In the labyrinth

for Earthweal.

In the centre of the labyrinth,
dédale, Ariadne’s brother weeps;
his tears fill a pool of grieving for what is lost.

In the hidden place that is no maze,
that has no other path but in or out,
he waits for mother, love, a gentle voice.

He waits and weeps, but only Ariadne’s laughter
reaches along the sinuous path,
and the sharp clash of her lover’s arms, bronze on bronze.

The world is full of lies, he knows and false faces.
His gentle mother reviled, his father dead,
his sister a stranger with wild bloody eyes.

Asterion weeps, and the world makes its way
with heavy tread to the centre of the spiral,
to winkle him out with a pin.

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.

31 thoughts on “In the labyrinth”

    1. I can’t deal with this idea of the perverted woman lusting after a bull and producing a monster. It’s the usual Greek misogynistic propaganda. Pasiphaë was not a pervert, Asterion was not a monster. My opinion.

    1. The labyrinth was just a path that led to the centre then out again. If Asterion hid from Theseus in a labyrinth Theseus was bound to find him. Just as the Greek patriarchs were bound to worm their way into the heart of the Cretan matriarchy. You’ve probably guessed I’m not a fan of the Ancient Greeks 🙂

      1. I’m using my supermarket reading specs to write this otherwise I can’t see anything much. The pupil in the right eye has stopped contracting so it’s sunglasses outside. Like looking through a very bright mirage. I’ll live but it’s going to be a long process with a lovely bit of eye surgery tp look forward to at the end of it.

      2. The surgery would be to remove the cataract but I’ll wait and see how exactly the cataract affects me first. I’ve not been lucky with anesthetics and don’t see why it should change for laser surgery. The ophthalmologue said he’d anesthetised the eye before he stuck a needle in it, but that truly felt like a needle going in to me.

  1. What I now guess about the Anthropocene is that we’re in the center of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur’s ghost. The initiation has been lost. How can we make the lurching turn if we don’t know we’re in the middle? … Well wrought poem Jane, an exemplary daidalon.

      1. Theseus stealing off with Ariadne after killing the Minotaur is Hercules harrowing hell with his big phallic club or Prometheus stealing fire from the gods. And look where they got us … Somehow, Ariadne and the Minotaur are faces of the same coin, and my gut tells me the meaning of that is the solution to the Anthropocene labyrinth.

  2. The labyrinth is not a maze so there is only one way in and out. The maze is another matter as there are dead ends to deal with. This is sad as the events unfold.

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