Eleusinian Mysteries

A poem

Since, long before
Alexanders horses
quenched their thirst
at the banks of the Indus

We, devotees of Olympus
praised you
the Corn-Mother
- spurn the heathen

Before even,
Pericles had the Parthenon’s
first stones laid
at Athens grand Acropolis

lest it befit a necropolis
I must thank you
for this grain, and bread

which with fervour fed
all who gathers
here, at Eleusinion
by your grace

in this sacred space
this Boedromion
to celebrate the latter state
of summers gifts

long fertile days till Helios lifts
his sight
and dips his chariot
behind the sea

celebrate thee, Persephone
she, who was taken
as Hades Queen

who Helios had seen
plunging beneath
aback a black chariot
to the underworld

devouring six pearled
fleshy pomegranate seeds
which tethered her
to that deep dark realm

Zeus, at the helm
seeing your anguish, Demeter
agreed to reunite
Mother with Daughter

and brought her
Persephone, back to you
and us, and with her
spring has sprung

on it, our hopes are hung
for the yearly harvest
thanks to her too, Persephone
who must thus return

for those six seeds which churn
in her belly
tie her to the seat
where she is to rule

all those who fall
at the feet of her judgement
for a third
of each yearly succession

she must remain in the possession
of Hades, till alas
she comes once more - forevermore
whence she descended and arose;

still claim heroes
who, yearn to make a name
in the blood of beasts
and brave men

who, again, and again
wager their lives on earthly glories
or, as Ajax the Great
fall on their sword

to join the horde
of undead souls
slipping into Elysium
or, Tartarus…

on a full stomach.

© Darius the Mate

Written for dVerse Poetics.

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8 thoughts on “Eleusinian Mysteries

  1. So haunting, Darius! I love how you wrote this, it’s enchanting and mystical. You really brought the myth to life here, and I find it beautiful the way you weaved the figurative imagery. Fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

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