“Holy Woman at the Tomb,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, WikiArt.

Part 3: Glenneth, First Verses Written

Dozen deific voices in my head, overwhelming
Words to write, language of the Celtic gods:
War, healing, forests, rivers, learning, youth,
Guidance beyond mortal understanding, pen
To thin parchment, conflicted religious beliefs,
Dead bodies laid to rest in stone tombs, time-
Reduced skeletons, afterlife, votive offerings,
Prayers and incantations. In what clear verses
Could I, Glenneth, record complexities of pagan
Faith? Lo! I could not sleep or if I did, dreams
Returned, haunting images, world was not
As Celtic legends perceived.

Daunting realizations, I began to walk, miles
From home and hearth, to family, my mind
Was lost. Thus, I would take to forest wilds,
Springs and streams, sacred places of gods.
Hungered exhaustion, I collapsed amongst
Soul-soothing ferns. First words to mind
Revealed: Religion belongs to no one; 
Religion belongs to everyone. From this
Epiphany, I began to write of faith, beliefs,
Praying at sacred places. Indeed verses
Inscribed were prayers for generous kind,
Heart, obedience, understanding divine.

“O! Veil of mortal sight released, spark of life,
To goddess Dea Matrona, I write, soul quivering
Like clear springs in autumn breeze, I am vessel,
Urn, through me verses flow, language of the
Gods, no fiercer fire to behold.” Alas! I wrote
Nothing of myself, for I was nothing to deific
Thoughts compared. I approached the lowest
Beggar, poorest of the poor, with offering of
Bread, I asked, “Father, what do you believe?”
“I am bent with time,” he answered,  “illness
And disease, old man, abandoned the gods,
Punished for heinous deeds beyond prayer.”

“Breton Beggar,” Nicolae Grigorescu, WikiArt.

“If you could pray, father, what would you
Say?” I asked of him, toothless, eyes age-
Dimmed. Twisted lips, streaming tear,
“I killed in drunken hate, watch bloodstream
Fly, axe wielding to last breath gasped. These
Things I confess, life of regret.” Feeble hand
To me reached, “Forgiveness I would ask.”
First utterance on behalf of Gods, descending
As birds upon fair breeze, “What’s done is
Decades past, fates buried barb this day
Will cease. Rise, walk upright, forgiven.
So says ancient goddess, Dea Matrona.”

First verses inscribed, Glenneth (or Glenzy), in next and last part, will have
greater time-t
urning challenges. Afterwards, as transient character (versus
enduring), 
she will return to darkness of Celtic past. We are at limit of
the other’s perception, fingertips reaching, just touching.     

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