“Girl with Long Hair,” Gustav Klimt, 1898-99, WikiArt.

Part 2: Sips of Pungent Potion

Sweet child, Arisbe, pallet made for rest,
Morning sickness, herbal teas to quell her
Nausea, forcing sips of pungent potion,
Lips and tongue stained violet, head in
My arms, she drifted off to sleep, kisses
On her forehead, darkness left our midst,
Realizing not ancient elixir, womb blood-
Flowing, to abort evil deep within. Screams
Awakened, Arisbe, pain-writhing, abdomen
Quaking, fetid blood gushed between her
Legs, pushing, heaving, lifeless form burst
Forth, beaked face, flightless wings.

Ill winds tree-bending, tangled branches
Moaning, day descended into dusk, talons
Clutching Arisbe’s mind and body, child
And bird-fetus lay lifeless at Iskaria feet.
“She and thing you planted are dead,”
I proclaimed Arisbe cold-pale. “Burial I will
Perform.” Hissing, black smoke produced,
Dead bird-child thrown to fire, erupted into
Flames, as I placed rocks around Arisbe’s,
First stone circle of her burial cairn. Yes,
I made certain dear Arisbe was not victim,
Cold corpse darkness-captivated.

Maddened by grief, ethereal vault profaned,
Specter mountaintops assailed, as if axe-
Cloven sheep in pastures disemboweled,
Lightning struck, farm houses burned, hail
In thrashing storms smote crops. Yet, Arisbe
Was lost to all avail, last stones upon her
Grave, no curse or destructive force would
Return her life, for in her death, I held the
Key: potions, chants and charms, her soul,
Bones, and sinew belonged to me, for
Within my marrow, she slumbered,
Protected against avenging wrath.

“Women Friends,” Gustav Klimt, 1916-17, WikiArt.

Thus, all known and loved, I abandoned:
Hovel, kitchen, potions, seer’s sighted wisdom
Whispered, “Bring something of Arisbe.”
Her greasy bones I collected, linen wrapped,
Bundled-bound upon my back, two of us
Together set sail to distant shores, Ægean
Islands, sunlight, sea, and sand,  Naxos
mountain cave, ancient ruins, flowing springs,
Rocky pasturelands. Arisbe and I lived as one,
Thoughts shared, two sisters, mother and
Daughter, we cared not. One day I will
Resurrect her when phantoms are no more.

For now, last poem of this short series, Iskaria may resurrect Arisbe on Greek
Naxos Island and begin her life anew. Thanks for reading this “flight of fantasy.”
For more on Naxos Island see this link: http://www.ancient.eu/Naxos/ 

Social profiles