Friday, June 16, 2023

Lines for the Marriage of Persephone and Hades


I sing because what I must say cannot be spoken in prose. It comes from the mound, from beyond the white gate, from the far side of the Western sea, from beneath the roots of the wild fig and the holm oak. It comes through the heady musk of bee-loud blossoms that conceal killing thorns. It calls you to the well of memory and desire, to the vulva of the goddess who will swallow you until she gives birth to what she wishes you to be.
     You would flee from this if you were not drunk on the fumes of wildflowers, or doubled up with laughter, if the honey wine on your lips and the play of young limbs around the rising thyrsus were less sweet.
     Don’t slow it down. Dance faster, higher, lighter.  Let your words be winged feet. Tilt and angle, loop and knot. Be the lyre, be the drum, be the ecstasy of wild flutes. You will not get from here to there in any straight way. Let your song make the twisting twisting way.
    You must plunge between the stone thighs, into the womb where water becomes fire. You must give up, piece by piece, all your vanities and certainties. You must let your skin be flensed from your body, and then let your flesh be rendered. You must watch your organs laid out on a butcher’s table while pale snakes spill and slither from your belly.
     Beyond your body of pain, you are ready to sit on a love seat with the one who called you. You can’t look your intended in the face until your new eyes settle in your skull. Now you can drink in the beauty that rises from terror, as wine is born from the trampled grapes.
    You are learning the nature of true power. The cauldron is lifted from the marriage table. You are anointed with liquid fire. It streams over your head and glows on your skin. The womb of death has given birth to a new sun. A fountain of bright fire is inside you now.
    Of course you eat the red food of the dead when it is placed before you. You haven’t come here as a tourist. You are here for the sacred marriage. You have no thought of escape, because you are not a captive. The love seat is a shared throne. You will go up, when it pleases renew the cycles of earth, bringing the promise of harvest. You will make this descent again, as it pleases you, to enjoy the embrace of your dark lover and to follow your shared calling. You are royal. In your royalty, you will serve the souls that tremble at the gates of life and death and do not know that they are at a swing door. As an initiate, you will be an initiator.
      Go up now, go out now, and see how everything sprouts and quivers under your feet. Be with the huge lady cow, so white and beautiful, and with the bull of heaven as they meet in fields of green delight. Graze in the apple orchard that will go with you everywhere. Let others rekindle their flames from the fire in your eyes. Allow antlers of light to rise as living candelabra from the fire inside your head. Wear the clothes of whatever country you are in. Gods and goddesses love to travel in disguise. Never forget to sing. Shine bright, shining one

- by Robert Moss, April 2020

Photo: pinax (votive plate) showing Persephone enthroned with Hades, from Locri in Calabria, in the Museo Nazionale Archeologico, Reggio Di Calabria


MaeBirchTree said...

Wow! Love it!!!

Corinne said...

This is fabulous! Chicken skin!