Persephone’s Insufficient Sin

Autumn comes,
and we think of Persephone,
her seven seeds,

and how it’s fallen into folklore:

o, mortals should be careful what they eat in strange realms,
and if there are consequences, it’s their own damn fault.

I, and other modern writers,
have pointed out that this seems odd.

Persephone starved herself,
touched nothing,
but seems to have eventually given in over a few seeds,
with barely enough meat to be sucked off in the course of a span of minutes?

this seems a strange way to end a long season
of emptiness.

What do seven pomegranate seeds weigh,
half of half of half an ounce,

We see it as a strange act of weakness or ignorance
when, in fact,
what could require more focus,
more thought,
than deliberately chewing and eating seven seeds?

What sorceress were you,
Koré, to use your innocence as a conjuration,
your obsidian marital bed
as a touchstone,
your hunger
as a flash-point,

and your peculiar tastes
as an irresistible symbol?

As if Demeter thought to press Zeus
by bringing icy winds to mortals,
and not earthquakes to the caverns of Hades;
as if Zeus was helpless in the face of
fourteen calories of fruit;
as if you,
daughter of a Goddess,
wife of a God,
celestial being,

decided to end your chosen fast
with less protein
than you’d find in a fire-ant.

Were you really, really desperate
for antioxidants,

7 seeds?

You transformed
rivals for the affection of Hades
into plants and trees,
you were feared Queen of the Underworld,
such that the Greeks invoked your name
in curses,

You decided on more than one occasion,
whether those in your realm
might break the chains of mortality,
and rise up again into the sunlit world.

But we’re to believe
you were unaware
of the consequences of eating
in the realm in which
you were now a monarch?

I think not.

If I had to throw me a wild guess,
an educated guess,
an over-educated guess,

I think you were having an affair with Eris
this whole time.

Because that particular Ice Age has been receding
for thousands of years
by the time
the Greeks
first spoke any of your names.

There’s something wild and chaotic about all the love-stories
of the Greek Gods, the adultery, the making love in the
shapes of birds or showers of gold,

the curious pieces that never did fit together about
your own marriage.

I think you’ve all been kissing Chaos,
but then,
as your influence waned on Earth,
you locked her away.

It was cruel,
but not abnormal,
for Gods like you.

You all loved her, which is why the myths speak of
her so seldom; because you all stand out front,
where you can be seen,
and she has that vicious little walk-on
in the Trojan War,

a certain retributive genius,
and then she vanishes.

So you’ve done something to her,
done something to Discord,
and now you don’t know how to fix it.

And that’s why we’re getting such a suberabundance
of Destructive Chaos. Not the Constructive Chaos
which can create inspiration, but the wrecking
Chaos which pulls down ideas at random,
leaving empty void in their wake.

You, Persephone,
you need to eat some more seeds,
work another magic,
bring Eris back.

Because the rest of you are amateurs at it,
and you’re all doing it badly,
and the mortal world suffers
worse than it would with 12 months of winter.

You were a catalyst for change once;
you played with our mortal lives, our crops
and our heat and our frostbite,

and you owe us one,
just a little bit.

And honestly,
you know in your own heart,
your chaos is of poor quality.

You can’t reproduce the works of a Master;
not without studying,
not without trying.

You can’t just try to make Her vanish
and expect us not to notice.

Go broil some spells.
Go carve up another pomegranate.

We’re waiting,
we’re waiting.


Jeff Mach


My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities and create things. Every year, I put on Evil Expo, the Greatest Place in the World to be a Villain. I also write a lot of fantasy and science fiction.. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.

Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.