Wait, Greece is saying it’s a crime to insult religion? But… but the whole country is a shining example of the fleeting existence of gods, and the evolutionary change of religious culture, as images of Zeus Apollonius are repurposed as Jesus, as the Parthenon becomes a church, becomes an ammo dump, becomes a ruin, becomes a symbol of the rebirth of a city, becomes a protest site…
Greece is all the proof you need, that the gods are mortal too.
Once there was a temple here
With marble columns gleaming white
Once the gods themselves looked down
Upon these altars with delight.
Olympus climbs into the clouds
And mortals look up from below—
The hidden summit must have gods,
We do not just believe—we know.
But gods, it seems, are mortal too
And gods must die, as must we all
And temples, without gods, decay;
Abandoned columns soon will fall.
The people leave; the waters rise;
What was a marble floor, now grass;
The sunken statuary gaze,
And dumbly watch millennia pass.
Once the gods were worshipped here
Today the rulers here, the frogs
Control the fate of damsel-flies;
Athena’s columns for their logs.
The gods, it seems, cannot stop time
And Zeus himself must lose his crown
The land gives way to fish and frogs…
And turtles all the way down.
(All images by Cuttlefish, from Dion, in the shadow of Mt. Olympus.)