Editor’s Note: This poem, from our resident poet, Ian McLeod, seems appropriate for Independence Day. You can read more of his poetry here.

 

I was climbing a mountain

and saw a man rolling a rather large

boulder up its steep side.

Sisyphus rolled his stone up, up

the mountain and turned to me and

asked, “Good sir, do you have a light?”

“Why certainly, Sisyphus: here, a light for you,”

said I as I lit a cigarette and placed it into Sisyphus’ lips,

all the while still walking.

“A light for you, and Prometheus, too! Is that him over there?”

“Aye, it is. But don’t offer him a light, good sir,

as he might not terribly appreciate the irony.”

“What irony?” Asked I, only grasping it as Sisyphus gave

his answer: “Why, good sir, Prometheus is chained to this

very same mountain for giving fire to humans!”

I slapped my forehead and laughed:

“By Jove, what a fool I’d be to give Prometheus a light!”

“A fool indeed,” laughed Sisyphus. “But at least I stopped you!”

“Yes sir, Sisyphus, you did. Well, I must be on my way.

Good day to you!”

“And to you, brave mortal.”