“Soul Carried to Heaven,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, circa 1878, WikiArt.

Part 1: From Death, Life Renewed

Amongst family, dying words I whispered,
“I love you!” three times stated, with each
Breath straining, shouting if I could, faces
Fading, I surrendered to beckoning hands,
My soul rising to light, life papyri unrolled,
Divine altar discerned: hopes, pleasures,
Children. Alas, things left undone, heart
Worrisome, lessons garnered from past
Life. Yes, I was dead, papyri rolled tight,
Golden fillet tied, stone-niche placed with
Thousand others. Who I was, used to be,
Now faint memories, recollections lost.

Nameless, for ages I slept amongst olive
Groves, sun bright, shade resting within
Shade, souls passing, faceless voices,
Some I fear knew not they were dead,
Or pretended they passed not through
Curtains dark. Their journey done, they
Wanted not for food, drink, nor warmth.
Feelings granted taken, pleasures missed:
Children at my side, meadows, ocean
Cliffs, sea breezes, sky and clouds,
Hearth fires, security of strong arms
At night, fresh fruit, honeyed bread.

O! Attic mother, lavender fields you will
Return, soul restoring still waters, gods
Immortal commune. By dance and song,
We offer prayerful hymns, amongst dead
You shall not wander. Mother of well-
Nourished womb, again you will float
Within, arms and legs growing, twins
Not of body but of soul, mortal-divine,
Burst of mother’s water, who shall arise?
Goddess with life experiences, Aeriel and
Althea, two minds merged, to followers,
One lofty voice spoken-heard.

Alas! I understood their wanderings,
Endless summer days, meandering paths,
Boundless hills, another turn, some
Place tween heaven and depths of hell,
Those who fled common ruin, void of
Faith, sacraments, or covenants. Though
I knew love’s covert flames, mistress,
Wife, mother, soft murmurs in the night,
Oiled arms and legs, hair undone, breasts
Exposed. How I rode spouting root until
Moaning release, fell gentle into my hands.
For this I was condemned? I think not!

“Cupid and Psyche,” Edward Burne-Jones, 1867, WikiArt.

Approached I was by another, radiant soul,
Shimmering as sunlit mountain spring. Lo!
Her voice I heard within my being, “I am
Althea,” she announced, fair breeze upon
My face. “We need each other, refleshed,
Solid ground neath our feet.” Her fingers
Touching arm, we merged, in warmth we
Dwelled together, few moments I understood
Her deific desires. “Your name?” she asked.
“Aeriel” she implanted, fitting for cloud-
Rising heights, one with the goddess,
Lioness I became, inseparable yet distinct.

In this poem, the chorus stanza, akin to Greek Chorus, provides narration helpful to those who watched plays or who read this poem. Moving across the stage, masked chorus members danced and sang, offering movement and insight with equal weight of another actor. For more, see this link: http://krishaamer.com/function-chorus-greek-drama/

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