Whats This? Prequel / Leda and the Angry Swan
Leda’s Voice, Under Sky, Over Water
by Maj Ragain
reading by Lindsay Bottos
I lie in the wreckage of my longing
which called him down to me.
I remember myself before Zeus settled
over me, in the guise of a swan,
downy chest against my nipples.
That world is gone.
I have been opened, my thighs spread
by wings beating all around me,
churning my blood into fever.
I am slathered with his god seed,
planted on this tortoise shell bed,
pinned down by clawed feet on bare skin.
His wings, spread across the sky,
eclipse the sun beneath which
all things are his domain.
I was mine. Now, I am his.
I will scissor my hair to the scalp
so he will not desire me if he returns.
Hera, his wife, has found us.
He rises in anger at her meddling.
I am sore.
The milky way swims in my belly.
Wherever you go, my empty eye follows.
Whats This? Prequel
oil on linen
60 x 79”
Leda and the Angry Swan
oil on canvas
72 x 102”
Maj Ragain. Clouds Pile Up in the North: New & Selected Poem Press 53, LLC, Winston-Salem, NC, 2017 p.4
Damen, Jessica & Ragain, Maj, Home To Sargasso Sea-A Long Journey of Loving Collaboration, exhibition catalog, June 1-July 14, 2018, KSU Downtown Gallery, Kent OH, Kent State University School of Art Collection and Galleries and the Wick Poetry Center with support from the Ohio Arts Council. pp 32-33
*The readers read the first version of this poem