Friday, April 02, 2010


In darkness Persephone walks
the earth flinches
with every absentminded footfall.
She does not speak, she listens,
and listening, hears her rough soles
smooth and cut, chip and polish
her surrounding plateau of shadows.

Every forward step she takes,
she makes the dark earth tremor.

Persephone walks. On and on
and on she walks and when
- pre-dawn - she stops
she finds she's standing still
on solid ground; so strange
and dark a land she knows
she's not been here before
nor felt the restless press
of moths mistaking her presence
for a candle; how slight
their quiet antennae tracing
the contours of her face,
her heart - each passing wing,
an eye; each eye, a question


  1. moths mistaking
    her presence
    for a candle . . .


    That she should be the light in the dark.

  2. oh my!

    Yesterday I lectured on Vanitas, which led to pomegranates, and to Persephone.

    What synchronicity!

    Furthermore my daughter anounced yesterday she had decided to make her art work at school about moths, of all things.

    That is a beautiful poem. i am going to copy it and show the students, if that is ok.

  3. Hi Fifi - how pleased i am to see that you've posted a new entry on Strange Fruits! I will head over there in just a few mins...

    Synchronicity is indeed alive and well. I love it when these kinds of connections are made - lovely that your daughter is making moths the subject of her art project. Of course it's fine for you to copy this poem and take it to your class. I'd be delighted, thank you!

  4. Hi Mim - it's an unexpected image, I agree. I do like to think of Persephone as a candle, though - how burdensome it would have been for her to be surrounded by endless, immeasurable darkness... I almost can't bear to think of her like this? The idea of an ember/a flicker of light at her core is somehow easier to work with - something enabled Persephone to endure her 'unchosen' space for the time she had to? Thank heavens she had the promise of returning eventually to a landscape of light?

    L, C

  5. What a beautiful figure you've given Persephone, using words that make her live on and her light shine. You are a very clever woman! :)

  6. Mm, I love this poem. Moths as night guides, or the guided... These quiet messengers are making themselves known.

  7. Dear Kay & Pen

    Moths as night guides/light guides...

    And Pencils as torches? For you two, definitely - the way you light up the page.

    L, C x

  8. Hello Richard - it's good to see you here, as well as to discover your blog... Thanks for your comment about this poem. Claire