“At the Well,” Henryk Siemiradzki, 1889, WikiArt.

We met midday at stone well near Abdera,
Women water-carrying, some for miles,
Beneath Thracian sun, few bites of figs,
Daily thoughts shared, household duties
Of wife and mother, receptive listeners we
Became, stories shared to pass burdens of
Heavy-sloshing urns, winding paths along
Ocean clifftops, edge of vineyards, wind-
Waving wheat fields. Shade-resting young
Woman, different paths taken to and from
Town of Herakles’s labours, invited us to
Bathe, streams cool and clear, fill our urns
From water-gushing marbled stone.

By laurel entangled declivity, her secretive
Domain we entered, sunlit, flowered pools,
Realm of her own, now shared with four of
Us, following in suite, gowns disposed, to
Feet falling, marveling at her youthful beauty,
Dark eyes and flowing hair, skin milky white,
She basked equally in warming sun and our
Admiring gaze. Once tasting spring water,
Urns we poured to ground. Baths complete,
We did as she, slept on sun-warmed rocks
Or within concealing fronds of ferns. Alas!
With honey-sweet water on our lips, we
Drifted in our dreams, places never seen.

“Soir Antique,” Alphonse Osbert, Petit Palais, Paris, 1908, Wikimedia.

Upon distant shores we strove, no concerns
Beyond ourselves, apricot evening air. What
Potion or magic spell beneath radiant dome?
To temple altar stones, our goddess guided,
By single thought divine, name she told:
Æliana of Riphean Mounts, hyperborean
Muses we became, as Pindar did describe:
“Never the muse is absent from their ways:
Lyres clash and flutes cry and everywhere
Maiden choruses whirling. Neither disease
Nor bitter old age is mixed in their sacred
Blood; far from labour and battle they live.”*

* Pindar, “Tenth Pythian Ode.”

Poem of transformation:  water, well, bathing, and distant seashores,
place beyond north winds, hyperborean muses. I could not find any
references to their names or their domains. Perhaps you can help? 
Thanks for reading my 850th poem.

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