I am Hisha, daughter of Akshay, known to the world for my calligraphy styles – my creativity has reached the skies. Diverse Melbourne is my home.

 

The monster suddenly hoisted a boulder – far larger –

wheeled and heaved it, putting his weight behind it,

massive strength, and the boulder crashed close,

landing just in the wake of our dark stern,

just failing to graze the rudder’s bladed edge.

A huge swell reared up as the rock went plunging under,

yes, and the tidal breaker drove us out to our island’s

far shore where all my well-decked ships lay moored,

clustered, waiting, and huddled round them, crewmen

sat in anguish, waiting, chafing for our return.

One of my best men was washed overboard, out of the deck,

from wave to wave that followed as the rock went plunging

under, bringing up a tide that splashed across the deck

of my beloved ship, a tired vessel that had seen better days.

Acis, my comrade, plunging into the roaring chasm of sea,

a blue mass of water, violent, warring, and chaotic,

pushing us away from the brute, the savage Polyphemus,

who bellowed out to us as we sailed further out to sea.

 

And out of the sea, from the churning waters below, came

a fair young sea-nymph, goddess of calm seas, Galatea,

lover of Acis, our mighty comrade, thrown overboard

by the monstrous, cruel brute, Polyphemus, engulfed by

the sea, disappearing without a trace.

Upon a milky-white seashell, she led a team of adoring

sea beasts with lustrous skin, irresistible and intricate

patterns decorating their entire bodies.

Their illuminating patterns shone even without the sun

casting down her bright beams.

 

Galatea bellowed out to the monster, fraught with anger

at the ruthless brute who killed her lover.

“Polyphemus, how dare you kill Acis, you ruthless,

savage brute. Your wrongdoing, your evil felonies,

will not go unnoticed by the gods above.

You have wronged me, my lover, Acis, taken before

his time, never to know my love, never to see his

children, never to see the fruits of old age.

To you will come retribution, you and your fellow Cyclopes!”

 

“Galatea, goddess of the calm seas, I beg your

mercy, see what I see, I had no intent on killing your lover.

It was those brutes, Odysseus and his men,

tricked me cunningly, gouging out my eye

without a single sign of mercy.

Should they not be punished for treating their host with

such poor manners, disobeying the rules of

hospitality towards anyone, whether mortal or god?”

 

Galatea knew Polyphemus was lying, knew he kept

his guests hostage, knew every evil deed of his.

Galatea was furious Polyphemus was lying to

a goddess, furious that he had killed her lover, not

by mishap, but by force and vengeance.

Was this a way to treat a goddess, a goddess that is

known to control the water at her will?

The sea rose up, it swelled, rising like a sand hurricane,

tumbling towards Polyphemus, hitting him like a boulder,

knocking him off of his feet as he howled with blind fury.

 

Galatea brought the beasts upon the Cyclops,

they set to work and gouged his leg off, tearing

the ligaments, as blood spurted everywhere,

the crack of bone as loud as his pleading cries for

mercy, Galatea showing no mercy towards the brute.

The beasts fed upon him, polishing off every last

bit, then, as quickly as they had appeared, both

Galatea and the beasts were gone.

The warring water halted, waves lapping gently,

the howling wind dying down, still as a statue.

 

We quietly watched the tumult, from the edge of the island.

We beached our vessel hard ashore on the sand,

we swung out in the frothing surf ourselves,

and herding Cyclops’ sheep from our deep holds

we shared the round so no one, not on my account,

would go deprived of his fair share of spoils.

 

Hisha Shah is a year 8 student and finalist in the 2017 Humanities 21 Homer Competition. To find out how you or a student you know can be involved in the 2018 Humanities 21 Homer Competition, contact our General Manager Maeve on 0417 464 001, or via her email [email protected]