The Old Bone Goddess

"Bone Woman, Crone Woman" art featuring "a harvest of bones" by artist Joan Riise. Now in my personal collection.

“Bone Woman, Crone Woman” multimedia art piece featuring “a harvest of bones” by artist Joan Riise. Now in my personal collection.

 

Clickety-clack

 

Ah, delicious autumn,

I rattle its bones before your windowpane

Step outside in the shudder-filled evenings

Let your lungs lap up the sepulchral air

My nostrils quiver as I inhale and exhale

Lush, pungent smell of earth and old tombstones

I rise from the dolmen, and my children

Rise with me

Exiting my womb/tomb

This is the season of feasting

Let the Wild Hunt begin

 

Some call me Morrígu

And trace the outlines of raven feathers in my hair

Others cry out “Ereshkigal!” in fear and awe

Convinced I harbor leeches in my locks

Am I Baba Yaga to you?

 

In recesses of cerebral cortex

The old tales of childhood, tucked away safe,

Breathless under the blankets

For you would glimpse me sailing past the moon

In my mortar and pestle

Born aloft by phantom-blown breezes

On the windy winter nights

I know you saw me;

I bided my time

I spoke to your heart’s stillness

And made you seek out the wild hilltop

By the light of the full moon

You entered into conversation and claimed me as

Mother

You knew my whiteness is as due to bleached bones

As it is to the Moon

 

Trace my physiognomy through Kali

(skulls make the best fashion accessories),

Persephone,

La Loba

 

I am in the stiff, austere figurine carved in white and

Reverently placed by the Balkan farmers in their fields

Now blasted by NATO bombs

 

But from that earth I have risen,

Past the cluster bombs and depleted uranium,

Weary, blood-drenched, hollowed-out souls,

Come to me, I shall encircle you in my arms

And give you the rest that only a

Mother’s arms can

 

I’ll drum my summons with human femurs

Clickety-clack

I’ll gather the shaman’s bones and restore them to life

Clickety-clack

 

I’ll rattle my bones

You step out of your body

Leaves will lead you right to me, and then,

To the tune of the bones

Dance freely, be naughty,

Just stomp on the bones of those men.

Crunch!

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