Lady of the Stag


Potina, Lady of the Stag


In the saffron field above a pleasure-palace in the rich seaport of Akrotiri,
Aiyana gathers blooms for a festival to honor the goddess and the earth opens and black plumes rise
… so begins, Potina, Lady of the Stag, the story of a girl.


This, a girl story, not a girl-boss story, not a girl-warrior story, not a girl-empowerment story, those fantasies of feminist ideology destructive of family, love, country, and girls.  Of course, the girl of the story will be bullied into feminism, yet will resist, as girls true to themselves do.  Perhaps you noticed, each day the tribe of feminists grows in unhappiness, hate and insanities.  Best, I think, to offer girls reassurance in the goodness of what each is in her true heart.

Outlined in 2015, the second novella of the “Aegea Trilogy” (set 1600 Before Christ), Potina: Lady of the Stag follows upon events of Sama the Prince.  Aiyana, our heroine, ambitious of acceptance, brave though unsure, navigates through the rituals of court and women’s ways.  Lately, there has been a good deal of nonsense written and spoken of women’s ways, of woman’s nature, of men, and the errors of a Classive Civilization that has awarded excellence, merit, and achievement.  Never have we been more wealthy, never more foolish.


Lady of the Stag
…all Lady of the Stag illustrations from Akrotiri, Thera, circa 1600 Before Christ.


The story of a girl … Perhaps you noticed the poverty of Progressive storytelling, the empty corporateness of film studios, the gender-swap and race-swap lack of originality, the empty theatres, the fan-baiting, the progressive hatred of all that is good and true.  Certainly, engaging stories plainly told have been progressively replaced with droning lectures bright and shiny.  You choose: Kinsey or Aeschylus, Freud or Sophocles, Marx or Wilde, Skinner or Shakespeare, which tells more true the nature of man.

These sixty years, students have been diverted from home ec and shop toward literary criticism, so I expect you know of character development, back story, and motivation, those errors of method writing that have bankrupted imagination.  Better that you had learned to strike a nail true or folded tight a sheet than to have been taught to express your emotions in crayon or keyboard.  The one leads to real virtue, generous service, the other to soft vice in self-love.  The best art is crafted of reality, virtue upon virtue.  To be an artist, study the best of what has been thought, said, done; ignore literary fashions.



Process is not a substitute for wisdom, opinion is not a substitute for knowledge, passion is not a substitute for experience.  Better to know the world than to change the world.  Better to help people find their way by wisdom than to foolishly lecture about a universe of which you are merely a speck, soon forgotten.  Only that which is timeless remains, and this until we are no more, or, until after the Second Coming.  You choose.

Yes, “the story of a girl” in a universe beyond her knowledge, a culture beyond her experience.  How can she come to know, and knowing lend you wisdom.  Because she is a creature designed, “created”, you might say, so that the universe can know itself.  If not for the mind of man, how can the universe be known, or shared.



Here, below, several Lady of the Stag soliloquies.  Expect you will recognize your voice in each soliloquy because nothing that is human is foreign to you.


Potina, Lady of the Stag Verses



Of feather soft and water smooth
She like a graceful peacock moves
Along the rolling ridge of hills,
Ever lovely, forever stilled.

And there are monkeys blue of skin,
And antelope well lined and slim,
And there is saffron full in bloom,
And here her hair yet sprouts the plume

For which she passed from life to air,
And see, the layered skirts she wares
Are pretty now, as pretty new
When they from life the artist drew.



Persepine’s Charm

Remember the children in cover,
The delicate nature of skin,
Remember the soft arms of mothers,
The creatures of feather and fin

…arms in movement of feather and fin.

Who shelter beneath your tall tower,
Who tremble below you in fear,
Who bow before you, who cower
When your bellowing voice they hear.

…cowering gentles herself.

Be quiet Kaptara, be peaceful
And rest on your pillow of cloud,
Be gentle Kaptara, be easeful,
You needn’t be wakeful and loud.

…sweetly wagging finger.

I give you myself as a meal,
I come like the corn with a song
To sacrifice life for the people
In flame that you not do us wrong.

…offers herself to the mountain.



The Dyeu Considers

Up from a seed the tall tree grows
To offer fruit and cooling shade.
Through me from warriors of old
The seed of what my womb has made.

            …lines the eyes’ brow with pitch.

Tis true, our past will visit us.
The ghosts of time will come to stay,
To topple tables and make fuss.
We cannot make them go away,

            …dots on a mole.

Try as we may.  We are ourselves
Alone.  Always alone with thoughts
And with regrets.  In branches dwell
The wormed fruit that I have wrought.

            …fully fills the lips in red.

Forgive me, husband.  Would that I
Could hide me in your arms again,
Yet what is done is done, and why
Return the female curse to men.

            …dangles jewels from either ear, and looks again.



Lady’s Curse

Always the way is hard and long.
I’ve learned from what has come before,
Mother of pain.  You’ve made me strong,
Have set my teeth and will.  Hurt me more.

…a new cut to decorative scars on arm.

O, Goddess: Here I give myself,
My spirit and my flesh to you,
I give my life, this prayer, my wealth
If you will make this one thing true.

…drops a jewel, pinches out her blood.

Please, give her bowels to worms, to cramp.
For these your lovely saffron’s flower.
Please, give her heart to bees and snap
Her arms by vinca blue.  Sting her.

…open palmed spreads arms, jerks face t’ward cave’s roof.

Always for she the sweet and best.
Teach me.  Hide me in your shadows.
Now spite her.  Smile on my success
In fortune long, from torture slow.

…slow grinning deeply inhales the stinking steam.



Aiyana’s Poem

You know the bud in springtime full
Of life, eager to bloom, to blossom
In beauty.  Eyes pause and breath stills
To see the life that is to come.

…dots the “i” with a flower.

And there you were, my honeysweet,
A lion in the field of flowers.
My soul rooted, warm my cheek,
I trembled bare before your power.

…draws power’s “p” extra tall.

O tell me, tell me you love me:
From father baskets of riches,
From mother folds of delicacy
If you will love me.  Give kisses

…draws many lips.

My lion.  Come, rest in my bed.
Be easy.  Let me caress you,
Then cup your strength behind my neck
That I might bloom as flowers do.

…rests “do” in a nest.


Lady of the Stag


Kaptara Swells

Now rise!  Give heat and swell and force
Into the empty space of air,
Give rock into the hollow source
And make Her grow into the course

            …raises high his fisted arms.       

Of my will, my life, my desire.
Send sparks into the soft-faced cloud
To make her weep to know my fire,
To spend herself in wetness, bowed

            …fists his hard gut.

Before, beneath my weight, my power.
Hear!  I roar.  I am over-filled
And shall explode this very hour
For none can halt my heavy spill …

            …cross-fists his heavy chest.

It comes!  No thing shall be the same.
I bulge the Land, I gape the Sea,
The waves themselves shall bear my name,
Kaptara!  Scream because of me.

            …throws wide his knuckled hands and swelling arms.


Lady of the Stag


Apollon Rises

A husk.  A summer’s cicada
A’rattling in December’s cold
Alone.  The work undone, time gnaws
Upon my bones, my old flesh molds

            …gently pressures aching hands.

While yet I live, if this is life.
I cannot, no, I must not leave
The scepter to the child and wife,
Both untried, and both most aggrieved

            …looks with suspicion into shadows.

And Fearful, uncertain and weak.
O, Father, more of ill will come
Than I in these brief days have seen.
Yet what’s to do for I am done…

            …draws shoulders to full seated height.

O, what will come when I am gone.
All things will make end, will pass
As I shall pass to myth and song,
If strength yet lives to sing the past.

            …firmly lifts himself by the floor planted spear.


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* Many of these Lady of the Stag Verses appeared in Expansive Poetry and The Society of Classical Poets.

** These soliloquy, though not included in the Lady of the Stag screen novella, have stage direction (italics between quatrains) so that actors might know themselves in the parts.


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Potina, Lady of the Stag, a screen-novella by Michael Curtis.


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