Monday, September 28, 2009

Dru Philippou: Nostos

Open the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and enter the Nysian meadow, naming roses, crocuses, and beautiful violets . . . irises too, and hyacinths. Avoid narcissus, that sweet temptation, unless you want a seat at Haides’ banquet. If you have time, pass by the olive-trees bearing their splendid fruits, and you’ll hear Persephone’s echoing cries.

he clasps the maiden
tightly in his chariot
the four black steeds
gallop back to the palace
of dust and ashes

growing used
to his ways, and
his three-headed hound,
she stokes the flickering
fires of oblivion

the dark-haired lord,
on an ebony throne,
polishes his helmet
while Demeter braids
a wreath for his door

the taste
of the seed seals
Persephone’s fate:
misty darkness
and vines of the earth
Matter in italics is borrowed from “The Homeric Hymns” by A. N. Athanassakis

by Dru Philippou
Taos, New Mexico

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