Monday, April 11, 2011

A-Z Challenge, I is for Insomnia

Insomnia's Moonlight Sonata, New Painting by me. This is an original smudge painting, from scratch (not from a photo, but drawn and painted by hand.)

And for National Poetry Month:

In Murky Waters[1]

Already her pink toes disappear into the small shadowed pond

That serves as a gateway to the underworld. The sun sets

Due west, relentless, as she plunges deep into clouded

Waters, swims strong, and surfaces

In another world. It’s not what you’d expect, dark

Damp rock, stalactites and stalagmites, clusters of bats,

Dangling spiders. Here, dark things coexist with an improbable

Profusion of sunshine: dunes, jungles, mountains, waterfalls,

Fecund green swamps. Anything found in the above-world exists

Below. That first time, Persephone saw only darkness,

The fire-lit throne room, the endless files of dead

Passing through, the grey river Styx and the huge grey swamps

Through which it flows. Hades had to teach her. She opened

Her eyes to find other eyelids underneath. Hades, who spoke at length

About the “veils,” peeled away onion layers of Persephone’s eyes

Until a pale yellow-green light began to suffuse the endless

Night. Layer upon layer he scraped away, until Persephone herself

Began clawing the masks of blindness from her eyes,

Like Dante, tearing off his masks. After months

Of thinning, the sun appeared within rock and beyond rock.

“Ah, sweet sun,” She said to Demeter, one spring evening, pointing

Down through stone into her husband’s chambers. Demeter imagined

Her daughter weak from lack of sustenance, from drinking

Only grenadine for half the year. At first, Persephone swore she would rewrite

Her own myth: escape from Hades and return to the flowering earth.

Now, rewriting again, she sees herself as uniquely privileged, golden

Fish in murky waters, the powerful, winged and shining

Queen of the underworld.

[1] Published in New Millennium; $500 1st place prize


John said...

Love the painting and the powerful words.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks, John! :-D :-D

LDahl said...

Mary, what a magic story! So sorry to hear you are ill.

jo(e) said...

I love that poem!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks so much LDahl and jo(e)!! :-D