(The myth of Psyche and Eros, the god of love, is found in the Roman Apuleius’s novel Metamorphoses or The Golden Ass, about 150 CE. The myth was retold by C S Lewis in his novel Til We Have Faces, 1956, written in conjunction with his wife Joy Davidson. In the story, Eros forbade his love Psyche to look upon his face.)
Becoming Psyche (an interim stage) (2011)
Fathomless grief has washed me clean,
Dissolved the clenching that
I once called me.
I have courted this relief, but
Now, emptied of all I was,
I cry out against the loss,
Not helplessly begging some god
To fill the void, but
Asking, rather, to know that I am already full.
Let me see you, I pray.
Be clearly present,
Be presently clear.
Show your reflection in this empty glass,
Give voice to silence,
Share this solitary bed.
Grief has wrought this marriage
To the soul,
But Eros has forbidden me
To look upon his face.
Being Pysche (2014)
The signs were someone else’s
-so I thought-
the Chinese talisman she drew, the tiny owl,
Then Hades lured her down,
into his underworld.
No chance of spring.
I forgot to seek the face of God
I sought her face instead.
Yet she returned; spring rose
and looking up I saw
my own face in a glass, no longer empty.
“I love you and I trust you.”
For days the words went with me.
Then one dawn,
I heard a singing in my head,
A man’s voice, full of longing.
“The water is wide and I can’t swim over.”
Two such longings bridge an ocean.
All day, it sang, until I fell in love.
Lying down to sleep,
flashes of brilliant gold
above my eyes.
Gift of the underworld-
the god of love has shown his face.
Joyce A Hood
(All the mythological references can be found on-line.)