Rejoicing Well

[..."she" is sexless, ageless 
her beauty and power
all the more terrifying...]

She circles about,
waiting for me to attend to her,
while I polish this rusty disc.

The cessation shines 
through the cracks
crusting the earth and
illuminating the dust.

My location is lost and 
I am without guide 
or guard or point.

Children speak 
in so many tongues 
while mine lolls 
mutely in my mouth.

I want to tell her stories 
but she runs and hides.
We made love 
in the shade of a tree by a pool 
and now she is done with me.
She will tell me no more.

I asked too much.
She has run off 
to the land of her sisters,
to lie in the kingdom of her thighs.

Her ankles speak to the fish.
Her eyes spell doom to the sky.

Her belly knows what it needs 
while I find her appetites 
a frightening cuisine.

Piled on platters polished from a stone 
I’ll never know the depth of, these dishes,
her delicacies, are lost on me.

She will not deign to dine from my chest.
I have no bosom for her, no breath
to be found in this chamber 
that hums and vibrates emptily.

Still, she says 
she wants me.
She tempts me 
with her promised presences.
Her primordial formalities 
make me uncomfortable.

I want her, yet
I fear my need for her.
I have not the stomach for her.
She would have mine on a plate 
to examine its contents,
to know what hatches inside me, 
to hear what makes me snap.

She would take the two bones 
of my legs for her double flute.

She lies upon the grass
by the still cool pool and runs 
into the woods when I call her. 

I beckon her, but
I will not lie with her there
in the shadowed wood
where she disappears
in her dark music.

I will sit by the pool, 
watch fish swim
in the tree-tops
and wait, trembling, 
for her mother.

19 thoughts on “Rejoicing Well

    • Thank you Susan–the flute is the ‘aulos,’ the double flute of ancient greece, traditional emblem of Euterpe.
      Her mother brings memory,
      or withholds, one waits,
      and, yes, always wonders…


  1. This bespeaks so much humanity mixed with the danger of mythos. ‘Her ankles speak to the fish.
    Her eyes spell doom to the sky.” What great couplet. Truly almost frightening to read.>KB


    • Mnemosyne and her daughters, the Muses, er, “em-you-ess-ee’s”…

      They’re like bogeys…afraid of what saying their name(s) out loud may do…then you might be tempting “eft-ay-tee-ee”…



    • Thank you so much, Joseph. I appreciate that. I wonder sometimes just how “pleasurable” some of my poems are, given the often “unpleasurable” topics that tend to color them, so that means a lot. Thank you–


  2. WOW! I LOVED this. Terrifying and fabulous and beautiful. This made me really glad to pause and read it… twice. I thought for a moment you were talking about my arch nemesis ‘Hope”. Ah… another evil one.


    • Ah…the hope one is coming, Wednesday I think. I’m thinking of incorporating it into a “Quoets for Poets” post. Trying to make those a regular Wednesday thing.

      Thank you for the close read. I wrote this when the muse seemed to have left me. How better to get her (or him) back than to write about her (or his) missing. Of course, she had to come back in order for me to finish this piece. It was a long time in the making.

      Not sure why, while I say muses are sexless, I insist on calling mine a she. Perhaps I find the idea of the female with that much power even more terrifying than the male…and in actuality my muse has another name which is also usually considered a male….go figure…


      • The classic muse is female, though I’ve worked from a male identified muse with good results as well. Is there a whole herd of the durn muses out there waiting for a likely channel with a pen or laptop? The muse thing is a puzzle to me.

        I like it best when things write themsleves.

        Ah the Hope thing. I can’t wait to read what you write on this. Hope causes me chronic perplexity.



        • Oh, yeah Alice. That’s where the title comes from. “Rejoicing well” is a translation of the Greek name Euterpe, muse of lyric poetry and elegy. Her mother is Mnemosyne or “memory” who is also for me a capricious and tricky wench. I just tend to think that the placement of gender on them is a symptom of the human need to personify. I like to think that they are all just conduits with the unknown/pneumenal/mystery/whatever you choose to call it. Or Yes! The Puzzle…(play dramatic music here*)
          And yes…Hope…she’s a whole other domain of the Puzzle…


          • My husband and I were discussing Hope this morning on the way back from the village with our baguettes. Getting involved with Hope keeps tripping us up. ((SIGH)). Yes. (more dramatic music here) THE PUZZLE. 😉


  3. Seriously, man. This is legend. There is just so much good stuff in this, and the feeling it leaves me with… it sunny outside, I think I’ll get naked and run around for a while, trying to capture this feeling if it exists in the wind… cause where else would it come from? I may ask a dragonfly. I may have to.

    Liked by 1 person

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