"Portrait of a Woman," Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1902, WikiArt photo.
“Portrait of a Woman,” Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1902, WikiArt photo.

Part 2: Duality of Mind and Voice

Once on altar mountaintop, Theia’s called
Ismene again, pleas directing her path, the
Goddess statue-assuming, stone priests,
Thyrsi wielding, protecting her visage from
Desecration. At mercy of Ismene, brambles
Entangled goddess, priests bound by legs
And waist. Time-ravaged, Theia and her
Blessings of radiant light had fallen from
Memory, no worshipers on bended knee.

Easily removed by Ismene were first leafy
Vines, more thin and sun-yearning than
Sharp thorns lashed in strangling coils.
Leaves were poisonous, exuding rancid sap,
Inflicting itching boils to Ismene’s arms and
Hands. With more hard pulls, toxic vines
Released, provoking serpent-coiling thorns,
Tightening bloody grip to goddess and her
Priests, pale marble transformed to rosy flesh.

Chorus:
What evils gripped Theia as thunder rumbled
Overhead? Next came lightning strikes and
Wind-blown rain. O! Daughter of Naxos Isle
Fishing family, her resolve so tested, thorns
Slicing rash-enragéd breasts, rivulets of rain-
Washed blood, arms and face, body given in
Sacrifice, Ismene fought like spiny fish caught
In heaving nets, her prayers heard by gods,
Her pained death foretold in darkest skies.

As if efforts were in vain, Ismene lunged
For Theia’s vine-strapped image, blood on
Marble flesh did pour, Ismene breathed the
Goddess name, “Theia, this is Ismene, save
Me at your mountain altar!” Quaking earth,
Receding clouds, goddess wrested from
Imperiled hold, Ismene lay thorn-cut and
Lifeless at Theia’s feet, her priests with
Thyrsi thrashing accurséd vines.

"Venus," Albert Joseph Moore, 1869, WikiArt photo.
“Venus,” Albert Joseph Moore, 1869, WikiArt photo.

Upon stone altar Theia and priests placed
Ismene’s bloodless body. “Ismene, come to
Me,” Theia chanted. “Bring your weary soul
To my soft light.” By ancient ceremonies of
Noon-day sun, hymns and prayers to Mother
Gaia, two souls merged in Theia’s body, such
Duality of mind and voice, both affinities to
Radiance divine, mountain heights and silver
Oceans bright, Theia and Ismene lived as one.

This poem contains numerous images, such as blood,
thorns, a
nd duality of mind, concepts I find intriguing.
What other i
deas or concepts might be found?
Thanks for reading. 

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