Demeter’s Fire

Six months old she is
When I begin gathering her in my arms,
To gently rock her
Within the flames.

I stand by her fiercely
Every night, with love,
Sweep away the ashes
Of the no longer needed.

With ardent joy I watch her change
As the outer shell dissolves,
Her eyes take on a charcoal grey
And raw and radiant, she burns to live.

Stop, stop! her mother cries
Tearing tears from raging eyes,
Her fervent passion rivals mine,
Equal, by the love with which we’re both defined

What are you doing to my child?
I am seeing to her being wild.
Bone deep the memories I set alight,
To the song of the soul I sing each night.

I do not deliver death on one so small,
The smallness itself is all that dies.
Who questions me, when there’s only love behind
what to you appears, at once, harsh and strange?

I, born of eternal light divine,
I lit the wisdom in the child’s eyes,
Set smoldering, her limits, to shine her light free,
Turned resilient and bright all she can be.

Do not tear her from my arms
As with Demeter of old,
Do not misunderstand
Healing in unfamiliar guise.

Do not be mistaken
By what you’ve been told.
Though tried, she will rise
Brilliant and bold.

I know, for I too am self-made
And could not help but recognize
My kindred, spark which can’t be tamed
Which as well within myself resides.

Let me hold her,
Until she knows her name,
Until trembling, leaping
Through a waking world, she flies,

And with our ones
Who stir the sleeping,
Though she’ll not see
Her world the same,

She’ll be as the sun
Is to the dreaming
Rekindling the hearths
No one thought would blaze again.

Then through this life, let me carry her,
These trials, triumphs to the wise.
There is no loss here undertaken,
She is opening her eyes.


8 thoughts on “Demeter’s Fire

  1. Who is this Éilis? Its kind of haughty or proud. I’m a bit lost. Doesnt sound like any of your kin you regularly talk about…

    1. I’ve been trying to figure that out. I’m really unsure, Ali. I began writing from Demeter’s point of view about the child she was trying to make immortal. The story just wouldn’t get out of my head. And then I realized I could draw an interesting parallel to my own situation, of what happened to me as an infant and how it could have impacted what I am doing now. Long story really but my mom used to say I was almost like Persephone since I journeyed briefly over to the other side so long ago. Writing from a perspective other than from someone in my ancient family who I see all the time made it easier to explore from a bit of a distance. If that makes sense. I feel like I might have just kept writing from her perspective the whole time. So the whole poem remained allegorical. She definitely comes across like that, loving but pretty judgmental and overly confident, in the stories about her, and I have not met her in person. However my mom really resonates with Demeter and has often written about herself as embodying or living out some of her story. So that wasn’t random, and perhaps Demeter would know as much about what happened as any of our ancient kin, but I may never know that. It’s also highly possible I might have written much of this from my perspective which would run me into trouble with assumptions, as my perspective often does. 🙂

      That said, now that I finished writing it some of the circumstances mentioned, though not exactly the way in which I put them, do seem to be true. I’ve felt like, when I’m ready too, I can get the whole story first-hand from whoever in our ancient family was aware of what was going on, and why, but that was just too much for me right now, sadly, I suppose. One step at a time. 🙂

    2. Hey again Ali, This also just occurred to me. Initially I wrote this: “I, the eternal light divine” so perhaps, the I is noone in particular, but a personified point of view of the light itself. I changed that line because it was already overwhelming enough to me. When I changed the line, I saw new parts of the situation and that’s when I started writing about my ancient family and what I was seeing, although I kept things rather metaphorical. I am probably making you confused, I am confused. 🙂 I’ll explain as soon as it makes sense to me. LOL!

      1. I like that line. I have to admit I thought it was one of your ancient kin, but it didnt sound like anyone you had ever mentioned before. And I thought the baby was you.

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