Part 1: Duality of Worlds
Earth tremors, ancient temple ruins, stone-
Sealed burial niche revealed, wall mosaic,
Vases shattered, papyri scrolls discovered
Amongst bones of buried dead. At first
Discarded, on oxen carts to rubble piles,
Then saved, deciphered. For dark decades,
Life-knowledge was concealed, writings of
Æliana, wisdom described as deific female,
Of Œtean shepherd clans.
As translated, Æliana’s mind free-floated,
Duality of worlds, suspended tween tangible
And ethereal, merging amongst secluded
Spruce hilltops, Temple of Wisdom mist-
Shrouded columns and porticoes, lost from
Physical world. On stone pediments, Æliana
Received visions, shimmering female forms,
Voices mind-echoing, reason and foresight,
Verses divine, gliding purple air.
“Wisdom arises with age-old, life-reflections,
Accepting her counsel,” enigmatic voices
Sang. In divine presence, Æliana bowed,
Words impressed upon her plaint mind.
“Years of youth are lost, lost to pain of
Love and flesh, quick warring words,
Clashing swords and shields, blood spilled
On battlefields.” Hearing this, Æliana
Swooned, myriad images mind-swirling.
Windows open to silver moonlight, Æliana
Wrote from memory, envisioned images,
Quotes from prophetess or from wisdom,
She knew not which, yet she penned lines
Of text, impressions of ancients. Alas!
When she awakened, others had written
In Æliana’s stead, ink stains on her fingers,
Candles puddle-melted, other languages
And script-hands, scrolls poring onto floor.
In this poem, Æliana lives in two worlds. Perhaps many of
us do, daily life and ideals we pursue or of which we dream.
What duality has Æliana entered? Wisdom with two voices and languages?
Referring to wisdom as female comes from “Wisdom of Sirach”:
“9 He [the Lord] created her, and saw her, and numbered her, and
poured her out upon all his works. 10 She is with all flesh according
to his gift, and he hath given her to them that love him.”
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