POEM: Heartfire (for Vestalia)

In the sky above us, in the infinite sky,
Sol the light-giver, life-giver, all-seer,
a flaming fusion furnace 93 million miles away.

In the depth below us, the ineffable depth,
Vulcan the forge-beater, artificer, fire-maker,
a core of molten nickel spinning in the heart of the earth.

Between Sol and Vulcan, between sun and earth,
between globe of flaming gas and globe of molten metal,
our earth, our home, our houses, our hearths.
In our hearths, in our hearts, the fire in our spirit,
the link between gods above and gods below,
the priestess, the hostess, the fire-tender, the focus,
Vesta. Vesta. Vesta. Ave!


POEM: Hekate and Hermes

Neither virgin nor crone but a mature woman
firm breasts that have not suckled
strong arms and strong legs
she runs through the night to meet him
at the crossroads, this place which they share:
Hekate Trioditis, Hekate Enodia,
Hermes Psykhopompos, Hermes Trikephalos

And there they lie down, when the moon is dark,
when the moon is full, Hermes laughing,
eternally youthful, his winged sandals kicked off,
his hat tossed aside, his wand planted in the earth
as he makes the lascivious joke about his other wand
rising up, ready to plant between his lover’s moist thighs

and Hekate eager, biting her lip, raising her skirts
with no fucking patience, no waiting whatsoever
as she rolls him beneath her, her torches to right
and to left, her wet cunt his heaven, his sweet seed
the fountain jetting up, splashing down

and the witches dance and the dogs howl
and the hounds bay and Hekate groans
and Hermes laughs and he rolls her over
and they do it again, and again, and again,
until the sun comes up and Hekate,
laughing under her breath, walks home
with the first rays of sun drying her gown

and Hermes flies away like an arrow
from the string, Zeus’ messenger boy,
and the dogs and the hounds roll over
and go back to sleep, and snore.

POEM: On the Veneralia


Let us venerate the venerable goddess
who gives us venial favors
and bestows venereal pleasures,
the wish-granting goddess who woos us to venery,
the winsome lady whose presence wins joy,
the mother of Cupid whose other name is Amor
(and Amor is the secret name of Roma),
golden and gracious, desiring and desirable,
who draws us all closer with the bonds of her power:
Ave, Venus! Hail to Venus on her Veneralia!
Lady, may your bountiful blessings and favor always grace us.

POEM: Spring storm

Dark clouds gather; the air thickens.
The pink-white blossoms of the tulip magnolia quiver.
Dark clouds gather: Jupiter’s mantle,
spread out as he looks down.
Flowering trees, daffodils, jonquils,
crocus, the loves of Mercury and Apollo,
hyacinths, dry stream beds, gutters full
of trash, empty asphalt roads: To the god,
all these are lovers, waiting for his touch.
The dark clouds are his mantle, spread out
for privacy. Juno will not see. He woos the earth
with kisses, a sprinkling of sweet rain;
the little gusts of wind are his caress.
The flowers lean toward him, thirsty.
The dry earth opens its cracks and crevices.
Bored pedestrians raise their heads
as the first rain strikes; the birds rouse
and shake. The winds grow stronger;
was that thunder I just heard? Now the trees
are shaking; huge drops of rain strike hard
against my windows. The winds are pounding,
the rain is pouring, the god is making love
to the world, great and potent, showering down
to fertilize everything, anywhere the rain touches,
every Danae who opens her arms
to the father of mortals and immortals,
the lover who sees beauty everywhere,
Pluvius, the rain-giver, Jupiter, the sky-father,
heaven making love to earth.

Saturnalia: Lares Permarines

On the sixth day of Saturnalia I gave to all my friends

A jar of honey, a dish of salt for the Lares Permarines,

A bottle of wine for Antinous and Bacchus,

Four shining rings in honor of planet Saturn,

A horn of plenty in honor of the fruitful Ops,

A bale of hay in honor of Epona,

And a golden acorn for the golden age.


Saturnalia: Solstice Carol

Wreathe his brow with ivy now
Warm the wine with spices fine
Though the sun set low and early
Antinous shall make us merry

Light the night with candles bright
Raise a song and sing it strong
Though the dark come soon and swift
Antinous shall bring us gifts

Fragrant bough and holly now
Red and green and gold are seen
Though the days grow hard and chill
Antinous is with us still

Snow or rain may come again
Parties end, come freezing wind
Tomorrow is a longer day
Antinous has come to stay