“Sleeping Girl,” Alexey Venetsianov, WikiArt.

Part 2: Alegrea’s Origins Revealed

Hours of deep sleep, Alegrea awakened at
My feet, torchlight flickering, again she knew
Not place nor time, except she called to me,
Clymere: “Mother, we must leave this place
Now,” voice and eyes fear-urgency conveyed.
Thus, hearth fires smoldering, few possessions
Back-bundled, set forth in darkness, ‘neath
Orbing lights o’er watching, paths taken never
Known or heard of winding into hills cascading,
Narrowing trails, spruce phalanx concealed.

Alegrea arm pulling, such perplexities, had we
Stepped into her nether world? Hapless pair,
Reaching heaven’s vault, dawn first-glimmering,
Pastel-pale marble shoulders guiding, stone
Maze turning tween veined outcroppings, path
Opening to ethereal realms, beyond rain and
Cloud, uninhabited by humankind, save us two,
Sandals from feet removed, clothing to ground
Fallen, sacred founts we bathed, on prayerful
Knees, petitions made to gods ancient, unspoken.

O! Alegrea, only high deities know mother who
Bore you, not surrogate of Attic fishing village.
Yet, Clymere listened to your pleas, faith trusting
Or naiveté, war widow, barren heart and womb,
Skins of fleecy lambs she brought your bedding.
Lo! Gods love mortal women who bear grief of
War-killed husbands, sons, brothers, souls lifted
To immortal heights, by heavenly graces oil bathed,
Treasures of Ilion beyond silver and gold. Blessed
Are those who obey beckoning calls, divine under-
Standing shall be theirs, shall be yours, Clymere.

Breath of gods, trees wind-moving, motion of
Life, light appearing, form cloud-coalescing,
In such presence we wept, divinely touched,
Soul penetrating wisdom of papyri conveyed
In two words: “Follow me.” Thought images
Burned within, sea voyage, City Kingdom of
Marion, elder sage, by Alegrea’s shawl, when
Held to sky, Cypriot syllables weave-revealed,
“Mother, this I speak,” Alegrea confided. “From
Archaic ages I was created, languages of clay
Tablets, bronze plates, scriptures memorized.

“Portrait of Young Girl,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, c. 1896, WikiArt.

Thus with fire-burning cloud with supped,
Neither male nor female, host of voices spoke
As one, gentle refrains upon lofty heights,
Wheat cakes, honey-dripping comb, figs and
Grapes. All we walked, witnessed unwound,
East and west reversed, sun eclipsing moon,
Time quaked, creation of child goddess, bright
Beauty, god-gifted me if oath protectress-
Mother sworn. If not, sea depths she would
Return. “O! Shining child, I have loved thee at
First sight, to Cypriot shores we take flight.”

And so our poetic journey leaves Attic Greek shores to
ancient City Kingdom of Marion, merchant ship sailing,
meeting, shawl containing holy scripture in its weave.
Thus is “Light and Shadow” in verse and music of Vangelis:
Thanks for reading.

Social profiles