Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru, and author of two novels as well as seven poetry collections. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Her latest: DO OCEANS HAVE UNDERWATER BORDERS? (Kelsay Books July 2022), WHISTLING IN THE DARK (Ciberwit July 2022), and SAUDADE (December 2022) are available on Amazon.
The Maiden Persephone
Daughter of Demeter, moistening mortal springs
with tears, effecting the curses of mortal man
upon the souls of the dead. Persephoneia.
Queen of the Dead, deity who rules
the underworld, your name cannot be spoken.
The fire under ground. 6000 years.
In the orphic traditions you lay with your father.
Immortal, the Eleusinian mysteries
predate the Olympian pantheon.
Deity of vegetation, celebrated
at the time of Anthesterion.
Hades wishing death on the mortals,
abducted the one who brought abundance.
Chthonic goddess, receiving the dead into the earth.
Seasonal consecrated tasks.
Dance floors near vaulted tombs.
He made you his wife.
Your home in the underworld,
the house of Persephone.
Regeneration at Eleuis, rites promising
immortality to initiates.
When it’s all over
Perhaps mountains still echo our voices—
at least a whisper of the banter during the hike,
moments of fear on the sheer rock side,
a soft ‘ah’ or ‘oh’ of human wonder
at the majesty of the unforgiving peaks.
Water may still remember our form,
the caresses when it opened up to let us in,
then closed after we passed.
An ephemeral reminder of what was solid once.
Air formerly made room for us, entered us,
only to leave again bearing a souvenir of our DNA.
A whiff of particulates of skin and laughter,
of young witches dancing on soft grass in the hollow.
Alien archaeologists may find fossils of a jawbone here,
a femur there, a child’s skeleton perfectly preserved
in post-apocalyptic mud. How will they know us?
Our poems carried on the wind, storms lifted
the crescendos of our most passionate symphonies,
pompous oratory hung from pillars left standing
after giant waves thundered in and flushed sand,
plastic, concrete, and stone, perhaps
exposing two lovers embracing,
bone on brittle bone.
Beautiful work! I especially like the second, the perspective from deep time, how we might be remembered from the fragments left behind.