Scene4-International Magazine of Arts and Culture
Yemaya | Scene4 Magazine-April 2018 |

Griselda Steiner

The Yoruba Mother Goddess – Nigeria

Star Queen of the Sea


Yemaya, the Ocean Goddess, came west from Africa on the transatlantic slave trade to grace many religions as the Mother of all Orishas - the Yoruba gods and goddesses, sacred powers ruled by the universe. Her name came from the Yoruba words Yeye – mother, omo – child, eja – fish as the human fetus evolving in the womb has gills.  She became a Virgin Mary icon in the Caribbean islands where her rituals merged with Catholicism. She is the Queen Spirit of the moonlight and feminine mysteries, protector of women, childbirth and the unconscious mind.




Sing for me

Dance for me

In your green crystal ocean’s endless foaming roar


Waves after wave after wave

Maiden, Mother, Crone


Grass baskets

Filled with pearls and perfume

Prayer boats

Float far on the warm blue sea


 Before time

When the face of the waters covered the earth

It mirrored the clouds swift flight

Over the deep


A red rose swam on ocean waves

Pulled by the moon’s timeless tides to the

Sandy shore


Sun scorched black for millennia

The burnt rose lay in a conch shell

Tunneling echoes of the sea


When a fierce salt wave birthed Yemaya

A tall black woman walked the horizon

Her arms stretched high in the sky

With moon shadows receding in the dusk


She drove into the surf

Dancing, swirling, spinning

Bringing sea creatures into being

From her womb came fishes, coral reefs,

Dolphins, sharks, crocodiles, alligators, whales


When ocean galleys swirled across the sky

They rained on mountain peaks freezing to glaciers

Shimmering ice sculpted by seasons’ gales


A melting deluge torrents down steep slopes

Moving water purifies the earth

Forming lakes that flow into world rivers

Streams that run down to the salt ocean


Heated by the equator’s tropical sun

Water rises then twists on the earth’s orbit

Stretching continent to continent

Dark cloud winds blow Yemaya into fierce storms


From sky ocean to ocean

The eternal cycle never sleeping


After time the face of the waters will cover the earth

Born by Yemaya’s dance around the sun.

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Griselda Steiner is a poet, dramatist and a freelance writer and Senior Writer for Scene4. Her compilation of poetry and writings "The Silent Power of Words" is now
available at Amazon Books.
Visit her website
For more of her poetry and articles, check the Archives.

©2018 Griselda Steiner
©2018 Publication Scene4 Magazine




April 2018

Volume 18 Issue 11

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