Bona Dea

Image Suza Scalora/Getty Images
Image Suza Scalora/Getty Images

Until earlier today I did not know of Bona Dea, the Roman goddess of fertility. Now I do and she haunts me. These words, and a celebration later this week that now must come to fruition, are in tribute to her.





With all their colors before they seed
The fruits of spring adorn this room
Winding beneath their stems
Her welcome serpents play
No more fitting way to usher in
These beginning days of May

Our honey jars pour unabated and we
In quiet opposition drown ourselves in milk
The cherished juice from the cherished fruit
Not spoken of in reverence for the drink
That made a God, husband think
Myrtle lashings to the death apt punishment
When at the bottom of a spirit filled jar
The goddess found her mirth

Sadly Dionysus would have made a better mate
But with her, not the Murderer
God of The Wild in mind
We think ourselves goddesses and dance
Unchoreographed, the rites of spring
To fertility ensured by the paradoxical virgin
To the rebirth of the season and long awaited sun

At this time of renewal we sing her hallowed name
The name, a man must never hear
At a festival he must not attend
And yet, I whisper it upon the winds
And "Fauna" whispers back to me

Celebrate my sacred sisters but
Promise you won't forget
The herbs of the forest and the animals,
They are our medicine and charge
Keep those who entwine the vine
Especially close, our sylvan kin

Then dance for me sweet mothers
You of the feminine divine
Be pure in purpose, and bless the masses
Then she pulled me close and whispered
You mustn't forget the "wine"



Comments 7 comments

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 5 years ago from United States

Inspired, full of music and imagery. Thanks for this gorgeous retelling and modernization of an ancient story.


Patricia Costanzo profile image

Patricia Costanzo 5 years ago from Behind the Redwood Curtain Author

Thanks Tom. She was haunting me; I had to get it down.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

This is so gentle, yet erotic. Lovely, Patricia. T.S.Elliot (one of my favourite poets) would have been proud to write:

"With all their colors before they seed

The fruits of spring adorn this room

Winding beneath their stems

Her welcome serpents play

No more fitting way to usher in

These beginning days of May"


Patricia Costanzo profile image

Patricia Costanzo 5 years ago from Behind the Redwood Curtain Author

Oh my TL, to be compared to T. S. Elliot! I think I can call it a day.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

"Now that lilacs are in bloom

She has a bowl of lilacs in her room"

Doesn't that have the same lovely feel to it?

I think so.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Patricia, I have come back to read this again, and cannot believe its sensuality and beauty. It is wonderful... really wonderful.


Patricia Costanzo profile image

Patricia Costanzo 4 years ago from Behind the Redwood Curtain Author

TL you are welcome on my pages anytime.

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