There was a time when all of Her was free; to dance, to weave, to dart, to dash, to smother and embrace; to carve to rip, to tear, to temper and create.
When once She was both abundant and ferocious; ever giving and asking little in return.
yet even then, in those idealistic days, She was taken for granted. Still She loved ardently, passionately, savagely and protectively.
But as She and we became slaves to our industry, we took her Her body, whipping and pounding, finally enslaving Her. We raped Her, locked Her up, forced Her to disappear under the trappings of our wants; the grime, the dirt, and greed. Her life stolen from Her, till She was almost unmoving, almost departed. Almost…
Diverted and restrained within urban boundaries, chained to wheels within wheels, used, neglected and forced to labour, to quench the everlasting thirst of Vulcan.
We ignored Her entreaties, until at last She could no longer surface, pushing Her beneath our consciousness.
We poisoned Her with our voracity, our need and buried Her. Yet She endured.
We closed our ears, our minds, our hearts, and could not be reasoned with; worse still, we changed Her name to ease our guilt.
Then and only then did we miss Her. We lamented Her gentleness, Her bounty and Her beauty. We created our own mythologies, our histories and Her-stories; we re-imagined our love for Her. For it was never our intention and it was never our fault; denial is a river in Egypt, or so they say.
Then, and only then, when all seemed lost; when She lay beaten, bound and discarded. When She foul and poisoned wallowed in or contempt. Then did She allow Her rage to drag her back. For She is strong, our Mother and so stubborn.
Biding Her time, refusing to go quietly into that obscure night, at last She rose and roared; took back that which is Hers.
She came for us, arms open, reached ever wide. She ripped us from the embrace of others. She roared, bawled, raged and screamed, spreading her fury, reminding all of Who and What she Was and Is and Can and Always Will Be.
She ran through the city, a daemon, devouring and spitting out the bilious, bloated rotting carcasses of those who had forgotten or despised Her.
And that is how I returned to Her.
Torn away from those who knew me. In the darkness, my back against the stone, my skirts pulled high and legs wide open, She ripped me from the embrace of monsters.
Whispering her truth to me; her icy fingers reconnoitred me and discarding the corporeal mess of broken bones, she saved me.
I did not understand; I did not want to know. I did not believe and in my anger and bitterness, I lay lost and sullen for many years; my face turned against Her.
I stared into the darkness. Refusing to hear Her silent pleas.
But She patiently encompassed me, singing psalms of holy places, tabernacles and sacred sees. Of when Her children would come to Her willingly. When they were laid in Her arms to sleep. When they brought Her gifts of flowers, of food and ale, of coin, of fowl, and first born. And thanked Her for her copiousness.
She whispered silently, lamenting of the times when they had forgotten Her. When She had laid mutilated beneath their dirty streets. Yet even then She had taken or persuaded two or three.
She told me of Her loneliness, Her need to ever be. And with this she kissed away my tears, caressed my hair, and made me whole again. Unborn and unbirthed, remade, I understood.
So now, under these harsh neon lights, I stand for Her. Her supplicant, Her Priestess. Betwixt and Between. By these stony bows that have long adorned Her; My Lady’s Bridge; for indeed She is a my Lady, my Goddess, my Mother. Creatrix and Devourer.
And in these early hours I whisper to those who unsteadily stagger pass; who stop to gaze into Her moving blackness.
Consoling those who welcome death. The despised woman whose heart has yet again been broken. The ruined man whose only comfort is found in the pound of unwilling flesh he is so eager to partake in. The lost, the separated, unstable on their feet; the homeless who hide in the shadows, mistreated, mislaid, forgotten and unwelcome.
I comfort them and speak of similarities.
And those who will not coming willingly, who change their minds and fight for breath. I hold them in my arms and whisper bitter promises, as we descend to the cold and ever flowing emptiness.
‘The shelving, slimy river Dun…each year a daughter or a son.’ – Joseph Hunter circ 18th century
© Shullie H Porter 2016 – 2017