Maenad Madness

What you doing with that ivy, sister?
Pretending it’s a snake like that one on Instagram.
Didn’t we get wasted last night, man!
Yeah, we had a right scream!
My lips are still black with all the red wine.
My head’s all over the place with ecstasy.
LOL – mine’s so bad I can’t see.
That guy knows how to party.
You mean Dionysus.
But what was the hassle with Orpheus?
My feet feel like they’ve been tied with roots.
It’s just ‘cos you’re still wearing boots.
Did you wake up in the park?
What’s that smell of moss and bark?
Why aren’t we listening to drum and bass?
Instead of blackbird and lark.
What you doing with that ivy, sister?

Kim M. Russell, 21st April 2019

Ferdinand Leeke- Bacchante
Ferdinand Leeke, Bacchante, 1895 – image found on Pinterest

My poem for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Poems in April Day 21: Tree Mythology,  also linked to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: On Myths and Legends

I’m hosting this Sunday’s Poem a Day prompt. It’s based on myths, legends and stories in which people change into trees, which was inspired by The Overstory by Richard Powers, an amazing novel  of intricately woven roots and branches of tree stories that bring together a group of strangers, each summoned in different ways by trees to save a few remaining acres of virgin forest.

The challenge is to pick a story from tree mythology and write a poem about it.

44 thoughts on “Maenad Madness

  1. I love the upbeat pace of this poem, Kim and how you have meshed the present and past mythologies together.. there are cautions in the folklore, even for today!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is absolutely enthralling! ❤️ I love how you have tied mythology and present day together. There are so many instances that offer us wisdom. We need only pay attention 🙂

    PS: Thank you for the amazing prompt! I really enjoyed writing to it ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Live on, Euripides! The rites of Dionysos are the roots of tragedy and comedy, surely the wellspring of our poems. Enlivening the myth here grabs the opium flower and sniffs it whole — the abandonment, the riotous song, the ecstatic trampling of civilization. Great response to the challenge. Ain’t The Overstory incredible? The Pulitzer hardly does it justice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brendan! I’ll be over to read and comment when my laptop is back to normal. It’s resting at the moment and I don’t trust my Kindle gremlins not to throw in weird or rude words! I’m on the last couple of pages of The Overstory. It’s an enthralling read, especially for those who l love trees. I’m also reading Circe by Madeline Miller, which is just as entrancing but for different reasons. Btw it has taken me five minutes to write this while battling with gremlins!


    1. Good timing, Toni! my laptop is working normally again so I can read and comment properly without gremlin interference! I’l be over to read shortly. 😉


  4. AH! This is so good — this setup makes the madness even more palpable; I enjoyed this exchange, both upbeat and surreal, so much. The hassle with Orpheus made me chuckle.
    I loved this bit: “Did you wake up in the park?/What’s that smell of moss and bark?/Why aren’t we listening to drum and bass?” A song unto itself. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. An excellent feel to this, classic tale with modern twists; really shows what can be done with upgrading. The only problem with this prompt for me is that I do not have decent recall on most mythology.

    Liked by 1 person

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