To the Kouretes

For Petros.

I summon to these prayers
the dancemad, hauberk-clad Lads
who slam their ashen spear butts to the ground
and scream ferociously
in time to the thunder-summoning kettledrums
and double-pipes trilling like pandaemonium
loosed upon the earth.
Everything quakes and throbs as they draw near,
these bringers of flowers and plump summer bees;
beasts and trees and everything else
are caught in the potent rapture
of their raw, unyoked masculinity which comes
crashing against the shore in foamy waves,
breaking through a well-ordered foreign phalanx,
crushing walls that would dare keep them out.
When they leap and prance upon the field
the cold winds are driven to cowardly flight by their heat,
snow trembles and pisses itself into nothingness,
ice is afraid as a child in a cage
and all rejoice for the beloved of the Nymphs,
the protectors of the grotto and defenders of the innocent,
the march-loving springtime Youths
are here to play.

4 thoughts on “To the Kouretes

    1. I wanted something that did not (overtly) refer to their role as shelterers of Zeus or Dionysos (though of course there are several allusions throughout) because that’s all anyone tends to focus on. I find their “spring daimon” aspect (ala Harrison and the Cambridge Ritualists) more interesting, particularly with the potential for mumming connotations.


      1. 🎶Behind the birches whirl the bongo boys in their summoning 🎶 Tori Amos “Wildwood”


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