Part 1: Althea’s Visions
“Angels on the ocean,” my daughter said,
Dozens wave hovering, as many weeping
As not, her pleading pulls, ashore we ran,
Yet for me, clouds billowed above Keros
Island, sailing Triremes distant and ablaze.
Althea greeted her angels at surf’s edge,
Young arms to open wings, her first of
Many visions, eyes receptive to divine.
Incoming winds and tides brought death
To secluded island shores, burned debris
Of fighting ships, dead soldiers released
From silent depths. Althea’s tears flowing,
Her heart in frenzy erupted, kisses upon
Sea-dead, dozen tongues she chanted, one
Sailor surf-lying coughed up seawater, face
Pale, skin wrinkled. Alas! He staggered forth.
“I was amongst the dead,” he offered, his
Soul torn from skies afar. On both knees
He fell, Althea washing his sandy face, ten-
Year old girl, allaying fears and soul grief.
To our house, Danaos followed, neighbors
Marveling, fed and bathed, for hours slept,
Prayers gods-reaching, weeping before us,
He knew nothing of himself, past or present.
Child of vision, love of blesséd gods, Althea
Embraced the dead, bodies long corrupted,
Ravages of sea-battles, anointed with oil
And flowers, chants of resurrection, more
Raised by her spells. Weary, they recalled
Their warring ranks. To her family home
They staggered, Greek soldiers ate and
Rested, clinging fast to tenuous breath.
Men building funeral pyres, to seashores
Althea darted, more bodies she awakened
As natural laws forbade. In panicked spasms,
She waded into surf, embracing youngest of
Wasted frames, arms reaching, flowers body
Rubbed, souls wave-wrested. “I am Lydus,
Your prayers I heard.” To our house he came,
All memory lost to depths of darkest brine.
Whilst answers are interpretative, who or what
does Althea, her home, and war-lost Greek soldiers
represent? This poem contains single stanza chorus.
Who may they represent?
Next is “Part 2: Procession of Dead.”