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VxPoem ID: 11197


Posted: April 2nd. 2005 7:56:41 PM

Views: 2683

Young Inanna's Descent Into an Ice-cave

by B. T. Newberg

Age Group: Adult

Replied Inanna to her ripe Dumuz':
"O lover, cherished mem'ry thou, as I
Upon a lonely pilgrimage, recluse
As some tormented hermit melancholy,
Or adolescent sickly swallow’d by
The rip’ning body like a stranger’s memories
Confronted in the mirror blamefully,
Descended deathly down into the draperies
Of earth-embowell’d caves for weight of lost humanities.

"How strength'ning, my date-king lover sweet,
Was thought of thee when morbid inklings queer
Arose like chilling drafts breathing 'pon my feet,
And coaxed my interest inward find nadir.
Then, summoned by a sound I could not hear,
Subpoenaed to an indisclosed hearing,
I turned an ear upon the depths unclear
And answer'd to the charges softly tearing
At the rims of thought like wispy winter's nearing.

"Thy fragrance linger'd as I follow'd down
Into the cave the flitt'ring formless feeling,
And in the frigid deep a glacier found,
Within which lurk'd a lock'd-up figure kneeling,
The spid'ry-crack'd and veined glass concealing
A countenance, but thickly shadow'd o'er,
Like prehistoric glyphs the past congealing,
Yet cipher'd, seen not as through open'd door,
But through a glass and darkly: keys occulted yore.

"Thy touches trac'd upon my naked nape
In wyrdness mingled with the raising hackles
As white I waited on the shiftless shape
Encased in crystals twinn'd, the glist'ning macles
Refracting like a litany of fractals,
Entrancing as a door a sliver op'd,
Re-imaging the inward creaks and crackles
Of a long-forgotten something hop'd,
Reappear'd a sudden: chaste, un-grasp'd, un-grop'd.

"Thy lasting taste enlarg'd the feeling brave
That prick'd me to the task of cold discov'ry
Of contents cold-suspended in the cave
By analytics, will, and passion: uncov'ry
Of haunting things and haunting things' recov'ry--
So may my magick rule both light and ebon,
Above and so below in solemn cov'nry,
And batter down the gates of hell in seven
To more securely wear the crown of Queen of Heaven.

"Thus I left thee, prince of grain-in-store,
Left thy happy bed and thy bount'ous table
The mood in solitary to explore
And all thy realm of grain and goods and gable
Abandon'd for a vision black and sable...
But footing 'pon the verge of visi'ning alter'd,
In sacred clammy fit I slipp'd unstable,
And came I flying back to thee de-altar'd,
In foggy frock and flagging dress, the journey falter'd.

Author's Notes: This emerged as a by-product of my recent efforts to retell the myth of Inanna's descent and return.

In this poem, a younger Inanna makes a descent into a cave of ice, prefiguring her later journey into the underworld. Her ambitions rouse, but she is not yet ready for the task, and she stumbles.

As a Naturalistic Pagan, I believe in evidence. There is no evidence that deities and magic are "real" in the most literal sense, but they may yet be moving and powerful. These poems are a tribute to the inspiration of Pagan ways.

For more information on naturalism, see

copyright 2005

Author's Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
More Poems: B. T. Newberg has posted 73 additional poems- View them?
Author's Profile: To learn more about B. T. Newberg - Click HERE
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