The Bane of Pele

Pele3How she longs for the deep slumber of eons past
so she can dream of a simpler existence
when she swam in the cool waters of a lake of her creation
whose green waters merged Pacific Ocean brine
with rainwater swirling in earthen veins deep in the island belly.

Where she emerges refreshed and baptized yet again,
her raven hair flowing over her wide shoulders and draping her brown breasts
her flesh caressed by cool tradewinds whispering her name.
Pele.

But she could no sooner retreat behind this memory
than she could delay the birth of this child
conceived by a fiery seed before time was invented
when there was yet no one to worship the gods
whose only destiny was to shape all that was forthcoming.

No doula was present to relieve the cadence of her quickening.
And though she has birthed many, she is not prepared for this new one.
Its strength and persistence demand existence
with a greedy hunger for all in its path.

Her guttural moans spew fire and rock and ash and vapor.
Her contractions cause deep fissures in the earth’s crusty skin.
The heat of her pains scorch villages and forests.
Her precious lake evaporates when she exhales in fury.
Her sweat steams the sea.

Yet even as she begs the heavens to let this birth be done,
her child continues to come forth and, with impish audacity,
consumes homes and playgrounds of mere humans
and imposes its presence on the ocean most vast.

Photo from U.S. Geological Survey photos on the Kilauea Volcano