“The Shepherdess,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1873, WikiArt.

Part 1: Cora Becomes Diadema

Our life threads unraveling, tale of goddess
Trespass, by force taken from parents, king’s
Men, armed and armored, chariot driven, last
Glimpse of frantic mother, tears streaming,
Crying “Cora, Diadema!” Secrets we held
Exposed, father wade-carrying across rain-
Swollen stream, my body o’er his shoulder,
Soldier escorted, destiny tugging as river
Currents. O! Rushing tides, enchained slave
I would become, not for sexual pleasures,
More preferred, suitors intoxicated, wine,
Trance of poppy, night snake ensnared. My
Captor’s demands were oft beyond me, curse
Or blessing of goddess, to know, change
Destinies by single touch of hands.

Wayward wandering child, I was named Cora
Or Corella, maiden of Pindus shepherd family,
Intrigued by water, sunlight, and breeze, I oft
Played on flowered banks of mountain streams.
This day I spied goddess bathing, frolicking in
Clear springs, ancient stone-lined wading pool,
Healing laves spouting from depths of living
Stone. How she relished clear-cold liquid,
Splashing, pouring beading handfuls upon her
Breasts and thighs. Upon intimacy I trespassed,
Snap of laurel branch, my presence, nakedness
Exposed. Across sun-shimmering streams she
Summoned me, feet barely touching ground,
Maiden of age, she knew all of me to know,
Granting admission, sit at goddess’ feet.

“Junge Schönheit (Young Beauty, Flora), Max Nonnenbruch, 1892, Wikimedia.

“I am Ælectrona, morning deity, sunrise, wings
Outpouring of bright song and warmth. Come
Sip from my cupped hands, water from blesséd
Springs.” Accident or predestined, in doing so,
I touched her breast, closest to immortal beating
Heart, few memories aside from metallic taste
Of thundering solar rays, transformation of
Self. Lo! Our mind-souls joined, goddess forged
In divine creation crucible, molten light, breath
Of life, first sunrise given flight. When awakened,
Naked in her arms, first words heard, “Alas!
Child, you have been reborn, nursed on ambrosial
Breasts. Henceforth your name is Diadema,
Reckoning mortal destinies, single touch of
Hands, your blessing or your curse.”

Another poetic series of transformation, young shepherdess, blesséd curse from Cora
spying on, touching naked goddess Ælectrona, an Actæon-like account without attack
of flesh-eating hounds, but of equal ill-fated destiny, torn from family and enslaved.
Thanks for reading.  

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