"Prose," Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1879, WikiArt photo.
“Prose,” Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1879, WikiArt photo.

Part 5: Birth of Segun

Flames of funeral-pyre, Selva and shepherds
Prayed and wept, City of Kharsos illuminated
As Dolius’ soul spiraled upward, his sparks
Rising to stars. Weeks of deciphering papyri
Scrolls, Selva’s abdomen grew round, her child
Womb restless, as Æthra decreed, time ordained
Dwelling amongst mountain clans, gleaning
Life-wisdom from those he served, wandering
Prophet of Turkish farms and rocky hills.

With breaking water, labour began, infant’s
Head not downward, Selva writhing in pain,
Shepherds fearing worse, skilled mid-mother
Beckoned, fire built, anxious prayers offered,
Selva in delerium, one foot emerging, trance
Of poppy given, knife blade thrust into fiery
Coals, cutting edge drawn across Selva’s
Abdomen, womb splayed, cord untangled,
Blesséd baby boy, mountain air he breathed.

Chorus:
Immortal chariot of Æthera, Dolius’ light
Ascended sun-silvered clouds, neither dead
Nor in agéd body alive, death brought life
Into perspective, decisions made, soul’s
Regrets, self-forgiveness. Given to languages,
Ancient texts, he rescued slave child Selva,
Father’s love neither expressed nor denied.
Mother’s love Dolius shall know, two joined
By poetic prose, mother and newborn son.

"Lambs," William-Adolphe Bouguerau, 1897, WikiArt photo.
“Lambs,” William-Adolphe Bouguerau, 1897, WikiArt photo.

Shepherds attending, Selva and son, Segun,
Found shelter in Kharsos temple niche, statue
Of divine gods, toppled-broken during earth
Tremors. Evening hymns, journey beginning
Anew, Selva and Segun, vessels of language,
Life amongst temple ruins. Pilgrims visiting
From afar, wells of Kharsos flowed with clear
Water, pilgrims offered prayers on holy
Mountaintop, sacred city restored. 

The poetic account of Selva and Segun (Dolius) will
continue as enduring characters. Eventually, mother
and adolescent son leave sacred City of Kharsos. As
with other historical holy persons, he will serve the
poor, sick, and dying in secluded villages and towns.
For now, he must learn from wisdom of shepherds
and secrets of ancient scripture.

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