Part 1: Sacred Fountainhead
Children of Œtean mountain village, vine-
Lost ancient tomb discovered, bronze door
Unhinged, violation of Lion’s Gate, burial
Shroud cast to floor, sinewy bones rent
Apart, jewelry removed, death-gifts stolen.
Oldest amongst children, Kypris, removed
Ancient papyri, cryptic passages shown to
Parents, archaic languages time-obscured,
Lost to scribes’ reed pens, except for single
Name found thereon: Rhea.
By lantern light, village elders recalled myth
Rhea mixed Kybele, Mater Theon, orgiastic
Cults, deific rhythms of fertility, farmlands
And beasts. Return to marble tomb, riveted
Door ajar, two small windows, one sun-facing,
Light cascading in dusty air, Kypris touching
Niche-held bones, admiring in glassy beams,
Staggering steps, hands heart-clutched, she
Swooned to floor, adolescent mind and womb
Enveloped in silvery blaze.
O! Kypris, deific flames burned clothes away,
Tatters smoldering on marble floor, maiden
Flesh unscathed, light-sanctified, rising to
Consciousness. What language to speak, for
Her chosen tongue soared on wings, words
Alighting on ancient papyri. “In what world
Am I?” she asked, all known unformed, unborn,
Divine lioness arising, her reign beyond Œtean
Tomb, mountains spruce-clothed, from golden
Gates she strove, Kypris and Kybele conjoined,
Two urns upwelling, sacred fountainhead.
On rocky beach, her footing regained, Kypris,
Without need of ships or wind-stretched sails,
Was transported upon broad back of sea-time,
To distant Crete, primeval earth quaking, birth
Of gods, head and womb lightning struck.
Alas! Labouring pain of birth, by Kybele’s hand
Metamorphosis of starry light to godly flesh
And bone, well-nursed children, ambrosia-
Flowing breasts, cave-raised progeny, heaven
Nurtured, Kybele, honoured mother of gods.
Thus story of ancients begins anew, from mountain tomb to
shores of Crete, adolescent child and goddess, merged as one.
Written whilst listening to “Don’t Go” by Hannah Georgas.