The Ritual

C.J. Carter-Stephenson

Originally published in Harlequin, Issue 11.

The moon was an orb of incandescent glory.
The ceremony began, filling me with its fury.
I ran like the wind in the midst of the hunt,
Until the power of the god brought me to the front.
I reached a clearing by a shimmering lake
And sighted the stag, whose life I was to take.
The mighty beast stood in the depths of the trees,
And understanding passed between us on the wings of the breeze.

I awoke from the clutches of a profound slumber
And was overcome by an indescribable wonder.
I was in a dark cave, filled with memories of the past;
Uncomfortably intimate, yet overwhelmingly vast.
I had no memory of how I came to be there,
No notion of the experience I was about to share.
Not a sound disturbed the serenity of the night
As I awaited the start of the second rite.

You came to me as the goddess, hallowed and divine;
The mother of the earth, for now and all time.
Your beauty humbled me, it made me feel base,
I longed to be enfolded in your celestial embrace!
When I touched you with a trembling hand,
It was as if I became as one with the land.
Could it have been sacrilege against your sacred trust?
Was it consecrated love or plain infernal lust?

Poetry Divider.

The right of C. J. Carter-Stephenson to be identified as the writer of this poem has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author, or a license permitting restricted copying.