“Egyptian Water Carrier,” Jean-Leon Gerome, circa 1882, Wikiart.

Part 1: Spiritual Discovery

Sails wind-rustling, waves ocean-cresting,
Symerya sang aloud, “I have seen, I have
Heard, I have learned scriptures of holy
Prophesy.” Ocean rising sun, her Turkish
Homeland sea-receding, Symerya, sought
New destinies, face-veiled passenger on
Merchant ship, amphorae of wine and oil.
For few coins, daughter run-away, found
Place upon rolling decks, stars and moon
Her guides, yearning mysteries of another
Ocean, rippled dunes, distant desert sands.

O! Mysterious child, secluded from spray-
Swept forward decks, reading scrolls of
Papyri, reciting each verse aloud, adoring
Lights in youthful eyes, seabirds circling
Overhead. Heart uplifted, Symerya penned,
“In strength of God, gulls take flight, to see
Is to believe, guidance of life-course, we sail
Great divide, heaven and earth, once lost
Now found, his might wind and waves, his
Mercy to following faithful.” Verses recited,
To sacred writings Symerya returned.

“From Cyprus, where does this ship sail?”
Symerya asked captain at the helm. “Crete”
“Then after?” Youthful face inquired. “Two
Days in at Crete, we leave on noon tide for
Syrte.” Parchment map Symerya revealed.
“What place is this?” she pointed, “Harawah”
Only word discerned. “Time-abandoned
Ruins,” captain advised. “Columns broken-
Buried.” “This Place I must go.” “Holy places,
One should not trespass or defile. Your
Fate and desert trek are in hands of God.”

“Petra, Ruins of Triumphal Arch,” David Roberts, WikiArt.

Ethereal dawning light, ship rolling on wine-
Dark seas, Symerya, dark hair unbound, fore-
Head touching deck, bowed in silent prayers,
Then aloud recited, “I have seen, I have heard,
I have read scriptures of prophesy.” This her
Mantra had become, perplexing passengers
And crew, embroiled in her map and papyri,
Dedicated to reciting ancient scripture or
Messenger divine. Alas! Deific flame sent
Symerya’s soul to flight, her voyage of
Spiritual discovery had just begun.

New poetic series begins. By merchant ship, Symerya travels from
Turkey to Lybia, by camel caravan into ruins of desert temple.
Is she runaway child or new messenger of ancient verse?
Are both possible? 

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