Tell me, O muse, of that indigenous heroine who traveled far and wide, after she had embodied the famous woman so destroyed. Many men did she visit, and many were the relations with whose manners and customs she was acquainted; moreover she suffered much by lack of intimacy while trying to save her own life and bring her soul safely home; but do what she might she could not save other souls, for they perished through her own sheer folly for insisting on the battle of the the Goddesses Athena and Venus; so the Gods prevented them her from ever reaching home. Tell me, too, about all these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you may know them.
I know of Persephone, her descent into the seven levels of Hell. I know the darkness, the salt and sulphuric smells. I know of the survival skills needed to navigate the place where pure evil dwells. I know of the sorrow there, of the unending spirit pain. I know of the ceaseless heartache, deeper than water wells.
I know the place of courage, when Demeter sent down her rope, when I was pulled up towards the light, where I relearned how to float. I built my little house with little pebble stones, I rebuilt my life out of ashes from my bones.
I know of rekindled passions that rose up from the clay, of love’s manifestations that carried me away. And I was a bride four times, in south, in north, east, west, but each lover left me homeless, each husband just a guest. They made themselves at home in my very juicy heart, then stripped it bare and cleaned it out when they chose to depart.
And every time Persephone was there to guide me down, to the place where I’d descended, after shredded wedding gown. Each time I rose for spring, each time I rose to shine, each time I had to pull myself out from hell, the upward climb.
I’ve wandered through the desert, with Athena’s papered hands. I’ve sat in class, I’ve mastered arts, I’ve maps, directions, charts.
And Hera was embraced, by kitchen stoves -I cooked. I cleaned I scrubbed and I obeyed, I was aproned, but overlooked.
Artemis took me deep within, the wild and wooded lands, where I painted and created with my own very hands. She held me together, after Venus had had her way, she bandaged up the heartbreak, she taught me to pray. She taught me to sing, with the birds by glossy lake, she taught me how to grow my wings to dance, to drum, to wake.
Demeter could not hold me, for there was no father there who stayed, each time I swelled with life, they each took turns, betrayed the woman I could have been, the mother I would have made.
The ones who proved the hardest to love were the ones who needed it most. But in the end I lost those loves, I was just the vampires host. The hero and the heroine, the archetypal king and queen, have evaded me, slipped through my grasp, like some evasive dream.
So Venus comes for one last time, am I her or am I crone? I know both will bring their wounds, I know each has their own throne. Will Venus bless me one last time? Or will she leave me cursed, to the descent into the abyss, to end the non heroic verse?