Monday, January 14, 2013

How Long?

image borrowed from bing

How Long?

“How long will prejudice blind the visions of men?
Not long--no lie can live forever.”--Martin Luther King

My neighbor’s canine howling at sirens
reminded me of dogs as daemon,
companions and heralds for Hecate.

I have a memory of a tall tombstone
in an ancient cemetery, sculpted
with Hecate’s form in tripartile,
three separate, yet conflated, figures--
two with torches, 
one with a great key,
chthonic triplets lighting the way
to the underworld;

earth mother,
companion spouse;
the sweetest of spiritual nannies 
dispatched for gentle transitions,
fully restoring the matriarchal magic
to cushion the various dances of death;

benevolent guardians who easily
eradicate the malignant memory
of MacBeth’s wicked Crone,
who tempted him into madness,

Hecate’s influences are felt across the labyrinth 
of history, her image found on thousands
of terra-cotta vases and statuettes,
and residing in old prints illustrating
her nubile followers devouring dogs
fresh from flaming bothros.

Only brightly-coiffed tender-hearted Hecate,
the single daughter of Persaeus, heard
the girl from her cave.--Hesiod.

Like the lonely sailor with Mother tattooed
garishly on his forearm,
like the sad soldier mired 
in the machinations
of Boot Camp, waiting 
for a letter from home,
in lieu of accepting 
all those simplistic sentimental remarks
in literature and greeting cards, I
have always felt totally absorbed by
my unabashed adoration of women;

too often becoming moody & surly while
still waiting for the eventual total equality
of the sexes, in all their various guises,
wondering how many of my past lives
were spent as a woman, or has it
always been just my re-colored pragmatic
emotional adjustment to losing
my own mother at a young age?

Glenn Buttkus

January 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


jasmine calyx said...

Ooh, I love these:

"the sweetest of spiritual nannies
dispatched for gentle transitions"

"and residing in old prints illustrating
her nubile followers devouring dogs
fresh from flaming bothros"

all of the last two stanzas

Great work, Glenn.

Natasha Head said...

to cushion the various dances of death...loving the lines in this one, the history and the mystery, the myth and the magic...and those damn daemon dogs...Happy OpenLinkNight...gotta feeling it's going to be a good one! This was awesome :D

Claudia said...

somehow that made me think of erich kästner, a very famous german children's book author (emil and the detectives for example) he lost his mother young as well and mothers always play a very important role in his books.. great write glenn

Brian Miller said...

mmm...was it an adjustment to losing your mother? or the adoration of women...i would like to see a more equal world you know, regardless the reason....interesting journey to get there as well sir....

Frank Watson said...

Vivid mixing of legend and symbols with a very modern conclusion. Personally I adore the differences between the sexes more than the equality; both are good, but the tangible is what grabs me (literally) :P

Anonymous said...

Lots of undertones, the longing, mythology tinged with a modern edge, the pain of losing, yet dancing with the idea that there is more. From one very layered poet to another, a second reading is required. Complex and thoroughly enjoyable.

Yiota Luyu Ladybird said...

Hecate, Greek goddess of the three paths, guardian of the household, protector of everything newly born, and the goddess of witchcraft...but most of all, a goddess of divine femininity and power, the very unique mixture of earth, sea and sky...She protected the crossroads, and, the dark side of every mystery :) I love the way you compose the poem around her :)

Alex Dissing said...

"I have always felt totally absorbed by my unabashed adoration of women"

Couldn't have said it better myself. I was primarily raised by women & have always preferred their company. Equality has come a long ways, but yes, there is still so much farther to go. Great write, Glenn.

AJ Walker said...

I really enjoyed reading and especially listening to your poem. Great work and the illustration really brought it more into being.

Anonymous said...

I love the interweaving of ancient, contemporary and autobiography here. Reading your work is always educational too - there's usually something I need to look up in a dictionary!

Beth Winter said...

There is a blend of gentleness with suppressed outrage. I personally believe in the concept of individuality where gender, appearance, and economics play no role in human value. Your poem is rich, blending old with modern and demonstrating that the circle meets itself throughout time. Somehow, I can picture you as a Sufragette in a past life :)

Mystic_Mom said...

Your work is so powerfully written, I like this. A lot. Great piece.