Life viewed from mountaintops, sight beyond
Ethereal skies, I learned of ruins of ancient
Villages, marble stones, bits of black-glaze
Pottery, dried well I discovered, vast votive
Offerings cast therein, I collected terracotta
Arms and legs, human parts with disease,
Each accompanied with solemn prayers, my
Place of solitude amongst burial gifts and
Bones, dead rising upward as celestial souls.
In time I, Aglaia, sang to these collected body
Parts, sculptures of infirmities, and they to me,
Sanguine refrains, stories told, injured by the
Plow, tending bull and cow, bleeding, swollen,
Many lost to infected fevers. How these tiny
Limbs yearned for simple pleasures, visiting
Sacred groves, day spent at soothing seashore
Sands. Gathered many as I could into basket
Large, they leapt from ancient well into my arms.
Dawning morn, we set foot to meandering path
To sea clifftops, sculptures of legs and arms
Beneath starry night, placed in rows upon rocks,
Sunrise awaiting, warmth and light. Lo! We were
Not done, clay-molded parts pleaded for ocean
Spray, basket lugged upon my back, each tasted
Foaming ocean surf, until beach goers asked,
“What have you done?” Sacrilege to offerings,
Votive prayers, sculptures never disturbed.
Chastised, we cared not! Thousand tiny voices in
Unison sang, infirmities of ages now aggrieved,
Sculptures inching into surf, wobbly legs and
Crippled feet, arms grasping crab-like attached.
Amazement, writhing extremity chains they
Formed, taking to briny deeps, death’s poisons
Washed away. Yes! To well I returned, basketfull
Of votive offerings toted to the sea, together we
Sang praises of curing ocean sun and spray.
For more on votive offerings, modeled body parts, see this