Leda and the Devil

One fine day of a mercurial morn, unduly blithe,
A gentle stream borne lively, Unfettered Capital
Did meander in the wood, whereon the ogre did
Espy the fair damsel Liberalism, and was filled

With desire for the comely maid; yet every attempt
To win her was duly repulsed, an ardor unrequited,
A conflagration unsung. And so the creature devised a
Plot to win his heart’s delight, with guile and treachery,

Unto the sacrosanct bower, and whisk her away forever
From the dawn. Betwixt the eye unto Hallowmas, as the
Maid her nightly ablutions prepared, the fiend slipped into her
Toddy a lecherous distillment, that unleashed a perturbation

Wicked and rank; whereon the damsel was transformed,
So that all that was base and vile became handsome
And virtuous, and all that was degenerate became
Celestial and divine, filling her with a yearning for the

Licentious villain, as the cross burned nigh beyond the
Demons of the half-light. Transfiguration struck, undrawn
The black sun, the mind perverted, the soul undone; a
Rendezvous with Death scattered the wits of the ingénue.

The spell was cast, perdition’s pall thrice wandering.
And so they met under the Sprately Bridge, amidst
The squalor and filth where the junkies gather. She
Gave birth to two daughters: anarchy and despotism.

David Penner has taught English and ESL within the City University of New York and at Fordham. His articles on politics and health care have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Dr. Linda and KevinMD; while his poetry has been published with Dissident Voice. Also a photographer, he is the author of three books: Faces of Manhattan Island, Faces of The New Economy, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at: 321davidadam@gmail. Read other articles by David.