"Veneration of storm-cresting seas, rain distant and down-pouring..."
“Veneration of storm-cresting seas, rain distant and down-pouring…”

Grey clouds gathering, shorelines darken,
Sea cliffs we assembled, prayerful hymns
Honouring thunder, lightning, veneration
Of storm-cresting seas, rain distant and
Down-pouring, nameless god rising above
Bronze and marble deities, his voice echoing
Amongst harbours and homes, sacred ways,
We offered praise, tempests rising, winds
Howling, we embraced fire-bolts.

Sacrifice of sheep, cattle we have witnessed,
Huddling beneath trees as scudding clouds,
Ward of bright arrows marched across fields
And pastures, heavens shook, ear-splitting
Thunderclap, lightning splintering tree and
Bone, our offerings divinely accepted, animals
Toppled, ancient god had spoken, wind-waving
Trees, life and death in motion, god and earth
So joined, our faith realized.

Bliss and bane upon knolls, open spaces,
We stand rain-soaked as storms approached,
Praying that lightning will strike, offering
Ourselves as sacrifice to thunderous god,
That we, too, may know his might, bodies
Burned and splintered like mighty cedars,
Distinction amongst worshipers, solemn
Burial rites celebrating personification of
Sky, kindred souls soaring on fiery flame.

"The Storm," Wojciech Siudmak, WikiArt photo.
“The Storm,” Wojciech Siudmak, WikiArt photo.

Flesh and thunder bound together, I am
Immortal in my mortality, flash upon high
Hills, tears and prayers, hearts cloudward
Borne, rain drops glittering in blinding
Light, my arms raised high, heaven bent,
Single stroke, lightning and thunder fire
As one, wonders vast and holy my body
Scorched, wide-opening gates, my soul
Transformed to sparks amongst the stars.

According to Pausanias, “Thunder is held by them
[ancient Circassians] in great veneration; they say
it is an angel who smites those who are marked out
by the blessing of the Eternal. The body of a person
struck by lightning is solemnly buried, and while
they lament the deceased, his relations congratulate
themselves on the distinction with which their
family has just been honored.”
“Battle of Gods and Giants,” Chapter XXIX, p. 315.

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