Ali Rowland

Ali Rowland

Ali Rowland is a poet and author from Northumberland, UK. Her poetry is sometimes about her own mental health disability, and just as often about the world in general. She is assisted in her endeavours by a wonderful husband and a beautiful Border Terrier. Ali won the Hexham Poetry Competition in 2023 and was Runner Up in the Positive Images Poetry Competition. She has been published in Tabula Rasa: Poems by Women (Linen Press): Ten Poems of Kindness Vol. 2 (Candlestick Press), as well as a number of poetry magazines.

Mother Love: Hephaestus

He had one swollen foot, that was all,
but her tolerance was low; she took
his ankle and flung him out. Falling slowly
from the cloudy Olympian heights
towards earth, he lands gently, we imagine,
on a Greek island; perhaps at the port
where the boats chug in, and the reps
wait, with names scrawled on cards,
to take you on to your hotel, and
men shout in Greek about the luggage,
and a wind makes the halyards clank,
and the sun kisses the dappled sea
to welcome you, problem-free.

Many would have stayed in that gentle paradise,
lived a god’s life, respected amongst mortals,
wine-dark seas, siestas in the cool of trees;
but he wanted back, perhaps for the ambrosia,
or simply for revenge, and with his craft skills
building a golden, booby-trapped throne was easy.
We might guess Hermes delivered it,
and Hera never guessed it was a mother-trap,
binding her hands and feet, so she must call
the world’s best blacksmith to release her.

Then, he did his deal: to marry Aphrodite –
not that the plan worked out so well,
more female infidelity befell him –
but still, he’d taught Hera not to underestimate
a clever child, differently-abled.

Poetry in this post: © Ali Rowland
Published with the permission of Ali Rowland