Saturday, June 27, 2015

Poem of the Day: "Apotheosis" by Shannon Connor Winward

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present "Apotheosis" by Shannon Connor Winward.  Ms. Winward's poetry has appeared in:  Pedestal Magazine, Strange Horizons, Fairy Tale Magazine, Literary Mama, Hip Mama, Star*Line, Illumen, Ideomancer, and Dreamstreets.  Her debut poetry chapbook, Undoing Winter, is available from Amazon.com, Finishing Line Press, and from the author at www.shannonconnorwinward.com.  Ms. Winward lives and writes in Newark, Delaware.

Apotheosis
Shannon Connor Winward

If I take
the moments of my life
tie them to each other, neatly
and the axis of experience
perhaps the colors would stream
from heaven, down
 
we could each grab a ribbon
and chase our tails
around and
around and
 
perhaps
in a backwards glance
we might see the Maker there
come to join the procession
 
to drink the voices
to laugh in the recesses
of our sight
to desire
and then
to be gone
 
slipped inside
through the breath
like the presumptuous
spirit He is.
 
I say
fine.
Let Him in.
 
I will run faster
on the petals of offerings
I will trail my billows behind me
like a scent
 
I will say
catch me if you can.
 
(but don’t look back - no
to look in the
face of desire
is to see the spiral.)
 
If you enter me,
Sky-Father
you’ll find that it gets dark in here
if you take me, perhaps
I will leave you to stumble
in the caves of the human mind
 
these tired themes of life
we spin around, and
around
these memories and colors
will sing you in circles.
 
Father of Riddles, how you panic
inside what I know.
 
When you are lost in the pattern, perhaps
I will come inside you
I know well that I can
You forget, Maker,
who made you
 
I remember
having to relearn it every time
a woman bears me.  She calls me daughter
but you were gone
long before that naming-day.
 
Perhaps
I will remind you. 
 
Come inside.
When the dawn intrudes
and I rise up from the dirt
my ribbons in shreds under my knees
and you are gone
 
perhaps, this time
I will have engendered
You.

Poet's Notes:  I am a spiritual person, but my faith has always involved ambivalence – a (justifiable, I think) pissed-offedness at whomever/whatever is responsible for this beautiful mess of humanity.  

Even if you buy the idea of a higher purpose, mortality is an awful thing.  I have at times imagined Deity as an absentee father, a blithe spirit, a self-absorbed hedonist with a trail of broken hearts and broken bodies in His wake… 
 
On the other hand, I'm a lover of myth, a Jungian fan-girl, and generally in favor of free will.  The Creative Principal may be primordial, but religion is a human invention.  We make our own way; we tell our own stories.  I think we are as responsible for our gods as they are for Us – at least our understanding of them and how they manifest.
 
"Apotheosis," (which means "elevation to divine status") is a sort of playful/not-playful exploration of what it means to be engendered, begotten – created – in this sense.  The maypole, with its piquant pagan symbolism and sexual overtones, just sort of rose up (see what I did there?) as a natural motif in the original draft, which was originally titled simply "Freedom".
 
At heart, "Apotheosis" is a Declaration of Independence – insofar as one can meaningfully thumb her nose at God. 

Editor's Note:  I find this poem to be an interesting take on philosophy's age old question of who created whom, with a sprinkle of refreshingly not in-your-face feminism.  "Apotheosis" was first published in NewMyths.com in December 2011. 

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