"Portion of Eastern Portico," David Roberts, WikiArt photo.
“Portion of Eastern Portico,” David Roberts, WikiArt photo.

Part 1: Opened Sarcophagus

For six days Kandaké traveled upon broad
Back of Libyan Sea, heaving brine, salt spray
To City of Cyrene, prayers at temple of Zeus.
By camel caravan, she continued, journey of
Wind-rippled sands, beneath unrelenting sun,
Her guides, black-robe clad, navigated trackless
Dunes on camel-back to tree-ringed oasis,
Shepherds and roaming flocks. Two day’s rest
They took, fresh water, figs, and dates.

Aching backs and legs, to temple ruins they
Persevered on faceless desert sands. Yet, to
Those who led Kandaké, barrens were their
Sacred homeland, birthplace of ancient gods
And prophets, men and women, who in stoic
Isolation, penned scriptural verses, prayerful
Psalms, wisdom, peace of millennia, until sands
Wind-shifting exposed temple ruins, containing
Bones of oracles, dormant for thousand years.

What terrible fate awaits in opened crypts, bodies
Decayed to arid bones, dark knowledge revealed
From ancient papyri. Once oasis, temple grounds
Were curse-buried in desert sands, parched were
Sweet-flowing wells, no maiden oracles dipping
Water as guidance poured forth from lofty gods.
O! Unsuspecting Kandaké, you heeded call of
Bones of death, family and luxuries abandoned,
Seeking out deific voices stirring in your heart.

"Greek Woman," Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1869, WikiArt.
“Greek Woman,” Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1869, WikiArt.

Whispers emerging, refrains water-rippling, voices
Palm-tree waving, flamed-faces in campfire coals,
Those voice-hearing bowed in presence of ancient
Shrines. Some believed new-emerging gods, others
Feared return of archaic deities, obedience of all
Near and far. Thus, Kandaké, from Greek Ægean
Isles, approached opened stone sarcophagus. Head
Veiled, slender feet sandals removed, she knelt
Face-down on mosaic temple floors.

Poem of knowledge and revelations, Kandaké, new
Greek female character, ventures to ancient Libyan
temple. She heeds voice of unknown immortal being.
What yoke will be set upon her neck? 

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