Edge of the Forest," Ivan Shishkin, WikiArt.
Edge of the Forest,” Ivan Shishkin, WikiArt.

Part 1: Plurality of Light

Upon flowered mountain meadows, hillside
Overlooking grazing sheep, melodies of
Moving bells, I rest from noonday sun in
Shade of ancient cedars, clouds passing
Overhead, realization of life, sunlight and
Shadow, divine and mortal, creator and
Creation, briefly touching, yet never in
One presence, this finite shepherdess
Sensing infinity amongst high pastures.

In corner of my eye, radiant light hovering
In tree shade, having no name except for
“Ancient Sylvae,” at times, self-formed
Head and body perceived, divine thought
Visiting holy meadow, secluded dominion
Once their own before roamed by shepherds
And their flocks. Perhaps they are attuned
To ringing bells of grazing sheep, awakened
From ageless past, assuming lighted form.

This day, Ancient Sylvae remained when I
Acknowledged them, for I believe several
Are present, minds awakened from dark
Void, creating earth and all it holds, beyond
Corporeal world, corruption of infirmity
And disease, they linger here, no temple
Or altar to call their own. Lo! Plurality of
Light fills my heart-soul, reverberating
Across these forested hills.

Later same evening…

"Muses Leaving Father Apollo," Gustave Moreau, 1868, WikiArt.
“Muses Leaving Father Apollo,” Gustave Moreau, 1868, WikiArt.

By candle light this evening, pen and papyri,
I, shepherdess Iolanthe, record what I have
Witnessed, archaic thoughts remembered or
Earth-events long forgotten. For what am I?
Lowly hillside wanderer, guardian of secrets,
Perhaps only one for generations who has
Realized Ancient Sylvae? Such thoughts
Stirring within my heart, I cannot sleep nor
Eat, ecstasy of shadow-flickering light. Such
Beliefs are my truth, truth in presence of
Mountain-residing Ancient Sylvae.

As much realization as soul-searching shepherdess Iolanthe
describes her epiphany of cedar lights or “Ancient Sylvae.”
More to continue in this multi-part poem. The celestial
“Chorus” (stanza) will appear in Part 2.   

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