"Old Man's Head," Jan Metejko, WikiArt.
“Old Man’s Head,” Jan Metejko, WikiArt.

Part 2: Death and Stench Personified

Gleaming copper plaque, mystical powers
Embodied, inscriptions on both sides, one
Curse each, firelight reflections entering
Mopsus’ eyes, his mind to primeval ages
Swayed. “Upon battlefields, Kerilem ruled,”
Hermit began, his sight flame-fixed. “Forced
Loyalty to king, generals. In battles he was
Blessed, double-edge sword wind-swift,
Sun-flashing bronze flesh cleaving. Curse of
Equal might, Kerilem’s destiny was to kill.”
Then Mopsus declared aloud, “These curses
live this day, Coronis-fixed in blood.”

Iliona tomb arrived, twin daughters had
Disappeared, except for clothing scattered
Round. Cosimia encountered by neighbors
Searching nearby trails, living corpse crept into
Thick spruces, hair and putrid flesh torn by
Prickly boughs. Child of curséd miseries,
Cosimia’s face reduced to skull, messenger
Of woe, voice screeching, fiendish lips and
Tongue. None dared approach her, fearing
Death-walking doom. Iliona followed daughter
Into black night by stench of rotting bowels.

Wisdom of ancients, Mopsus peer again into
Copper plaque, interpret cryptic phrases by
Flickering flames, muted voices of vowels,
Melody changing reveals meaning concealed.
Kings and generals of two opposing sides,
Feared Kerilem’s killing curse. From gates
Of two cities, thousand soldiers marched,
Thunderous sound, ground crushing feet.
At defiant Kerilem, bows bent in rising
Rage, screaming arrows loosed, piteous
Moans, Kerilem fell to ground dead.

"Allegory of Peace and War," Pompeo Batoni, 1776, Wikimedia photo.
“Allegory of Peace and War,” Pompeo Batoni, 1776, Wikimedia.

Kerilem curse-awakened in body of Coronis,
Helmet and armor clad, she wielded sun-
Burnished bronze sword and shield, attacking
All who offered help, peaceful villagers she
Viscerally impaled. Such wrath Coronis
Inflicted until in sun-declining dusk, twin
Sisters reunited, souls and body healed until
Nightfall, evil on foot returned, Cosimia ruled
Moonless night, defiling farmers and their
Fields with skin in tatters falling, over-
Powering stink of putrefied decay.

In Part 3, Mopsus provides voice to vowels, copper-
plated curse deceived by sound of sweet female strains 
upon timeless wings abound, one sister is curse-released,
ther dies by soul-separating blade. Which twin will it be? 

Written whilst listening to “Don’t Let Go” from original motion
picture soundtrack “Gravity” by Steven Price.

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