Snake Goddess of Crete


snake goddess of Crete

What speaks to me amidst geo-political turmoil and the chaotic dark turbulence of 2016. Geraldine Monk’s poem The Snake Goddess of Crete, discussed in the Guardian by Carol Rumens

The Snake Goddess of Crete

I cannot grasp your high status apron
(your pretty little pinny) in my hands to
blow my nose and wipe my eyes as
of a child of yours and wash away this
here-now world and find a maybe
kinder variant. It’s like this you see —
I don’t much care for the 21st century.

The uproar of many peoples who roar
roaring seas rumbling of nations
rushing on rumble of waters roaring mighty
uproar of many peoples who roar seas
rumbling of nations grumbling mighty
roar of seas of nations of up roaring.

I need to touch your transfixed snakes.
Stroke the sejant cat perched on your crown
and suck your startling tits as of a babe
wash away this here-now world to find a
kinder crew. To sail our tabernacle divine
with fearless balance at your fingertips.

What came before

Newgrange-entrance 1910

Newgrange in Ireland, the Neolithic passage tomb. More than 5 000 years old, it pre-dates the first phase of Stonehenge by 1 000 years and the Egyptian pyramids by 400 years. Dimensions are overpowering: this massive structure measures 76 m in diameter by 12 m in height and it contains over 200 000 tonnes of earth and stone in its fabric, including quartz façades.


The appearance has been altered considerably since the 19th century and I like to sit with older photographs. Less imposing in some ways but more mysterious. The image above shows a young girl at the gated entrance, taken in 1910. And this late 19th-century  image below, also from the Irish archaeology website showing sketches and  images of Newgrange through the centuries, shows a disturbed mound and a figure emerging from the tomb.


Newgrange in 19C