A Maiden Voyage

(for mom, on Mother’s Day)

I was born cradled in the sea

In a ship

that never anchored

Incessantly carried

out of loud moaning waves

to foreign isles and islands

Rocked by

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

and wed

A goddess, cavorting with a mortal

 

 

The gods punished her

Shipwrecked

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.

 

 

One day

Poseidon’s rage

called forth monsters that shook our earth

And the profound sea

obeying the dark god

surged at my mother’s

heart

splitting our ship

at its helm.

 

 

My mother,

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

PZA

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