Saint Mary Magdalene of the Desert, Jusepe de Ribera, c. 1641, WikiArt photo, for this poem, Lexine.
Saint Mary Magdalene of the Desert, Jusepe de Ribera, c. 1641, WikiArt photo, for this poem, Aletta.

Visions or omens curséd sorceress, Nona,
Advised, peering into Spring of Tears, ushered
Time-cradled secrets, soul stirrings, past or
Future, myriad possibilities, discerning that
Which fates and furies feared, eternal bliss
Of blesséd gods, prayers for death, mirrored
Waters of immortal rewards, mortal shame.

Offering of first fruits, yearling lambs, rustic
Œtæan ceremony antiquity concealed, musical
Refrains versified at sacred stones, sacrificial
Blood spilling into clear streams, crimson ten-
Drils curling and coalescing until dissolved,
Then could supplicants gaze knowing depths,
Welling tears of sorrow or of mirth.

O! Spring of eternal tears, came sorceress’
Enfeebled frame, arm outstretched, pouring
Cup of blood for shepherdess Aletta, pilgrimage
From flowered meadows, peered into divining
Light, mind-welling, heart-breaking, upon spruce-
Clad mountain her vision soared, months and
Years scattered on wings outstretched.

Solemn sacrament Aletta grasped, sacred victim,
Kinship of blood, yearling lamb, communion with
Gods, those partaking in meal-rites. First glint
Of light, she witnessed yearly festivals to Zeus,
Animals roasting, heaven-spiraling smoke, bare-
Breasted dancers by bonfire light, wine-pouring
Fertility, worshipers of Dionysus and Demeter.

"Holy Family with Angels and Saints," Lorenzo Lotto, WikiArt photo.
“Holy Family with Angels and Saints,” Lorenzo Lotto, WikiArt photo.

By Nona’s hand, woeful spring wind-shimmered
Aletta entranced by flame conceived, eyes uplifted
To starry skies, for sacred victim was now living
Man: healer, teacher, mortal-divine, messiah of
Desert temples, kinship of blood, disciples’ last
Supper, life sacrificed for sins, persecution, death
And resurrection, promise of everlasting life.

Whether blessing or curse, Aletta visioned that
Foretold, 300 years B.C. Greece and emerging
Roman empire, rising and descending, with one
Certainty time-held within crystal well, what sun
And moon would for decades veil, shepherdess
Realized Zeus would fall, reign of higher gods,
Holy Father, star-marked birth of Mary’s son.

Such parallels exist in religions, including entering into holy
communion with gods or God, an ancient rite that existed with
Greek Zeus and Latin Jupiter, continued into Christianity and
as holy sacrament celebrated today. 
Lost are sacred wells and
stones, guiding visions they provided.  Where does myth end
and accepted beliefs begin?    

Social profiles