(for mom, on Mother’s Day)
I was born cradled in the sea
In a ship
that never anchored
out of loud moaning waves
to foreign isles and islands
the waving arms
of my mother
My mother, Aphrodite, beautiful Goddess of love and pleasure
She was born in sea-foam,
when the Sky
longing for love
lay about the Earth.
She rose up from the deeps
and Eros (Love) and Himeros (Desire),
shadowed her from birth
amongst men and undying gods.
Barely coming out of the water,
she lost her mother at five
and was hurled back
into the maddening sea
to live with the Goddess of Duty
Weeping for love
a trifling amusement
My mother, a Goddess of Love and Pleasure
she could have none
So she roamed over the waves
Wretched, desperate to find a sailor
a prince, a god, to liberate her
She met a drunken sailor
seemingly the god of wine and merriment
and rode on his boat
Sailed away for twenty days
A goddess, cavorting with a mortal
The gods punished her
Fallen to the brine of the sea
Widowed at 24
She could have been with a god
of music and poetry
He could have charted her course
were it not for sirens and songs
My father, the drunken sailor.
My father, intoxicated on moonshine
I forgot him at sea
In an island between
three and five
A god of wine, banquets and merriment
He abandoned immortality for uncharted lands
lured by a song that promised forgetfulness
He steered his boat towards the rocks
And flung himself, drowning in the abyss.
My mother, she was violet-crowned
Swathed with heavenly garments
Maidens took her
to the magical dances in islands
of gods and princes
And she carried me with her
as we slipped
looking for a place to anchor
a prince, with a castle.
The prince, my second father
He built us a castle adorned with gold.
Glass slippers for our feet, as we ventured on land.
The slippers broke,
too fragile for my mother’s webbed feet
The sea beckoned.
We set sail: Mother, me, two brothers
to islets and rocks, waters to sink into
Our shimmering castle was not home.
We sailed on
“Amidst the whisperings of maidens
amidst smiles, and deceits
amidst sweet delight
love and graciousness”
And encountered in the depths
The god of the Sea
His wrath were the waves
And my mother embraced him.
Poseidon, my third father,
God of the deep
earth shaker, lord of the sea’s expanse
He was, after his birth,
swallowed by his father Cronos,
and thrown up again
sowing hatred in his heart
a trident on his hands
our ship in his watery grave.
She loved him, of everyone else
Born of sea-foam
she poured the entirety
of beauty, love and pleasure
Froth to the sea god
who devoured her ship whole
when he had it in his power
to subdue storms, summon white clouds,
grant our voyage, save us from the cruel sea.
called forth monsters that shook our earth
And the profound sea
obeying the dark god
surged at my mother’s
splitting our ship
at its helm.
Engulfed in water
Hung on to a piece of her heart
The violet-crowned Goddess, no longer immortal
She was violently swept by the currents
Carried off by the roaring waves to safety
But away from her children
Who clasped the broken ship,
Drifting, lost at sea.
Our Mother goddess
She wanders alone in its expanse
In the flow of the changing sea
Having dominion over Love, Beauty and Pleasure
That hounded her from birth
She eluded them, set on a voyage
that did not anchor
to save sailors, princes, gods and their children
except she needed rescuing.
We are adrift without her
Goddess at the helm of our ship
And so we seek her
in every port, ship, island,
in every drunken sailor, prince and god
Our mother of the sea
Home is with her
the beguiling sea, ship that rocked from wave to wave
Borne in her cradling arms of love, beauty and pleasure.
March 30, 2009