You always were
reluctantly uxorious
and wanted
lusty and free
able to grant
But we arrived
quietly spinning
Not truculent
or furious

You once called us
the triple One
then suddenly
declared us
and you usurped
the place of
our first trinity
Sometimes you
reconfigured us
as mother with
two sons or
banned us altogether
as Thrice-greatest

You envied
my appearance
at births
during life
at deaths
You stole my alphabet
and tried to cipher
the metaphors
as if they were
power and wealth
to be counted
The dance I dance?
You need a heart
to understand
this rhythm
of chance

You should at least
have welcomed
me as Mother
the Father
and the Son
For my gentle smile
and steadfast love
are woman’s purest guile
for eternity won
I’ll be there
arms wide open
when you die
Will you recognize me
abandoned long ago
Your Comforter and
Holy Spirit?
Or will you
hunger for more
of these?
and Mephistopheles


Top photo of The Three Moirai by Johann Gottfried Schadow (1764 –1850); bottom photo of the Intimate Holy Family by Bramante Studio


30 thoughts on “Goddessless

  1. I have loved every word of this. Starting from the want of immortality to the trinity. I am deeply touched by the amazing allegory and how effortlessly it has been spun. Truly a pleasure to read and imbibe.

  2. Mary Jo, your poem is an expertly written, fascinating meditation on religion, patriarchy, unfairness, and more. Even Goddesses don’t have equal gender rights… 😦

    • Thanks, Dave! The kernel of this poem began about 15 years ago, under the influence of Robert Graves. Recently, freshly under the inspiration of Goethe’s Faust, I was able to finish it.

  3. Another brilliant poem, Mary Jo. Your symbolism was brilliant. The discussion of gender in our religions are deeply rooted in our history because, from ancient times we have tried to define “God” in a way that reflected who we are at any given moment in time. In so doing, we have external protection and power, which can be of great comfort during times of uncertainty in peril. The first gods were in the feminine voice, with the male sky gods coming later. But what I find most interesting is something that Sarah told me a couple of decades ago. She was speaking with a theologian who stated the Holy Spirit was feminine. I’ve looked it up and found that there has been great debate over this. Here is an interesting tidbit: Documents in the Syriac language (derived from Aramaic) , in common use around AD 300, uses the feminine gender of the word for spirit which suggests the Holy Spirit was considered feminine. Have you ever read Karen Armstrong – I know you would enjoy her thoughts. She calls herself the “runaway nun” which is quite a story. Here is one of my favourite quotes about mythology, “Myths are universal and timeless stories that reflect and shape our lives – they explore our desires, our fears, our longings, and provide narratives that remind us what it means to be human.” Karen Armstrong. I love your poetry and grateful that you share it with the world.

    • Thank you, Rebecca!! I also remember that Holy Spirit in Hebrew is a feminine form. The presence of God on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant, the Shekhinah or Matronit, in Rabbinic literature, is feminine. I am familiar with Karen Armstrong, since her name shows up everywhere in much of what I’ve read, although I’ve never read her own books. One of my favorite authors on the topic of the sacred feminine is Margaret Starbird, who describes herself as a heretic Catholic. I love this quote! Hugs to you and yours!!!

  4. Somehow my comments were erased. Just wanted you to know I enjoy your brilliant and profound words. By the way, Frances is almost at the end of Lynn Austin’s books. These books have been a godsend to her during this time of solitude. Do you have any other recommendations? Hugs!

  5. …and yes, “You need a heart”…
    As with all your poems, I have them open to go back and read and read and read again. Thank you, my dearest Mary Jo.
    […and now I am wondering why I didn’t get any of the notifications of your next posts….]
    Many hugs your way!

    • Hugs to you and your generous heart!

      As to notifications, I’ve noticed the same problem. When I ‘miss’ posts, I always assume it’s my wandering fingers accidentally Unfollowing a blogger, but now you’ve just confirmed the problem. WordPress isn’t perfect. So now I use the Manage option on the Reader Feed for my favorite blogs to make sure I haven’t missed anything. I’ve also learned to check My Site Stats’ Comments section for comments which might have slipped through as well. We learn as we go 🙂

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