Hand in hand, we walk

together through fields of

barley, watching grain

ripen as we pass.

Persephone: daughter of

sunlight; daughter of

corn; child of Zeus;

child of mine.

I watch as sunbeams

trace a path across your

face: your father’s

kiss. (Your

uncle’s too.)

Zeus: King of

Gods; son of a

Titan; my brother;

my lover.

Mount Olympus

is populated with

his offspring: he

sows his seed

up there as

blithely as we

sow our seed

within the world

of men.


grain, planting crops

to yield a harvest,

we walk the fields

together, you and

I, your tiny hand

in mine.

Time is a gentle

breeze: you

grow. Like the crops we

plant, you ripen and


Sunbeams still dance

across your

face, still kiss

your hair with glints

of gold; but now,

your childhood

chubbiness is

gone: your curves


your woman’s


Ripe you are

and ready to be

plucked. My

fingers tighten

as I keep you

close. Child of

my womb; daughter

of my heart –

I cannot let you


We walk the fields

together. Flowers

spring up with each

footfall; crops ripen

in response to our


This mother-daughter

love, this bond

we share

kisses the earth,

coaxes growth

from the ground.

We are content.

The sky is blue;

the sun golden.

The earth is at peace.

One day, the sunlight

disappears; the sky

turns black.

A flash of


a rumble of

wheels; a

hint of sorrow,

pain, suffering

as Hades’ chariot



by your golden

beauty, he

plucks you from

the earth,

carrying you off

to be his bride.

Hades: King of the

Underworld; son

of a Titan; brother of

Zeus; brother

of mine.

Nine long days and

nine long nights I

wander the earth,

searching, searching,

desperate to hear

your voice.

I walk the earth

alone. Flowers

fade with each

footfall; crops die

in response to my



blights the earth,

hardening it

to reflect

my heart.

Hear me, Zeus!

Have pity on a mother!

Have pity on a sister!

Command our brother

to give me back my daughter!

I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

At last, a messenger appears.

She may return, says Zeus

 – but only if

no food or drink has passed her lips.

How can she eat

when pain gnaws at her heart?

How can she drink

when she thirsts only to be back home?

Hermes delivers the message.

Persephone weeps.

I ate six seeds, she says.

Six seeds.

Six tiny pomegranate seeds.

She will be Hades’ Queen forever.



The world shrinks

to the size of a

pomegranate seed

as my grief grows,

eclipsing nature itself.

I paint the sky a

pale grey then cover

it with inky

clouds: let it

wear mourning

for my daughter!

Grief withers

crops that had

ripened. Pain pricks

at my heart.

Gouts of

blood fall to the

ground; my heartache

spills and splashes

in scarlet drops

as I walk across

the fields of corn.

Sorrow blossoms

into flowers

as red as blood,

their centres black

as Hades himself.

Remember, the flowers

whisper. Remember


And grieve for her.

They grieve, and I grieve too.

Pushing aside the

sunbeams, I take

the chill from my

heart and

wrap it around

the earth.

The ground


as my soul

freezes over.

Ice seeps from my

fingertips: my hand

is cold without the


of yours.

I trace my grief

in patterns of

frost; snow blankets

the ground: smothering

life; smothering



Your name

is a dagger in

my heart.

It tears.

It rips.

I feel life leaking

slowly from me.

The earth and I

will die


Cold. I am

oh, so cold.

Dryads tremble

in their trees

as I pass by; naiads

freeze within their


My heart hurts

and I want the earth

to hurt with me.

Let all creation mourn

my daughter’s loss!

Let nature suffer

as I have suffered!

Nine long days and

nine long nights I

wander the earth,

weeping, weeping,

mourning a daughter


Aged by grief, I

touch trees, watching

branches wither to match

my twig-like limbs.

The icy breath of

my despair

skims across waters;

life freezes into


Soon, everything will be

no more.

The world is dying

and I do not care.

Enough! says Zeus.

Zeus: King of

Gods; Giver of

Justice; my brother;

my hope.

Six seeds has she eaten,

the Lawgiver says,

so for six months will she

live underground

and be your Queen.

For six months will she

return to her mother

and let the earth

return to life.

Six months.

Six tiny human months.

Six seeds of hope:

six seeds to sow a future.

Hand in hand, we walk

together through fields of

barley, watching grain

ripen as we pass.

The sky once more is

blue, the sun golden.

Sunbeams kiss your

face: your father’s

touch. Birds sing.

Let all creation sing

of my daughter’s retrieval!

Let nature rejoice

as I have rejoiced!

I have you back for

six short months.

Six months.

We can repair the

world in six short months.

Warmth floods my being

as I take your hand in

mine. I touch trees and see

their twigs begin to bud;

you smile at me and the ice

across my heart begins

to melt.

New life blooms

at our feet;  

snowdrops and

crocus carpet

the earth.

Overhead, birds

sing as they

choose their mates.

Would that I could keep you

safely under my wing

for always, Little One!

Six months.

Six months of golden

sunlight and refreshing

rains. I paint the sky:

gold for your hair,

blue for your eyes,

pink for the rosy time

ahead of us.

Trees blossom; chicks

hatch; the whole world

is returning to

life. Creation celebrates

your return.


grain, planting crops

to yield a harvest,

we walk the fields

together, you and

I, your hand

in mine.

Six months of spring and

summer. Six

seeds of hope

that will sustain me


the winter of your absence.

April 01, 2023 02:30

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Viga Boland
00:43 Apr 03, 2023

Thank you Jane, for reminding me how beautiful poetry can be at how rarely I read it anymore. Yet, I have always loved it, even written it, but never with the skill that you exhibit here. What a poetic way to show the passage of the seasons. In a word, brilliant. 👏👏


Jane Andrews
23:05 Apr 16, 2023

Thank you, Viga. I've written my own versions of Greek myths before, but never in verse. Somehow, this seemed appropriate. Thanks for your positive response.


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Michelle Oliver
14:09 Apr 01, 2023

The poetry of this one is fantastic! I love the structure. There are too many beautiful lines for me to just pick one. Just lovely


Jane Andrews
23:06 Apr 16, 2023

Thanks, Michelle. As someone who loves your writing, this is high praise indeed! Thanks for the encouragement.


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