“Brother and Sister,” Abbott Henderson Thayer, 1889, WikiArt.

Part 2: Kallona’s Bones Urn Revealed

To sleep, to dream, offspring of Janus, on
Roman plains communed, Kallona, lioness,
Her temple-building brother, Kallon, swept
Into golden mountain clouds. Visons of
Janus revealed: Kallona died in childbirth,
Brief beginning, morbid end, gateway of
Rustic ceremonies, parents know why and
How Kallona lingers in her brother’s mind,
Body and soul pinioned as one, two seeds
Sown, one survived, urn of desiccated bones,
For two decades parents-concealed.

Agéd mother Kallon approached, to Athis
Painful questions asked: “Mother, was I
Born of twins, infant girl died at birth, do
Bones of Kallona exist this day? Weeping
Confession, secrets heart-pent, Athis urn
Produced: “Herein lies your sister.” Linen
Bound, flower petals, upon table-top they
Removed each tiny bone not yet whole,
Skull of many dried plates and parts, Kallon
Held his sister’s head in hands cupped.

O! Kallona, mountaintop temple, bi-faced
God awaits, reanimation of bones, blessing
Afforded, chance at life anew. With Janus
Inaction results in punishment, by prayer,
Worship protection provided. Lo! Chilling
Cries of those who approach Janus without
Offerings, self-sacrifice. How wondrous is
Brother’s love, his mettle mountain tested?
Be warned, Kallona’s bones must be intact.
For now Kallona has no body, only voice
Favoured amongst cloud-residing gods, of
Such glories we dance and sing in praise.

Thus, mother-son pilgrimage began, blood
Chalice and male offspring making arduous
Climb, spiritual and mountain heights, bones
Urn released, floweret adorned, restless linen
Bundle-bound upon Athis’ weary back, mother
Carrying her daughter-child again, ascending
Path, each hand-carved step a prayer, sheer
Ledges, water dripping, peering into opalescent
Light, invisible earth beneath unrolled, hands
Of death waiting, Kallona’s bones spread
Asunder, rebirth forfeited by fates.

“Psyche in Temple of Love,” Edward Poynter, 1882, WikiArt.

Cold nights they huddled near rock-flowing
Springs, purification laves, few bites fruit and
Bread, restless sleep amongst cloud-obscured
Heights, no stars for guidance, sense of vertigo.
Lo! Weaving course, wind increasing, difficult
Steps, Athis faint-fatigued of climbing with her
Bony burden. Eyes glazed-distant, chest breath
Heaving, she recalled Roman legion husband,
Her olive-oil bath, seed-spouting deliberate
Thrusts, two children planted in her womb.
With these memories, Athis breathed her last.

Turn of fates, second effort at life, Kallona’s mother, agéd Athis, dies
carrying her daughter to mountaintop temple. Kallon is burdened
with two bodies, one of bones, and that of his mother. Is resurrection
of both possible? Within what limits? Thanks for reading.

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