by Frances Roberts-Reilly
You know these roads -
Here at the crossroads,
Where Hecate’s hounds
Howl at night.
Her supper upon her altar,
A placation -
An offering to the goddess of the darkening moon.
The moon waxes, waning.
The way home is through the cave,
Inwards, into the darkness.
Here your cells transmute,
Cell by cell,
Like her supper
Decomposing on the altar.
So I eat sparingly, with caution
Measuring every morsel that enters my mouth
Because I will be transformed. I will.
Let the gods feast upon my eyes, my fingers, my bones,
That my body may atone
And repent for my transgressions.
My goddess: Why hast thou forsaken me?
Hecate hear my cries, as you heard hers.
For I am like Persephone abducted into Hades’ shades.
I too have eaten pommes seed, corrupted her sacred fruit.
Now, I am lost to the infernal compass
That has measured out every;
Shore, cave and mountain,
All length, depth and height
That philosophers have petrified into monoliths.
I am writing blindly,
I am writing in this gloomy silence,
I am writing to you,
Queen of all that is unheard, unseen and unsaid.
To you, veiled sister, ancient Hag
Tribal grandmother of the underworld -
Be the magnet for my compass,
and like a tuning fork that tones,
Tone, vibrate unmined ferrous forms
Shaping them into signs.
Ciphering all the stories of my unknown existence.
Spell me a path like Gretal’s trail,
Lit sublunar, uncanny yet true.
I come, with shivering hand,
Into the Labyrinth,
Oh holy One,
Crone of the blessed crossroads,
The League of Canadian Poets featured her poems for National Poetry Month and she was twice invited to contribute her poems in honor of Lt. Col. John McCrae, author of the famous WWI poem In Flanders Fields in celebration of Canada Day on July 1st.
Born in England of Welsh Romany ancestry, she came to Canada in 1977. She began writing seriously in 1972, whilst working at BBC television in London, England. After making award-winning documentaries, she earned an Honors degree in English Literature at the University of Toronto. She makes her homes in Guelph, Ontario and Gulfport, Florida.