“The Veil,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1898, WikiArt.

Part 1: Ixia, Sight-Gifted Child

We were six war-wildlings, children wasted
And starved, parents perished, afflicted
With injury or disease, minds unchained
During fevers, dreams of places, events
Beyond youthful knowing, unique visions
Of what was and will be. I, Ixia, had such
Sight, fostered fount of prophetic wisdom,
Trained in ancient languages and script,
Blood and spiritual rites, attuned to sunlight
Upon passing clouds, Ionian Sea reflecting,
Feelings and memories, ushered from sleep
To waking moments, thus sighted I became.

I claimed no special gifts. Lo! Gifts, if such
Called, claimed me, vessel of adolescent
Female form, life was not my own, crying,
Tearing hair, six sequestered from each
Other, spirited to distant Greek realms,
Ægean Isles, Œtean Mounts, few raised with
Shepherd and fishing families. Alas! Visions
Heard and seen, too bizarre to recount,
Voices resurrected from burial chambers
Stone-sealed, breaths gasped through air
Holes, eyes searching for creviced light, deity
Dethroned, beckoning us, unsuspecting six.

Yet, I knew to turn my back, break spells
Dark and foreboding, walk into daylight,
My soul bathed in solar rays, profane touch
Lingering still after evening prayers. My
Mentors I approached, “Life rekindled, age-
Old bones, bronze sword and shield I beheld.”
In silence they listened, temples grey, so
Selected was I to approach god of antiquity,
Worshiped by extinct pastoral clans, so they
Surmised, whose potency and divinity waned
As faithful died, or as sands and fates decreed,
Beliefs faded, devout into disbelief strayed.

“Allegory of Peace and War,” Pompeo Batoni, 1776, Wikimedia.

Instruction of elder priests and priestesses,
I embraced ancient voices head-flowing, and
In doing so, my waking dreams he entered,
Maiden’s body touched, his face and frame
Realized, man and gods equal, prophet stone-
Tomb restrained, yearning life anew, superseding
Resurrection, Athenian dominion reclaimed,
Greek farms, pasturelands, olive groves. humble
Pilgrims, animal blood, ritual offerings made,
Dark-plumed smoke rising, vitality returned,
And in naivete, my odyssey began.

Whist there is no historical or literary reference to an “Ixian Odyssey,”
young Ixia’s journey begins, as much on foot as spiritual, approaching
and succumbing to this unknown ancient deity. Thanks for reading. 

An older poem, from mirroring perspective, again voices calling out from dark grave: “Ancient Athens Restored.” 

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