The snake-eyed die is cast,
unfurled like the ship’s sail
from the creaking oak mast,
while the Westward winds wail.
The man in the crow’s nest
cries out, “Crags down below!”
but the waves surge to crest,
churning, blow upon blow.
The crew shouts to their gods,
clinging as the hull slams
into reef, and then nods
toward the fish and clams.
The die is cast—a loss
for Man against the Fates;
the waves renew and toss,
heaving like strong shipmates.
The ship tips over, now,
as a horse reined to fall,
pitching to starboard bow
as at the siren’s call.
The men abandon ship,
leaping from larboard side
like die cast with a slip
of the hand—they still died.

A Historical Riddle

No gender studies for this warrior queen,
but studies of war, of spear and shield and blade,
and the tactics of her foes, pitted between
patricians, patriarchy, those who invade.
A lioness, she set out after the hare,
becoming, in time, both leader and hero,
seeking the eagle and its bronzed raptor’s glare,
roaring so loud as to scare distant Nero.