Guest Blog: Julie Peterson: serpent, mother, goddess (for mia)

Close to perfect poetry, enjoy! Thank you Julie!

serpent, mother, goddess (for mia)

the fire of her soul bubbles up
like champagne uncorked
and spills from her eyes in fiery abandon,
her heart having yearned for a return to the womb
of the place of her birth.
goddess, mother, sister, venus, isis, priestess
holds the serpent in her hands, not underfoot
though she could crush it if she chose.
she does not.
instead, she gathers all the lightning of the sky into her arms
and heaves it forward in a
mighty thrust toward the ends
of the heavens, toward dreamtime, toward waking,
toward the lip of the future that quivers with
unspoken promises and kisses and prayers.

what quiet dreams and waking roars of thunder might clash
in her bosom now that she has turned her tanned face from her past and away from the sullen tossings of her angry adolescence,
raging and screaming at the crushing weight
of her fatherʼs battered wrath.


it is not hers to keep any longer,
she has chosen to set this old story gently in the hills
so green, rolling like the early contractions of birth.
she stands silently
feet planted in the soil of her Mother.
Her brother, her sisters beside her, behind her,
above her, below her.
all the strong yet gentle hands of the women who now smooth
her hair with mud, her eyes colored with black,
her feet bare and hardened by miles
of travel up the mountainʼs breast.

now she understands the reason for her journey
the nights she waited quietly
in the shadows
while the owls circled and the bullfrogs
croaked in the shrinking ponds.
no longer is she drifting in the water of uncertainty
that murky place of doubt and dread.

quietly, she stands then journey forward
the mothers left her here with a water skin and a stick.
walk, dear sister, return to your youth
the time of your birth
when you leapt from your motherʼs womb into a life
of your choosing.
now it is time to take the stick and press


writing the song of your future with your feet,
with your lips with this stick and travel
toward it, as surely as your first breath was breathed.
now, she moves into the night
the light of the moon overhead and the whisper of those creatures


and hidden by the grasses in her ears.
in the distance, a drumming, quiet at first
then louder
her heart, perhaps, answers as she makes her way forward
splitting from the trail and toward the ocher cliffs she knows
jut outward toward the stars and then beyond.

each step is echoed by the rattle of the strands
of beads that circle her
caressing the bare of her back and her neck, long
and browned by the sun
venus, given form, a sephira of green and copper
nightingale, dove, peacock and swan
beat their wings with abandon
circle and push forward
now! they say.


emerald, jade, malachite, copper beaten into
sheets and wound around her
on her wrists and neck and ears,
swinging and tinkling with each footfall.
she is beautiful, glorious, strong
no match for those who wish to possess her
though her gifts are freely given
when she is approached with love.

it is nearly impossible to see her now
in the distance
if you turn your head
just slightly, her strong form moves there
over the rise in the green mists and the mud huts
with their tawny grasses stand on the earth as they have
since the first mother sprang from her lovers rib.

you might wonder if she will return to you
but do not. all is as it should be, rock unto rock,
breath unto breath, blood warm in her veins. nothing will ever
stop her now. she is home.


4 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Julie Peterson: serpent, mother, goddess (for mia)

  1. Whoa! You paint some amazing images! Storyteller extraordinaire! I’ve read it three times..will read again…multi-layered,wonderful and RICH!

Comments are closed.