"Hebe," Jacque Louis Dubois (1768-1843), Wikipedia photo, for this poem, Ariel.
“Hebe,” Jacque Louis Dubois (1768-1843), Wikipedia photo, for this poem, Ariel.

Pindus Mountain summit, Ariel, shepherdess
Tended her flocks into pastureland, her dog,
Ekho, by her side, they strayed from winding
Paths to collapsed ancient temple, weather-
Worn granite columns, void of adoring colour,
Ariel stopped when confronted by two trunk-
Less legs, sandaled feet, affixed in living stone.

“What brings you here?” godly voice spoke to
Ariel’s mind, where she fell upon her knees,
Fair forehead touching polished steps of stone,
Shimmering light transforming to living man.
“Lord, who art thou?” Ariel asked, kissing
Feet of flesh. “Aion, Deity of Time, countless
Ages, single moment or ten-thousand years.”

Nimbus light, circular arch of stone, Aion
Extended his hands, gateway of memories,
Past and future lay within his grasp, timeless
Cedars, earth-expanding branching genera-
Tions, accounts of love, war, tragedy, heroes
Saved and cursed, fates and furies, obedient
Sands through his fingers flowed.

“What is it you seek?” Aion asked, more
Curious than demanding. “Understanding,”
Ariel responded, youthful simplicity of word
And soul touching godly brow, favor-gaining,
Wrath-allaying. He led Ariel amongst his temple
Porticoes, gold illuminated, fluted columns of
Blue-greens, blending verdant mountain skies.

There they spoke, time from beginning, spark
Within chaotic abyss, by Aion’s nod, universes
Created and destroyed, her mind conjoining
His, her vessel filled to radiance, fear and
Suspicion lost, undaunted soaring to celestial
Heights, Ariel’s heart and soul unbound, Atlas
And Aurora they both beheld and honoured.

Through his stone arch they passed, hand-in-
Hand, on filaments of light they strode, earth-
Age pages opening and unfolding, expanding
From antiquity, and in moments undiscerned,
Divine and mortal merged, sunlight beaming
On ardent moon, rounding course of godly
Sway, young Ariel reveled in divine epiphany.

As legend tells, Ariel was elevated as Aion’s
Priestess, with Ekho at her side, she resides
Pindus Mountains still. Yet, by Aion’s nod, she
Became Zeus’ daughter, Hebe, youthful goddess
And cupbearer, for that made in the likeness
Of gods, may by apotheosis become divine,
Encompassing fulfillment of ages and times.*

*Apotheosis is the central idea in the spirituality of St. Maximus the Confessor, for whom the doctrine is the corollary of the Incarnation: “Deification, briefly, is the encompassing and fulfillment of all times and ages.”  For more, see this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apotheosis

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