Six pomegranate seeds

For dverse
painting by Evelyn de Morgan

Pomegranate seeds

For the first, he took away the sight of the sun,
filled the sky with dark of no moon, no stars,
where no bird sings, so tree waves in the wind.

For the second, he forced me, because
I was just a woman, he a god, and his desire
was all that mattered in the round of his world.

For the third, he kept me from my home,
the one who loved me, to lie in his bed and listen
to his rutting, feel the coarseness of his hands.

For the fourth, he stole the autumn beauty
of leaf fall, the flocking of south-bound birds,
the gentle touch of the cooling air.

For the fifth, he made the people curse me
when the crops refused to rise and grow,
the earth, winter hard, the summer long.

For the sixth, with the falling leaves,
he made me return to the dark. He has made
the turning seasons a torment, beauty haggard.

He has made me a prisoner of his lust.
Never call it love. And no one called it a crime.
He took beauty, and he gave me hate.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

40 thoughts on “Six pomegranate seeds”

  1. So raw–I like the enumeration with the counting of the six seeds. It seems so real, as I imagine the story.
    I like the image, too–the sort of fairy tale look, but with the disturbing devil creature in the background.

    1. Thank you. I think it’s an awful story, but so many of the Greek myths are. I hate it when they say X fell in love with Y and carried her off. What they mean is X lusted after Y who might have been a child, a family member, or just a girl minding her own business, and he raped her.
      The painting seemed to fit, Persephone and Ceres and the devil being Hades.

      1. Like blaming the Trojan War on Helen because she was abducted by a mindless prat and her mindless prat of a husband thought his honour was besmirched…

  2. It’s such a sorry sordid tale to be perpetuated it all makes me rather angry at Persephone. She should’ve kicked him in the danglies to begin with and saved herself a lot of anguish! ….and what’s to be said of us who carry on these implausable tales of the ancient Greeks. I think they all must’ve smoked funny weed, and somewhere they are all laughing uproariously that we continue to repeat their silly tales,

    1. Women in Ancient Greece didn’t do things like that though. They were treated like half wits and had very few rights. You can’t blame her at all.
      I wish I thought men didn’t still believe the Greeks had the right attitude. Too many still do.

      1. That’s a compliment and a half! It’s 9pm here when the prompt goes up and I was busy on Tuesday evening so didn’t have time to write anything. It’s quite a challenge writing a poem at that time of the evening. It is for me anyway 🙂

  3. Not much good to be said of those patriarchal gods:

    ‘he forced me, because
    I was just a woman, he a god, and his desire
    was all that mattered in the round of his world.’

    That sums it up really. I always wonder if there is a more sensitive subtext at play, if the myth-weavers also felt sympathy for the abused women, as the prompt has brought out in many poems.

      1. I just meant the myths in general I think imply a sympathy to characters such as Persephone, which only a sensitive reader might pick up on. I’ve no doubt the warlords thought it was all fair game and women were just chattels to them. But myths are by nature flexible and open to so many different interpretations!

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