Cybele (I)

P Sufenas Virius Lupus

Separation and reunion endlessly,
this is the tale of your tragedy.

When Zeus went to Magna Mater
desiring to unite with her
instead she became monstrous
with what he left upon her rock.

When Agdistis, terror of two sexes
ravaged the Phrygian landscape
it was Dionysos with wine and withes
that calmed and castrated the androgyne.

When testes became trees of pomegranate
and Nana daughter of Sangarios
with fruit fertilized herself,
your lovely boy was born, Attis.

Cybele came to unite with Attis,
but Midas’ daughter Ia was to wed

Speak not of the horrors
which happened after this, cries
raised over and over down the ages
for the mutilated boy,
and the maiden made Amazon
(Forgotten in the Phrygian forest.)

Beneath the pine tree’s needled boughs,
Attis, driven mad by a(u)nti(e)-Agdistis
returned to her what she had given him:
his very life, from seed to fruit,
fruit to tree, tree to testicles,
separated by Dionysos, given by Zeus.

At last, agonizing in almond-bitter tears
the Great Mother had back to herself
what was always hers, and Attis
forever frozen in death-like sleep–
an example to all in violet hues
that what was ever-moving,
from thundering heavens to earth’s mountains
can never be held too tightly…



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