I am Jasmine Shaw, daughter of the 21st century’s Wonder Woman, known for my angelic singing- my intelligence has reached the skies. Multicultural Melbourne is my home.

 

Now Zeus who masses the stormclouds hit the fleet with North Wind –

a howling, demonic gale,

shrouding over in thunderheads the earth at sea once –

and night swept down from the sky and the ships went plunging headlong on,

our sails slashed to rags by the hurricane’s blast!

We struck them –

cringing at death we rowed our ships to the nearest shoreline,

pulled with all our power.

There for two nights, two days, we lay by,

no letup, eating our hearts out, bent with pain and bone-tired.

Our lives felt lost – lost without our loved ones,

a moment taken like a lifetime of experiences flash before the burning embers of the fire.

In the red hot flame, dancing before me, my dearest Penelope enters my mind –

There she sits, weaving her magic with golden threads,

her hair falls over her slender shoulders, a queen for any man to crave.

Has another man entered her heart?

A long time she waits for her husband, the man of twists and turns,

as he strives to find her loving arms reaching out to him.

Another man stroking her velvet skin, tangling his fingers in golden locks of hair,

just as I had done, so many years ago.

Uncertainty boiling beneath my skin, the fire dancing her story,

the flames slowly turn to resting coals, my heart blackened.

 

When young Dawn with her rose-red fingers shone once more,

anguish remained with us.

The blazing sun, reminding me of sunny Ithaca, memories abound –

there we sat, the beach cool and fine, soft sand against our skin,

staring into each other’s eyes, nothing but devotion between us.

My heart weakened as another memory entered my mind –

through tall olive trees we weaved,

laughter reaching the clouds that stretch across the sky,

Ithaca’s sun beaming.

It was hard to bear the weight of the memories alone,

for I was without heart, abandoned by my hope.

I was overwhelmed and took for myself the strongest wine in my possession.

Intoxicated, I fell into a doze, sweet slumber to protect me.

 

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, gifted me with a dream.

She sang, “Your grief is blinding you of the journey home.

Your wife awaits your homecoming, have hope, and you will return safely to your family.”

Awoken in the midst of night,

the moon illuminated a path on Poseidon’s sea,

the path Aphrodite left for me.

This path I shall follow- follow until our vessels beach once more on sunny Ithaca’s shores.

 

When Dawn with her lovely locks brought on the third day,

then stepping the masts and hoisting white sails high,

we lounged the oarlocks,

letting wind and helmsmen keep us true on course….

 

Jasmine Shaw 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]