"Mignon," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1869, WikiArt photo, for this poem Iola.
“Mignon,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1869, WikiArt photo, for this poem Iola.

Part 1: Temple Discovered 

Attracted by flickering torchlights, Iola,
Pindus Mountain shepherdess, wandered
Into dense spruces, discovering temple ruins,
Marble steps and porticoes, time-weathered
And discolored, heavy-bolted bronze doors
Ajar, neither inviting nor foreboding, sha-
Dowed atrium concealing temple depths.
 

Into temple, Iola crept, slender bare feet
Quiet on marbled floors, smell of incense
From holy naos, she approached fearing
Scorn of priests and cult deities, flowers
Fillet-entwined, figs, and fingerling fish,
Votive offerings in bronze altar bowls at
Feet of towering archaic gods.
 

In reverence, Iola bowed at the god-pairing
Above her, Æonic patriarch time-yoked to
Kybele cast upon her lion-drawn chariot,
Radiant-living alabaster, unisoned breathing,
Silent and unwavering, they guarded mercurial
Time portals, tides advancing and retreating
Amongst epoch-divining temple passageways.
 

Elba Clay Tablet found in Syria, ca. 2500 B.C. Wikipedia photo.
Elba Clay Tablet found in Syria, ca. 2500 B.C. Wikipedia photo.

“Who are you, child?” Kybele asked Iola, capti-
Vated by the goddess’ lions, their gleaming
Amber eyes, manes of rippling stone. “Iola,
My queen, shepherdess who followed your
Torchlights.” “My child, another flock we wish
For you to tend, time-scattered records, their
Deliberate ruin foreseen.”
 

“We are guardians of recorded knowledge and
History,” Æon explained to Iola’s plaint mind.
“Preservation of clay tablets, parchments, and
Papyri, for you to serve as our shepherdess,
Searching ancient libraries, returning lost and
Destruction-threatened wisdom to this holy
Temple, threshold to eternal causeways.”

For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart
and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the
essence and quintessence of their lives. — Marcus Tullius Cicero

Next is “Part 2: Blesséd Gifts and Warnings.”

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