"Shepherdess Watching her Flock," Thomas Moran, 1867, WikiArt photo.
“Shepherdess Watching her Flock,” Thomas Moran, 1867, WikiArt photo.

What can be perceived from mountaintops,
Beyond sight radiant clouds? Ascending
Into purple air, Ismene took to winding
Spruce-lined pathways, gathering rocky
Heights, water-spilling granite founts,
Temples of rustic deities, refrains rarely
Reckoned, save for Ismene watching over
Her grazing flocks on high pasturelands.

Steady climbing, lone pilgrimage, Ismene
Raised breathless prayers, transgressions
Purged amongst ledges and outcroppings,
Labouring hands and feet, mind and soul
Entranced, exhilaration of creation and
Dominion, visions of Aion, to mortal eyes
Time-fluid river revealed, moments without
Beginning, middle, or end.

Upon lofty summits, clouds and shadowed
Light swept over Ismene, visions of Aion’s
Wingéd lion-head, serpent wreathed ouro-
, infinity encircled head-to-tail. In
Human form Aion appeared, arms extended
To Ismene, rising into pastel skies, pleroma
Of pure idea, fountained understanding,
Heaven mirrored in Ismene’s eyes.

"Water of Life Discourse," Angelika Kauffman, 1796, Wikipedia photo.
“Water of Life Discourse,” Angelika Kauffman, 1796, Wikipedia photo.

What did Ismene perceive beyond sight of
Billowing clouds? At Aion’s side she remained,
Acquiring wisdom, heart-weeping realizations,
Shepherdess communing with ancient deities,
Return to flocks and verdant pastures denied,
For she was blesséd protector of divine know-
Ledge, Aion’s companion, conversing in truth
And light at his timeless well.

This poem is similar to the encounter between
Christ and the Samaritan woman, where they
had a chance meeting the well, and Christ was
the well of truth and salvation. There they
remained for two days. Life is a pilgrimage.

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