Demeter In Her Sorrow…

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At the time of harvest, the time of feasting
when the brightest stars shone and the air was clean, most clear

Demeter turned to her beloved daughter, Persephone.
“Come,” she said, “Let us sit down together, let us laugh and enjoy our wine,
our sunlight, the cool breeze, our happiness.”

But Persephone did not come.

She heard not the invitation.
In silence, she stole herself away
took herself underground
lost herself
moved beyond the reach of Demeter’s voice.

Far from the sunlit feast, in hunger
Persephone ate the fruit of Hades,
engaged her fate, and lured by the silver seeds of pomegranate
she gave her heart away.

She knew not that Demeter wept.

The stars darkened, clouds gathered, watching.
Hecate, moon-sister to the sun
tipped out her glass, cast down her eyes.

folded her hands.

Demeter, in her sorrow, wept.
Winter entered her soul.
Weighed down with tears, slow of step
her stillness froze the world.

Death and struggle,
the fields soured, sewn with salted tears
barren, cold.
Demeter, in her sorrow.

The Greek Gods struggled with each other, as humans do. Demeter was goddess of the harvest and fertility. Her daughter, Persephone was thought to descend into Hades in winter and reappear in the springtime. Hecate, chief goddess, presided over magic and spells. Hestia was goddess of the hearth and home.

Darlene Witte
Darlene Witte

Professor of Education, (retired) at Johnson State College in Vermont leads the Green Mountain Writers' Poetry & Performance workshop that meets on Zoom each month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 7 PM ET. Find out more at

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