[Rotting Silver] “Parable of the Earth’s Lover” by B. T. Newberg

From the Earth’s embrace, her lover pulled away.

She asked, “What is wrong?”

He replied, “You kissed me once and it was warm. But when you kissed again, it was cold, like the lips of a corpse. What does this mean?”

She said, “It means I will be the one to kill you.”

“No, ” he said. “Surely it is not so.”

She replied, “Do you think you know me? Am I only love and life and pleasure? The milk of my left breast is medicine but my right suckles poison. When you press your body to me my lips shall become rose petals but my nipples thorns. When you enter my vulva you shall find a cloth of silk but also a razor. Or do you keep another mistress who dispenses your woes?”

He said, “You are all things to me.”

She said, “My body is this earth. From my womb flows all things seen and unseen, and all this is my creation. If you do not embrace my creation, you do not embrace me. Or would you rather have never lived than die in my arms?”

He said, “You know it is not so, but still I am afraid.”

She replied, “Your fear is a little bird. Keep it and care for it as you would your own child. In time it will fly you to me. With a kiss I give life and with another I take it away. Between these two kisses is my embrace.”

He said, “O Goddess, you are my lover!”

She said, “Mine are powers greater than you can imagine, but yours is the power to fulfill me. Come. Let us give body to our communion.”

And they embraced.


Rotting Silver is a column devoted to this Earth in all its tarnished radiance: poetry, prose, and parables of ugliness alloyed with joy.

A version of this piece was first published at The Witch’s Voice.

The Author

B. T. Newberg

B. T. Newberg:  Since the year 2000, B. T. has been practicing meditation and ritual from a naturalistic perspective. He currently volunteers as Education Director for the Spiritual Naturalist Society, where he is creating an online course in naturalistic spirituality. His writings can also be found at Patheos and Pagan Square, as well as right here at HP.

Professionally, he teaches English as a Second Language.  After living in Minnesota, England, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea, he currently resides in St Paul, Minnesota, with his wife and cat.

After founding HumanisticPaganism.com in 2011 and serving as managing editor till 2013, he now serves as advising editor, and feels blessed to be a part of this community.

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4 Comments on “[Rotting Silver] “Parable of the Earth’s Lover” by B. T. Newberg

  1. This reminds me of this poem by James Harrod: The Double Goddess by James Harrod
    – as published in From the Realm of the Ancestors: An Anthology in Honor of Marija Gimbutas. Joan Marler (ed). Manchester CT: Knowledge, Ideas and Trends Inc., 1997, p.495-496. James Harrod says he wrote this to try to articulate the complimentary qualities of the Double Goddess of Upper Paleolithic Europe – amongst the most ancient of human representations of the Sacred known, as he has been able to decipher. The last five lines are a quote from the Gnostic tractate “Thunder, the Perfect Mind” (James Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Library in English. NY: Harper and Rowe, 1977, p.271-277). He says (p.494): “… the application of my decipherment of Upper Paleolithic (European) to the iconography of the so-called Venus figurines reveals that a subset of Upper Paleolithic female figurines which I designate “the Double Goddess” were intended to represent archtetypal, spiritual transformation processes pertaining to the intergenerational flow of powers between mother and daughter, between death-like sacrifice and abundant self-nourishment, and between grieving tears and the iruption of new life.”

    I am the scorned one
    and I am welcomed by my own compassion;
    I am the one who cries out
    and I am the one who listens;
    I devour myself and I feed myself;
    I am the wounded one
    and I am the one toward whom I have mercy;
    I am immobilised and I magnify my own powers;
    I am my body of gravity and light
    and I am the spirit that lives through its dance;
    I am the belittled one
    your child within
    and I cherish the child, my soul, within;
    Give heed to my poverty and to my wealth.
    I am the mother and I am the daughter;
    I am the pregnant one
    and she who was pregnant with you;
    I am the abducted and the restored
    and I am the abandoned and the embraced;
    I am the split one, with tears of grieving,
    and I am the barren one, and conceiving;
    I let go of all things and I receive all things;
    I rage at my separation and I rejoice in my reunion;
    I am the dissolution and I am the reconnection;
    I engender and am engendered
    I nourish and am nourished;
    From out of my death all life flows
    from myself, to myself
    I become alive.
    “I am the silence that is incomprehensible
    and the idea whose remembrance is frequent;
    I am the voice whose sound is manifold
    and the word whose appearance is multiple;
    I am the utterance of my own name.”

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