"Meditation," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1902. WikiArt photo, for this poem Iola.
“Meditation,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1902. WikiArt photo, for this poem Iola.

Part 2: Blesséd Gifts and Warnings 

In shimmering form, Kybele appeared before
Iola, “Take my hand and visit our collections.”
They explored papyri acquired from ancient
Archives across the Hellenistic world, preso-
Cratic manuscripts, clay tablets from Egypt
And Mesopotamia, each preserved in niches
And antechambers, wrested from antiquity.
 

“How long would I be gone?” Iola asked, con-
Cerned for flock and worrying family. “Serve
Us in obedience, time will stand still,” advised
Kybele, “For we can discern epochs between
Heartbeats, eons between mortal breaths. All
That you love will be held possessively within
Our grip,” goddess offered to hesitant Iola.
 

As they strode past marble statues, armor clad
Men and women, Iola asked, “Who are they?”
Ancient gods, mortal heroes,” replied Kybele,
“Lost to earthquakes when Ægean shorelines
Collapsed to ocean depths, entire civilizations
Swallowed by the sea, in sleep eternal, their
Dwelling-place is our timeless temple.”
 

"Capriccio with Classical Ruins," Giovanni Canal (Canaletto), c.1751, WikiArt photo.
“Capriccio with Classical Ruins,” Giovanni Canal (Canaletto), c. 1751, WikiArt photo.

“With divine duties come blessings and war-
Nings,” Æon stated, his stentorian voice filling
Iola’s mind and temple chambers. “By serving
Us, gift of language you will receive, archaic
Tongues written and spoken; however, know-
Ledge for selfish gains is forbidden. Priestess
You shall be, translator-courier of antiquities.”
 

“Together we will pass through portal passage,”
Advised Kybele. Dressed as servant girl, her head
Draped, Iola’s dark hair and eyes blended with
The ages, whether Athens, Damascus, or Luxor,
She passed unnoticed carrying woven baskets,
Duties for mistress or master. Like limitless tides,
They emptied repositories of crumbling city-states.

Principle and beginning…of being is the limitless…where beings
have their beginning, therein also have their end according to
necessity; for they pay penalty and retribution to each other for
their injustice in accordance with the arrangement of time.
— Anaximander, “The Limitless Limits”

Next is “Part 3: Protagoras of Abdera.”

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