Guest Poem: Lament of Aristaeus

One of my longtime favorite artists, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law shared this poem, and gave me permission to share it with you here. I find it moving, bittersweet. Enjoy! -E-

Lament of Aristaeus

I mourned once for their passing.
Must I now mourn again?
They paid once for my folly.
Must they now pay again?

I chased a girl
in a moment of wildness,
a moment of madness;
and then she was gone,
and they were gone
in payment for her young life.

And he, whom she chose to love above me:
he was gone too,
with nothing but a song to mark his passage.
(Though what a song it was!)

They left me with nothing
but the shadow of the hives
and the shadow of the lives
that once buzzed within.

I know I was at fault,
and it was just, though cruel, retribution
that took my honey-laden children.

I have done no wrong this time.
There is no girl,
no Bacchanial madness in my eyes.
No snake,
no song,
no death for a death.
No retribution earned.
My children are the victims now.
Pollen-heavy, their bodies fall to the ground
like a golden snowdrift,
and as cold.

Who will pay for their casual casualties?
I would not wish the retribution I received
visited upon another,
just or not.

Who will be the one to mourn?
No boy, and no song (no matter how sweet)
will be able to bring back the fallen,
and stem the honey-mead
seeping through the cracks.

About EmberVoices

Ember Cooke has been a member of Hrafnar and Seidhjallr for more than a decade, where she trained to be a Seidhkona, Galdrakona, and Gythia. She founded the Vanic Conspiracy and made ordination vows to the Vanir and her congregation in the summer of 2013. She has contributed to several publications on Heathen and Northern Pagan subjects and regularly presents rituals and workshops at festivals. Her personal practice is more diverse, as the Vanir have lead her into cross-training and service for the wider Pagan community. This has including medium and servitor training in American Umbanda, clergy training with the Fellowship of the Spiral Path, and jail ministry for local counties. She holds a BA with honors in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University. Ember has lived all her life in the south San Francisco Bay Area, and is intimately bound to the valley of her birth.
This entry was posted in Crafts, Land Spirit Work, Poetry, Polytheistic Theology, ST4R and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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