pass by.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

I was, in fact, writing a description of a manticore for my next Malvern novel, the sequel to COAST OF SPEARS, when this idea presented itself. So, a quickie poem and back to the novel --- I am trying to present a 'logical' sort of origin for the beast, something that makes a certain zoological sense. I'm not one to simply present mythological creatures with no explanation other than that they are mythological.

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