Part 1: Secret Side-of-Self
Fever-weakened child, arms, legs lacking
Strength, on pallet bed Kallon remained
Most days, moved in father-fashioned
Rolling chair, wonders of temple design,
Construction, Kallon learnt, father Roman
Architect, temples to gods, sculptor’s
Hammer and chisel, deific forms and
Faces marble emerged, calculations
Kallon’s pliant mind provided until his
Body exhausted, required nighttime sleep.
Secret side-of-self, whilst sleeping Kallon
Was another, his father wanting son,
Mother her own daughter. During Kallon’s
Dreams, he wandered Roman countryside
As Kallona, girl of same adolescent age. Lo!
From one mortal urn, two selves arose,
Two sexes worn, separated by day and night,
Parents unaware, until predawn waking
moments blurred, Kallona unexpectedly
Body returned, protests of drowsy maiden.
Offspring of Janus, life continues beyond
Grave, deathless souls amongst golden
Bi-faced god, mouths of children wisdom
Spoken, madness ascending high-topped
Oaks, approaching divine as angels might.
Two souls uncleaved and realized: One
Night-roaming, affinities of verse, things
Unseen. Other mathematics, hand-hewn
Marble, birthed in glowing shape, towering
Columns in radiant sunlight, life bestowed
By chisel’s touch to stone inanimate.
For months Kallon and Kallona mentally
Mingled, tempest brewing in one mind,
Blesséd flowerets or curse of thorns, each
Tasting favourite foods: honeyed bread,
Roasted lamb, or bowl of fruit and figs.
“Be not afraid, my brother,” advised
Kallona. “I venture where you cannot,
Glories from treetops seen, amongst stars
And clouds, gift of seashores shared past
Sailing ships, wooden-wagon reach.”
Thus, Kallon sketches drew, places to him
Unattained, “Within me lives lioness,” to
His parents told. “Lioness leading lion,
Wandering dark of night.” Mountain peaks
Kallon drew, accuracy and detail, including
Aerial views of temple buildings, peristyle
Enclosures awaiting, nascent awareness of
Kallona, eyes watching from within, what
Fates may yield, first reflections, night
Creature’s shadowed gaze.
For more about Janus (god with no Greek counterpart) and his poetic
offspring, see this link: http://www.ancient.eu/Janus/