“Arch of Nero,” Thomas Cole, 1846, WikiArt.

Part 1: Ancient Archway Discovered

Ancient arch discovered, crumbling brick
And stone, vines overgrown, older than
Collective memory, entrance to ruins of
Œtean Mountain village, walls collapsed
In rubble, dried wells, foundations intact.
This Cosimia stumbled upon, rambling
Deep into spruce highlands, vines removed,
Double deific face realized on weight-
Supporting keystone, two visages, east and
West, peering toward sunrise and sunset.

Youthful naiveté, Cosimia climbed upon
Arch, foothold where bricks had fallen
Free, her eyes same height as bas-relief
Deific carving. “My lord, what distant
Vistas do you perceive?” Whether sun,
Wind, or archway trembling, no one knew,
Especially, me, Cosimia’s mother, my
Daughter, light-blinded, fell to gateway
Stones. She lay until by villagers found,
Stirred by resurrecting beams of light.

Except these were no mountain villagers
We knew or heard of, tongues foreign to
Our ears, yet some way, somehow, they
Knew winding paths to our valley cottage.
Cosimia in graceful arms, they appeared at
My door, gowns and songs from hundred
Ages past. Alas, they spoke not in words or
Verses but by dances of  prolonged chanting
Chords. Lo! Such thoughts they conveyed,
Metallic strains trumpeting through my head.

“The Pleiades,” Elihu Vedder, 1885, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wikimedia.

“We were the forum,” seven sisters in unison
Stated, voices treetop rising. “Our minds and
Bones silent-resting until graves wrested by
Thundering vault of light.” They lowered
Cosimia to her bed. “Child has seen beyond,
Is blind to earthly sights.” Her forehead each
Embraced, in one stentorian voice stated,
“She is Doorway and Hearth.” Alas! No other
Explanation, they left, Cosimia, hair and face
Sun-burnished, writhing in fevered fits.

Poem of ancient deity Janus, Cosimia has seen as parallel-faced god perceives from ethereal heights, beginning of all actions,
divine gateway and sun-fiery hearth. For more on Janus, see this link:

Written whilst listening to “First Encounter,” by Jóhann Jóhannsson,
“Arrival” motion 
picture soundtrack, specially at 2:10:

Thanks for reading.

Social profiles