Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Moirae

Once we three – maiden, mother, crone –
danced around Athena's gift, olive trees
all along the Mediterranean. Our eyes glowing,
arms linked each to each,
our feet traced patterns in the dust;
the world followed.

Mothers prayed to us in their ninth month;
they pinched offerings from loaves of baking bread,
always a tenth consigned to fire,
and at death,
they offered up their souls.

Now we body surf through storms at sea,
stirring cold and warm currents in every direction,
weaving the fates of the world with our songs.
At night, chaos. Our beards become white caps.
By day, those who see us cry: Mermaid, mermaid.


Somehow Botticelli's painting came to mind of the three graces or fates. Moirae is another name for these three goddesses, much celebrated in mythology, poetry, and paintings. See Botticelli's Primavera.