Before the walls

The old man Priam came to the tent of Achilles
to plea for the body of his son, the old man came
for Hector slain before the walls where Patroclus fell
before the walls, before the walls of the city
where ten thousand Greeks were cut down,
and ten thousand Trojans more.

Priam mourned and Achilles too, they cried for all
the dead that night, these sons of Mars grieved the deaths.
They spoke of heroes, of horses and the sea.
“I was a child once,” the king said, “the city my home.”
“I was a boy too on an island a distance away.”
“I was a rider of horses.” “I a runner of races,” Achilles

unburdened his heart. “Then I took up the spear.”
“And I the shield.” “King, you make a good shield.”
“You are a great spear. Without you, the Greeks would be gone.”
“Why did my cousin die?” “Why did the gods steal my son away?”
“You are a king and I but a man, yet we grieve the same.”
“This is why the gods gave us tears,” the old man said.

And what did the Warrior say? “Tears are not enough.
The grief that I fear will never fall away.” “Nor mine.”
The old man carried his son home to the Funeral Games
before the walls that were once the city of Troy,
home to Helen and Paris, Andromache and once Hector,
the first-born of Hecuba and Priam inside the walls

of Troy.

The Alamo Song

March 6, 1836: The day the Alamo fell.

When Santa Ana
Was a top banana
Way down Mexico

He ruled the land
With an iron hand
This Generalissimo

He took no crap
From any chap
Gave them the old heave-ho

This boss of the class
He took no sass
From any friend or foe

Well, the folks in Texas
They gave him the hexes
Told him just where to go

Travis and the boys
Against all odds
Faced him toe to toe

This rag-tag band
They took their stand
In San Antonio

Behind mission walls
Stood brave and tall
Down at the Alamo

Davy Crockett came
With his motley gang
A thousand miles or so

Bowie and his knife
Left his wand’ring life
To give Texas a go

For freedom they loved
The freedom to shove
To a place they’d grow

These glory guys;
They were, storywise,
The best we had to show

In ‘thirty-six
They took their fix ‘
Gainst old Mexico

For General Sam
They stood their ground
Many years ago

Heroes all
They stood so tall
Faced that Generalissimo

Now can be told
Just how bold
They stood at the Alamo