Murray Alfredson

Murray Alfredson

Murray Alfredson is a former librarian, lecturer and Buddhist Associate in the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy at Flinders University. He has published essays on Buddhist meditation, on inter-faith relations and poetics, poems and poetry translations in journals and anthologies in Australia, the USA, the UK and Canada, a short collection, ‘Nectar and light’, in New poets, 12, Adelaide: Friendly Street Poets and Wakefield Press, 2007 and ‘The gleaming clouds’, Brisbane: Interactive Press, 2013.

He has won a High Beam poetry award 2004, the Poetry Unhinged Multicultural Poetry Prize 2006, the Friendly Street Poets Political poetry prize 2009, and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, in 2009 and 2012.

He lives on the Fleurieu Peninsula by Gulf St Vincent in South Australia.

Aphrodite on Hippolytus

You know the fury of a woman scorned,
a proud and stunning beauty, fierce in love-lust
turned murderous, no longer love but hate;
mine is that wrath intensified and raised
high to the power ten; a nation’s women
could never match between them my single rage.
For though I know full well the ways of women’s
minds, and found it all too easy to twitch
the thoughts of Phaedra at the sight of young
Hippolytus, who’d spurned my worship for
that virgin, Artemis; and though I saw
two ways her lust could lead (either he’d fall
for her approach and thus serve me, or he’d
die as victim to her fury); and though
it was all too easy to nudge her game of torn-clothes
rape into self-hanging, but not before
she wrote her note for Theseus, the lie,
the youth had raped her; and easy also to leave
his wrath to rise against his son and call
Poseidon’s curse — for though it was so light
a task to bring Poseidon to the raising
of the monster-ridden, monster wave
that panicked horses to strike a tree and hurl
the youth foot-tangled from his chariot,
drag him screaming along the beach of gravel,
shingle and sharp rocks, abrading skin
and flesh, my rage stayed unassuaged; it did not
fade, not even in my triumph — his skull
split open, spilling brain. And still I burn.

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Poetry in this post: © Murray Alfredson
Published with the permission of Murray Alfredson