Varlaam Monastery, Meteora, photo by Vaggelis Vlahos, 2004, Wikipedia.
Varlaam Monastery, Meteora, photo by Vaggelis Vlahos, 2007, Wikipedia.

An ancient temple mountaintop cloud-
Concealed, beyond mortal sight or reach,
I ascended far-winding paths, granite
Steps hand-chiseled from living stone,
Each requiring prayers like decade rosary
Beads, aspirants recited by heart, sacred
Verses inscribed on time-brittle papyri.

Once prayers were god-accepted, suppli-
Cants began assent of souls, spiritual exile
To earned beatitudes, some took days to
Climb mist-held tiers, stones foot-worn by
Sandaled feet, whilst others, like myself,
Ascended heights by prayerful thought,
Rising to warmth of sunlit dawn.

Once reaching summit colonnades, the
Holy temple was circular-built, no sides
Nor front or back, presenting doors of
Many faiths, pilgrims selected entrances
That touched their hearts, prostrations,
Foreheads gracing polished stone, accep-
Tance granted to approach sacred light.

Massive and iron-clad, doors of faith were
Of timbers thick or vertical slabs of stone,
Each with locks faith-opened by reciting
Holy Scriptures. Confronted with perplexing
Tasks, supplicants fell in tearful wails, life
Sufferings, not heart-strife they endured,
But grieved woes inflicted upon others.

Once entrance gained, temple doors opened
To imposing sanctuaries, travelers passed
From life’s effronteries to heavens they had
Chosen or to sleep in godly arms. Like others,
I did not know death had taken me, separated
From earthly spheres, watery skies. O! To
Breathe again, how sweet the mountain air!

Æon granted me life anew, chance to evolve,
To grow, to give, bones entombed in marble
Resurrected, I cared not in what form I lived,
Male or female, life’s holy promenade, Athens
Or Rome, ocean or olive groves, mattered not,
For I had entered sovereign temple of the
Gods and was touched by infinity.

Written whilst listening to “Life” from “Prometheus” motion picture soundtrack by Marc Streitenfeld.

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