“Woman of Cervara and Her Child,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1861, WikiArt.

Part 5: Thirsting Water, Dry Wells (Last)

“We believe in faceless voices,” I sang aloud to
Derya, nursing at my breast, Esmeray, elder
Mother, at my side. “Wind, waving wheat, trees,
Each with own language, sweet melodies rising
To sky and cloud.” Thus, was lore whispered
Within temple halls, Cypriot shores, all things
Seen, perceived indivisible as one, single breath,
Life force known as Ancient Ones. “What if it’s
All imagined?” I asked, Esmeray. “We believe
In, worship intangibles,  clay tablet-chiseled
Prophetic verses, inked scripture on brittle papyri.”
“If it’s not so,” she countered, mother’s patience,
“What do you believe?” For moments thought,
Then stated, “We are living daylight dreams.”

“Realms existing, touching, intersecting another,
Merging clouds, close to me as walking shadows.”
How I confided in Esmeray, solitary walks on
Ocean strands, I felt, saw images shimmering,
Temple of Göbekli Tepe, presence of Altyndepe,
for Derya and I were sea-foundlings, shipwrecked,
Water-drowned reborn, my sight transformed on
Cypriot mountaintops. “Dear Esmeray, spiritually
We are bound by iron chains, shackled into forced
Beliefs, desert wanderers thirsting water from dry
Wells. By single question, scripture crumbles in
Our hands.” By her silence, of my beliefs she
Disapproved, unwilling to reject decades of faith.

“Come with me, pilgrimage to Temple of Göbekli
Tepe. There, answers await,” I stated, our eyes
Met, Esmeray’s head in disapproval shook. Then
Reconsidering. “I will,” she replied, “for no other
Reason, ensuring safety of your child.” Mother’s
Compelling silence. “First, understand my faith
Before asking me to accept yours, for I believe all
Realms do touch, your faceless voices belong to
Benevolent gods, as there are as many songs to
Sing as ships of sail.” All round me shifted, voices
Cloud-speaking, my arms reaching upward,
Great thirst, dizziness. “She is waking,” I heard
One woman say. “As are her parents,” another
Stated. On pallet bed, I awoke, on temple floor.

“Love Leading the Pilgrim,” Edward Burne-Jones, WikiArt.

“What happened?” I asked, smell of burning
Bodies on funeral pyres wafting island air.
“Steady now,” familiar voice said, still faceless
From fevered stated. “Great illness struck our
Island, many died, specially infants, elderly.
Hearing that, I reflexively touched my abdo-
Men, my virtue intact. “We were fortunate,
Sea merchant arrived, gifts of medicinal herbs
And teas.” “Who?” I asked. “Older man, grey
Beard, all black wearing, shore bathing. By his
Instruction, we brought illness-stricken to our
Temple.” “His name?” Head heavy, to pallet
I collapsed. My child, elder women were illness
Dead, apparitions of fevered dreams.

What occurred in Tizmay’s fevered state? All poetic characters
she encountered, save Altyndepe, died of illness spreading across
her home island. Thus was the means to conclude this poetic series
in five parts. Thanks for reading and for following.

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