Queen of fragrant Eleusis, Giver of earth's good gifts, Give me your grace, O Demeter. You, too, Persephone, fairest, Maiden all lovely, I offer Song for your favor.
Song, Eleusinian Mysteries c. 600 BCE
A brief shower of seed pearls tinted of fragrant flowers
(Lilies, hyacinths, carnations, narcissus, violets, nasturtium. Opium)
Softly sifted through my fingers onto the sandpaper floor from a rent in the fabric
Which I quickly gathered, feckless, and replaced onto its surface of dust.
Ratcheting of speed unlimit trucks fainted from the highway;
The transparent moon floated in jet cloud vapor above the mounted sun.
From the vast ceaseless horizon, we invited a view of nothingness;
Inside the deaf ear; not a whit of whisper emerged, windless or wingless.
A broken punctuation of fusty ramshackle startled the landscape.
The perspective caught us up into two musty rooms with invisible doors.
Scrapings of time plastered her meager skin and bone of no duration;
Her flanks, ashen with planks, moaned weakly in protest of our footprints.
Through her shattered eyes, we wrestled with the view of debris:
Remnants of miscalculated faded memories of hen's teeth;
Tangled dried reminiscences of a garden and its depraved weeds
Surrounded by ghost trackings of bison and oxen.
A voice grumbled behind us, as though out of time,
In shirt rumpled and belted, and speaking in rime:
But we followed his lead when he told us to heed the impending migration of birds.
Abruptly, overhead a throbbing palpitation of massive wings raged,
Dispensing a pulsing sandstorm vortex, spiraling downward through fragile detritus.
Multiplex crater mounds of harvester ants quaked and detonated to a cyclone of dust.
A singular black vulture darted through the epicenter and extinguished the passion.
The remains of the twisted cypress lay bare, crumpled in the wake of the torrent.
Its bony, web-spun trunk, its scaling skin, concealed a belly of heartless termites.
Contorted roots, spread and broken, revealed a cavity of lascivious locusts.
Her scrawny arms reached out and clutched a rusted hasp clinging to a root cellar door.
Sighs of wind sweeping friable vegetation was replaced by dead-leaf silence.
Smothering soundlessness ignited the sun burnt landscape to oppression.
Sightless skies dispensed smoldering opacity to the vanishing shifting scene,
Obscuring the unearthing, in this month of winters before spring.
Autumn's dying glow is warming the windows and the inhabitants:
Seeds of pomegranates and dates in speckled eggshell earthen crocks,
Dried pods, herbs and flowers of summer, pendulous in the rafters
Fragrant combs of goldenrod honey readied for the mead,
Preserves of the Rubaiyat harvest catching the light…
Bloodstone cherries, blushed peaches, scarlet love apples and fire red plums.
Winter's tender gift of isolation proffers recuperation for gardener and vegetation,
Bequeathing delicious pleasures of selfishness of indoor energy.
Eight months of outdoor planting, pruning, fertilizing, weeding and gathering
Have left me yearning for a time to myself with my three dogs of the same bitch;
When winter closets me to solitude, when the moon lives longer than the sun,
When the fire between mantle and hearth excites my eyes, heart and desires.
I have gathered all my senses to participate in my sybaritic rituals of seclusion:
Seeded royal blue wool and skeins of hyacinth silk heighten the process.
Scruples of earth's basics lay on the pottery table anxious to be flogged and molded.
Rough hewn cypress and pungent camphor stand ready for the blade.
Pine fragrant oils and corpulent tubes of color await their turn at the ceremony.
All compose themselves to begin my penetration in this darkest quadrant of seasons.
Amaryllis, Narcissus, Hyacinth
Planted in shaped colored earth
Surrounded by crystalline stones
Send delicate roots
To nurture the moon.
At nightfall, the seed begins when the moon loses its light to a gauze of mist.
The stars' tears flood the sky and drenches first the planets and then the earth
By morning, arid ground yields to channels of rivulets, washing dried leaves to life
The cloak covering the sun lifts and exposes the glistening flamed daybreak.
A row of shadowed earthpots of hyacinths sit awaiting the change
Winter had kept them cozy in their nests, perfumed and warm.
Fragile russet tips shrivels to complete the process of bulbaceous return,
While outside, concealed restorations commences to lift the earth to green.
The renewing touch of mother's visit reawakens the heartbeat inside me.
Tendrils of hope and burgeoning growth stirs repetitions of escalations.
Embryos and their cotyledons promises garden groves and forests of summer,
In this cruelest month when the earth animates and all is born again.