Minotaur #poetry #Earthweal

Blood-drinker
half-human
offspring of 
Earth-shaker:
Mask-wearer
flesh-tearer;
anamnesis of
the beast
in every one

Of us / Outsider
within us
down under
the surface:
reptilian, 
heartless
instinct of
bloodlust
run amok

through the labyrinth
dweller-dark 
lurker-marauder of 
murderous thought
and intent:
In deed
just a dancer
till Earthshaker
wakes her:

Ariadne, your sister 
who taught you
the dance will
betray you
her brother
for sake of
her lover
forsaking her bloodline and
family ties:

Yet with the 
Earthshaker we 
see you arise
pour scorn on
your people who
made you then
chained you
insane now
they turn the

blood-ritual
into blood-bath:
Desperate-cannibal
last resort-never well
Earth has her
lore which
we cannot
escape
nor ignore.

Brendan has asked us to don a mask for Earthweal’s Weekly Challenge. The Minotaur myth never gets old: from Herodotos to Freud and beyond, historians, poets and psychoanalysts alike have probed the depths of this labyrinthine myth to find hidden meanings and some kind of reality behind the bloodthirsty story.

It is easy to imagine that the Minotaur myth was born out of a ritual in which a man wore the head of a bull. Just how bloodthirsty this ritual might have been or become, we may never know for sure. There is some evidence that the ‘Minoans‘ resorted to cannibalism in times of famine; possibly brought on by climatic changes, earthquake or tsunami from the Thera eruption. All of these theories are subject of labyrinthine scholarly debate. I am not seeking to wade into this debate here. Instead I am offering an experimental poem in which I imagine a people who try to control the raw power of the Earth only to be reminded inescapably that Earth’s is the ‘overseeing power/To kindle or restrain.’

18 thoughts on “Minotaur #poetry #Earthweal

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  1. It has always been an interesting tale of the Minotaur. You did a good job of adding to the conversation of it all. It definitely has a very dark edge to it.

  2. wow what great words you used depicting the Minotaur. Dark ages that continue to haunt us. It conjured up so many images as I read your poem. Love the labrinth of the ages and I do pray for our earth! โค๏ธ๐Ÿค— Cindy

  3. I love “just a dancer till Earthshaker wakes her.” And the reminder in your notes that earth has all the power – we only think we control things.

    1. That’s the truth. When we visited Hawaii we learned how residents of Kalapana tried to divert slow-moving lava away from their town but nature makes her own rules of course. I don’t know why more people don’t realise this and learn to respect her!

  4. I wonder about the ritual masks, how seeped they were in a liminal boundary Homo sapiens was walking away from — our Titan selves, our animal prowlers. Lore we cannot escape or ignore without such peril. Give these beings ritual vent and play or be cursed with their psychological equivalents. Without catharsis, our blood curse. Well done …

    1. Thank you, Brendan. Have you ever thought about anthologising any of the work from Earthweal? I just think there are so many powerful voices here conveying an important message. It’s something I would be interested in working on. If you have any thoughts on this, you are welcome to email me at experimentsinfiction@protonmail.com. If you’d rather not, I’ll understand, don’t worry!

  5. I love the rhythm of your poem and your closing lines struck me as utterly true. The Earth does have her own lore and now is the time we much heed them. Well done.

  6. Ingrid, you explore the darker side of human nature in this poem. We like to think of ourselves as civilized and living up to worthy values. But a more violent and primitive nature lies below the surface, and extraordinary events are likely to reveal it. Very well-written.

    All the best! Cheryl <3

    1. Thank you so much. I think we are better than our violent and primitive nature but so often and unfortunately we do not know how to rise above it.

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