While working on my MFA, I went through a phase of writing about goddesses, insects, and the natural world. “Persephone’s Darner” comes from that time period. I returned to this theme throughout the years. Tonight, I needed a break from the work of revising a novel and returned to my first love—poetry.
Golden waves of light descend from the heavens
and fill my being. You need only listen to be healed.
As a kind soul, you must protect your kind nature.
Mention a small difficulty in your life
and observe the reactions of others. Connect with those
who draw near you with empathy. Like butterflies,
dart quickly from harm but do so lightly,
knowing your essential nature can never be injured
and resides in a realm beyond the physical.
Learn whose beaming smiles are insincere,
whose compliments manipulate,
whose presence will drain your energy
or add to your life force.
Prepare for what is destined to be. The notes of a symphony
will crescendo and fall in a universe made up of the love
inside of you. There is freedom in truth
and truth in a love that is free as wind blowing
across the earth, free as the spirit you will become
and fly into a space I have opened for you now.
© 2016 by Tricia Barker
Persephone is gone in the winter,
and Demeter blames herself,
refusing to eat.
The effort of movement
from the bathroom to the bedroom
and all the Kamut flour
has gone to hell in her cabinets.
To love someone beyond control is torture.
Memories of her small, delicate
daughter replay in her mind
and in the ether.
Persephone’s light body bends and jumps
in a luminous meadow.
She is surrounded by friendly dragonflies
(Zigzag Darners, Spine-crowned Clubtails
Fine-lined Emeralds, Faded Pennants).
This child could be any child
with a step light and happy enough
to enter the world of wings.
When Hades stopped his truck beside her,
forcing her in and ending her childhood,
surely at least one Phantom Darner steeled his airy body
with dragon-like determination,
staying beside Persephone
as a witness,
strong enough to migrate
down to the underworld.
© 2000 by Tricia Barker
I’ve got time spent in luxury,
and I know how to wait pleasantly
for you to see what I have always known—
life is overflowing with sensual delights and blessings.
I know a guy named Sky who showed me the world,
and another whose emotions run deep as ocean waters.
However, I waited for a gift-giving hero who moved here
and rescued me from the boring, petty squabbling of others.
We live on an enchanted mountain, and we flirt and dance
by the light of the moon in June and every other month.
We text each other pieces of our red hearts and know
that the meaning will last long beyond the symbol.
I hardly remember the darkness,
separation, or pain, the nights when my heart
was a prison for a howling wolf.
I am the fire now. I am love,
© 2011 by Tricia Barker