"Modesty," William-Adlophe Bougueruau, 1902, WikiArt photo.
“Modesty,” William-Adlophe Bougueruau, 1902, WikiArt photo.

Part 1: Mountain Mausoleum

Concealed by columns of weeping rock,
Dionē found pathway to Pindus Mountain
Mausoleum, bolted bronze door flanked by
Two windowed slits, marble posts and lentil,
Receding into granite-face depths. When
She peered inside, crypts and niches were
Revealed, tombs for ancient dead.

Whether hidden or just discerned, melodic
Voice sprang forth, “Maiden of bronze am I,
Protecting this catacomb, divinely transfixed,
Life and death eclipsed, god cast monument,
Burnished copper-tin admixed. You may enter
Or simply leave,” the maiden advised. “For an
Archaic one do you grieve?”

“I would prefer to enter and to leave,” Dione
Replied, rhyming yet perplexed. “You drew
Me here, I believe.” “Enter you may without
Concern,” Maiden responded. “No thing you
May take, only that learned, words you must
Discern.” Bronze maiden in silence fell, caveats
Given, Dionē admitted to heavy-hingéd doorway.

In shadowed-light, Dionē entered deep stone
Vault, gazed upon desiccated bones, held fast
By leathery skin long mummified, hollow-eyed
And teeth worn down, burial shrouds of mildewed
Must, their swords and shields pitted with rust,
Archaic Greek forefathers she perceived, agéd
Bodies debilitated by injury and disease.

"Pythagoreans Celebrate Sunrise," Fyodor Bronnikov, 1868, Wikipedia photo.
“Pythagoreans Celebrate Sunrise,” Fyodor Bronnikov, 1868, Wikipedia photo.

“What is this place?” Dionē whispered, skele-
Tons lying in rows of hand-hewn burial niches,
Void of light or warmth. “Eternal ones who
Walked with and guided Bronze Age Greeks.”
Another metallic maiden confided, image of
The first, standing statue, fixéd in timeless
Motion, she spoke not in metered verse.

Scattered ‘round this bronze maiden were altar
Bowls, filled with jewelry and gems from ancient
Times, gold rings, bracelets, rope-twisted neck-
Laces, death offerings when forefathers perished,
Some dozen decades old, lives human, souls
Divine, they predated Hellenistic gods, daughters
And sons of Gaia touched by celestial light.

Next is Part 2: Crystal Sphere.

This poem was inspired by the bronze maiden in “Homer’s Epigrams,”
No. III, “I am a maiden of bronze and am set upon the tomb of Midas…
ever remaining on this mournful tomb, I tell the passer-by that Midas
here lies buried.”

Written whilst listening to “Stop the World,” by Dan Romer, original
movie soundtrack for “Tomorrow We Disappear.”

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