‘Cry Mercy and Gentleness’ Cry 2/5: Transformations Poems (Book 4)

18 Jun


George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab


Poems Inspired by Book 4



Richard Biddle, Rebecca Audra Smith


If I were the Sun…

by Richard Biddle 


If I were the Sun…
I’d be a confused recluse
living in open solitude
93 million miles away from everyone.

If I were the Sun…
I’d combust all poetries but one, mine
and create a shrine to the divine
temperature, Fahrenheit 451.

If I were the Sun…
I’d shrink to the size of a coin and
lie on the pavement, shimmering and
golden, scolding swindled fingers.

If I were the Sun…
I’d be a 24-7 voyeur, simmering on the brink.
Pent-up with white-hot rage and unspent

If I were the Sun…
I’d be a flamboyant superstar. A bleached
smile, radiating mythical status, addicted
to crack cocaine.

If I were the Sun…


As it is, I lurk in libraries flicking through
dictionaries & thesauruses looking up
alternative words for ‘light’ & ‘heat’



Daughters of Minyas

by Rebecca Audra Smith


Gossip clings treacle sticky on the fingers,

bitter in the mouth and sweet in the veins.

Chatting over spindles, chatting over knitting;

babies in their cradles and the women sit


airing dirty laundry, hanging it out to dry;

men are tutted, the children are bribed.

Outside in the streets people are dancing

while the women spin tales, such a pretty pattern.


A woman sits with her thimble

thumbing through her thoughts,

whispers of seduction in the broad daylight,

shameless hussy!


how she tried to hide her secret but another

told it to her father who buried her alive.

That soil choked the mouth up

stopped its little secrets, serves her right.


Woman sits with her needle

threading through her words,

choosing them with care,

the girl wouldn’t join the others,


wouldn’t play along had to be alone-

Vain husband snatcher!

She came to a sticky end all right,

Drowning, water in the ears and eyes.


Gossips churning out their chatter

think that they’re above it,

hark to the husbands coming home,

 Look at them try to find a shadow


 Fumbling for safety, better say a prayer

While you’ve time, till he gets angry,

You’ll keep tongues to yourselves

You’ll be a warning to the others, wives.




Phaeton’s Twin Sister

Sonnet V

by Rebecca Audra Smith


The moon’s path long silvery trail forwards
She dodged the scorpion’s snapping claws
Till a lily maid stumbling in a stream
stooped and looked, stopped with awe
Blossoming night flowers scenting the air
Her feet soon rooted in the silt
Her face follows the moon since then
Longing to catch another glimpse

Of the maiden-moon hauling her hope
Her bright dream baggage a glowing load
The glowering Gods turned a blind eye
To her torturous journey flying by
Diana paced and cursed the stars
To see the rebel reaping the night.



You can find more about Richard and Becca and their work here:

Richard Biddle



Rebecca Audra Smith





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