Madame Pele #poetry #poem

Madame Pele breathes out fire
and spits up land into the sea
there is no curtain on the bed of her desire
consuming lives and lands and livelihoods
while we stand on the sidelines
watch her wantonness.

She is life-giver and life-taker
not out of malice
but out of overburgeoning
expansionist sympathies.

She is the birth of the new Earth
obliteratress of the fertile places
new-fertilising blacklands
primordial oozes
from her fiery maw.

Madame Pele
we bow down to you
we recognise your power
we’ve seen just what you do:
voodoo with rock

and roll down slopes of ever-growing mountain
down into the sunset sea
as you turn to us and softly say:
‘Attempt to tame me at your peril.’

Β© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved

Written for Earthweal

Many people express their view of Mother Nature as a passive victim of our murderous rapine and selfishness. I find this viewpoint somewhat dangerous. As the Hawaiians know well, Madame Pele is one of Mother Nature’s manifestations: creator and destroyer of earth. All attempts to tame wild nature ultimately fail, and we will fall victim to our foolishness if we don’t find a way to restore balance. Sharing with Earthweal’s Open Link Weekend.

And here is some Hawaiian music in honour of Madame Pele:

44 thoughts on “Madame Pele #poetry #poem

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  1. I agree that Madame Pele is one of Mother Nature’s manifestations, Ingrid; she does pull us up from time to time to show us that she is in charge. I love the scattering of rhymes in this poem, a reminder of the less wanton side of her personality. I love that word β€˜obliteratress’ and the vivid description β€˜of the fertile places / new-fertilising blacklands / primordial oozes / from her fiery maw’. Powerful stuff!

  2. Vulcanism is the Mother Earth’s pregnancy and voodoo, giving birth to new land and hexing the places she has given. Those tides have shaped this planet and wildly affected its climate (is Pele jealous of our damage, I wonder.) Reykjavik is seeing new eruptions, I hear. The world of fire is so much older and greater than the one of ilfe … we fail to worship that, as you say, at our peril …

    1. Perhaps it helps to have actually seen it. Whilst on honeymoon we flew over the Kilauea lava field and saw how a whole town had been wiped out by lava. Building walls to try and channel the lava flow away from the town did not work.

  3. Oh yes, when nature exerts her fury or distress, we discover we control nothing. A wonderful poem. I especially liked your notes after.

  4. what a great piece on Pele the all powerful. You did a great job with this piece Ingrid. I love it! Great line here “β€˜Attempt to tame me at your peril.”

      1. Me too! It will be our ten year anniversary in the summer: do you think we’ll make it back? πŸ˜…

      2. If we were a short hop away like you we might be able to make it πŸ˜‚ no we married in England but honeymooned in Hawaii!

      3. Yeah that’s the problem alright!
        Well you’ll need to do something that’s for sure.
        It’s my daughter’s 30th and she wants to go to Mexico in June. If I can get this one place you never leave the room… we’ll go with all of us. xo

  5. A fiery passionate piece, Ingrid! πŸŒ‹ It is your style, your voice, whatever the subject. πŸ”₯

    “not out of malice
    but out of overburgeoning
    expansionist sympathies.”

  6. I wouldn’t want to be in her path when she erupts burning everything to ash. How to calm a volcano is the question? I always wonder why people build houses on the base of a volcano?

  7. Well said. We must learn to separate the actions of man from the actions of Mother Nature / Pele, for only one can be controlled, while the other we must adapt to (and respect).

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