Marc Frazier

Realms: Demeter and Persephone


how fast we can
be borne below,
sunlight a memory,
a flutter of blue,
home divisible by two,
catastrophe? abyss?
a husk Persephone
must inhabit? a lesser myth
would end here:
instead a queen
of impermanence;
far from home,
there is no choice,
even Zeus can’t
withstand a mother’s
thirst for daughter/
a new covenant
warms the fallow land,
the deaf
dusk of April
stirs the noteless songbird


a god in a sudden chariot
takes her to a sunless space—
death and the maiden—
beside him she smiles
at the victory of separating
from her mother/not knowing
the seeds in her palm
will divide her in two/
he keeps her for all futures
for half a year but
never wholly conquers/
not on Olympus,
his only power is to keep souls
below/his love
of suffering is a container
holding water, futility,
thirst; another force
works through earth
to air above; that
which can’t be stilled.


a mother grieves,
herself a goddess,
knows a lonely Hades is dangerous,
for a man takes what he wants
always/She removes her protection
of fertile earth/proves to Zeus
power can be feminine too,
a barren earth within her control/
no violets can fall
from Persephone’s apron until
mother brokers a new deal—
when day’s light grows longer:
jacaranda, fingertips
soft against bark,
scent of loam,
all that holds us
here to the swelling

Marc Frazier has published poetry for decades in journals including The Spoon River Poetry Review, ACM, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Slant, Permafrost, and Poet Lore. He has also published memoir, fiction, and essays. His three poetry collections—The Way Here, Each Thing Touches, and Willingly—are available online. Marc, the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council award for poetry, has been nominated for a Pushcart prize and a Best of the Net. Marc is a Chicago-area, LGBTQ author. See Marc Frazier Author page on Facebook, @marcfrazier45 on Twitter.