"In the Peristyle, John William Waterhouse, 1874, Wikemedia photo. For this poem, Iokaste, luminous sea clouds marble enshrined.
“In the Peristyle, John William Waterhouse, 1874, Wikemedia photo. For this poem, Iokaste, luminous sea clouds marble enshrined.

In obedience I bowed to Neptune’s temple
Priestess, fair-skinned, hair and eyes like my
Own, gown flowing in ocean breezes, sandaled
Feet quiet amongst marbled peristyles, gentle
Touches to those who entered with votive
Offerings or sacrifices made, to attain favor
Traversing the Sea Lord’s Ægean ocean-realm.

In fleeting moments, she whispered her name,
Iolanthe, “Lavender Flower,” liquid melodies
Elevated upon ocean crests, clutched posses-
Sively in Neptune’s heart and hand, his noble
Visions bestowed, his love warmly given, upon
Her bed of fine-woven linens and animal skins,
Lithe limbs writhing, upwelling bounding seas.

Out of reverence, we kept a solemn distance
Supplications to gods and those who protected
His columned temple, holy naos chamber, inner
Sanctuary, where she oft remained from view,
Worshiping, receiving guidance at alabaster feet,
Prostrate at Neptune’s towering likeness, solitary
Ruler of Ægean ocean depths.

Of such divine intimacies, I spoke not beyond
Protected halls or on quiet evenings, amongst
Mist-swept islands, whilst billowing ethereally
Above cerulean waves, for I am their daughter,
Iokaste, “Lilac Sea Clouds,” serving as Ocean
Father’s sequestered priestess, his cliff-dwelling
Temple, overseeing regal Ionian realms.

Thus I remain, loved and outcast, daughter of
Mortal-divine, twixt conflicting worlds, longing
Mother’s bosomed milk, nectar of the gods,
Taste of each denied, briny sea I drink, salt
Devouring my breasts and womb, neither wed
Nor children born, such sacrifices wrought,
Luminous sea clouds marble enshrined.

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