To Hekate : Yakjov (Jacob) Rabinovich

TO HEKATE

Pre-Christian, pre-Olympian, pre-Titanic Hecate
world-tree planted in Asia Minor
gate-guard of the worlds,
keyholder to the three reams,
gross seated mother, lions at your sides,
fostering nurse of all that’s young,
female heap of big fat attributes,
cruel, non-rational mistress
of slain corn-kings, sacrificed children,
castrated temple-males;

you glide into Greece after Troy’s fall,
Hecate-Enodia riding down from Thessaly,
leading the angry horde of ghosts,
planted yourself at the crossroads;
your torch began to smoke, then flared up,
making night noon –
world-tree Hecate, your roots reach Hell’s
downmost altitude to suck the power
of the buried dead. Eater of filth,
goddess of darkness, grimly silently
munching on corpses, Hecate,
regaled with incense of goat-fat, baboon-shit,
garlic; honored with gutted puppies
and rubbish rites;

Hecate, in your oakleaf crown shaking reptile dreadlocks,
around you hellhounds yowling sharp and shrill,
so meadows tremble, river-nymphs scream,
their waters rush backwards up the stream-bed
and dive affrighted down their own fountains;

with witches I dance around you,
naked, snake necklaced,
hair in the wind, gashing blood from arms:
sex-crazed hags with false teeth and hair,
young girls, gloriously pornographic,
stir the cauldron of ugly oddities,
throw in magic salads gathered in the graveyard–
a brew with power to draw babes screaming
into existence, or hurl them howling hence.
The witches lay hold of you, Hecate, World-tree,
shake, make tremble on your branches
the planets suspended
like rare and fragile fruit.

—  Yakov Rabinovich from The Rotting Goddess

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