When first they raised Patina in Green
She towered, impassive, above the black waters
And although we knew not why they shivered and shook
The faraway monsters feared as she peered east.
“Behold this, our might,” cried the forefathers fiercely
“Behold this, the one we have raised from the depths
She of the Sea-Washed
Our Mother of Exiles.”
My Grandmother spits.
“What might do they have,
These wool-headed men?
What right do they have,
To speak of the Sea-Washed?
When we washed ourselves here, in these
The black waters
When She in the Green was not even a thought.”
And she sits in her fury.
When first she brought forth her Tablet in Sage
Patina in Green carved her symbols in stone
A story of times long before she had risen
That she would not speak for the weak and the wretched.
“Behold this, our Queen,” cried the forefathers fiercely
“Behold this, the one that would stand at the gate
She of the Yearning
Our Mother of Masses.”
My Grandfather sighs.
“What choice did we have,
Among faraway monsters?
What voice did we have,
Among all of the Yearning?
When earning a place beyond She in the Green
Cost only the ship fare and all that we knew?”
And he cries in the old tongue.
When first she brought forth her flame all in gold
Patina in Green made a path all of white
And out across waters of unending black
The forefathers’ might lit the night like a sun.
“Behold this, our Light,” cried our forefathers fiercely
“Behold this, the Greatest Colossus of all
She of No Shackles
Our Mother of Beacons.”
Thus forefathers fivefold
Bound she in the green to her place by the sea.
“Would she go if she could?” I ask in my wonder
“Would she turn from the sea
Turn to we that have bound her?”
“Fwah!” spits my Grandmother.
“Nyah,” sighs my Grandfather.
“You should be grateful she towers above the black waters
And looks only east
From the feast on the shore.”
“The feast on the shore?
Tell me more!
Tell me more!”
“Tell you more of the feast?”
“In the least!
In the least!”
“Tell you more of the feast?
Of what She in the Green might decide
If the tide of what binds her starts ebbing away?
But surely you know about faraway monsters.
Surely you know
That they change and they grow
From shoreside Colossus
To eaters of men.”
“To eaters of men?”
“To eaters of men.”
“So then we are the feast?”
“In the least
In the least.”
Others precede us
The Sea-Washed abiding
Others crossed oceans
The Yearning who came.
She of the Sea-Washed, the Yearning, No Shackles.
But I only know now
When our forefathers fiercely
Claim right in their might
For the one they have raised.
Our Mother of Exiles, Masses and Beacons.
I only know here
On the shore of a land
Where to stand on the earth
Is to stand in her shadow.
“Fwah!” spits my Grandmother
“Nyah,” sighs my Grandfather
And they turn from the proof of the forefather’s might
And the right that they claim
For the one that they raised.
So the Sea-Washed will fear her
The Yearning revere her
And I watch to see if Patina in Green
Will turn to the shore and the feast and the forefathers fierce
Or just peer ever eastward
To faraway kin
On faraway shores
That are not unlike ours.
Daniel Wolfert is a composer and writer whose peak hours of creativity are from 10 P.M. to 2 A.M. He subsequently creates during those hours, sleeps atrociously, and suffers accordingly at his many jobs concerning music and education. When not suffering, he cooks tolerably, dances poorly, and makes himself laugh with his own dumb jokes.