“Andromedia,” Edward Poynter, 1869, WikiArt.

Part 5: Voyage to Syros Isle

From city of Abdera to Isle of Syros fates
Tested our faith in gods, mænad Lenera
And I, Ixia, into storming seas we sailed,
Confronting warring dangers. Alas, sails
Ripping, tempest howling in the rigging,
Fifty fighting triremes advanced, unknown
If from Athens or from Sparta, attacked by
Heavy seas, crashing ships, all round us
Destroyed. Steerage lost, we foundered,
Water pouring below decks, Lenara and I
Escaped hold of sinking ship. Terrified,
Lenera sought safety of as figurine fused
To rocking rack of wine-filled amphorae.

“You cannot do that!” screamed I, timbers
Falling overhead. ”Reveal!” From amphorae
Lenara fell. “We’re going to drown!” I said,
“Pray to Dionysus to save us!” Frantic stare
Lenara returned, enveloped by heaving
Seas, flotsam we found. To me she clung,
Saying, “I don’t know how to pray.” Such
Things I witnessed, as Lenara tried in vain,
Forming to cresting waves; spindrift thin,
Attaching to scudding clouds, falling into
Sea. Advice of Æëtia I remembered, “Even
Smallest voices, those sincere, reach the
Gods as you may define.”

Lo! Lenera clung to me, flesh fused to bone,
We prayed together to gods old and new,
To Dionysus her love declared, as us, wave
And cloud merged, sea trident’s blow, by
Death’s darkness, we were swallowed
Whole. Sunny days, life’s pleasantries to
Dreams transformed, visions seen, hidden
Revealed, neither dead nor alive, floating
Freely on same ethereal plain as voices
Calling me from distant tomb, ancient deity,
God to call master, in warm embrace we
Met, amongst clouds, one the same and
Equal, divinity, mortal flesh merged.

“At the Fountain,” Frederic Leighton, WikiArt.

Mountain from sea up-welling, earth in folds
Lifting Lenera and I from certain doom, hands
Of primordial god, my savior, creator, noble
Sky-warrior. Lenera and I, two unwary voyagers,
Realized my odyssey had just begun. Yes, I
understood her love of stars, as many fiery
Lights as sand grains, Syros island beach,
Drifted to ancient village of Kastri, thousand,
Thousand years past, pastoral culture, metal-
Smiths, clay potters, time-torn greeting by
Enigmatic faceless sculptures, marble tomb
Awaiting on sun-gleaming mountaintops.

Poem of fantasy, “enigmatic faceless sculptures” refer to ancient inhabitants of Syros
Island, Early Cycladic Art and Culture (
ca. 3200–2300 B.C.), as shown on Metropolitan Art website:
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/ecyc/hd_ecyc.htm

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