"Rest During Flight to Egypt," Andrea Solario, WikiArt photo.
“Rest During Flight to Egypt,” Andrea Solario, WikiArt photo.

Part 2: Dolius, Desert Wanderer

Breeze upon oasis, desert hermit appeared
On foot one morn, agéd face and hands, at
First aloof to our small tribe, he took water
And few figs, seeking rest of shaded temple
Steps. “This place, I know,” he said, his voice
Kind, melodious. “Curious place for mother,
Newborn son, clinging to this ancient shrine.”
He stared at my shackled scars, “Irony a slave
Girl shall know wisdom of the scrolls.”

At his feet, I studied archaic languages, Asian
To Egyptian, written and spoken, Kudret
Playing at my side, weeks and months blended,
Holy papyri spoke to me, deciphering faded
Scriptures. Whilst planet observing on desert
Nights, my teacher related his name, Dolius,
Wanderer, roaming shepherd, his life orb
Descending to this temple-oasis, master’s
explanation I accepted in faith and love.

"Debate of Socrates and Aspasia," Nicolas-Andre monsiau, c. 1800, Wikimedia photo,.
“Debate of Socrates and Aspasia,” Nicolas-Andre monsiau, c. 1800, Wikimedia photo,.

On starry nights, we talked of the invisible,
Substance of souls, its connection to body,
Our kinship to each other, cosmic threads,
Karma and fates. Thoughts deep beyond my
Understanding, he referred to heavenly points
Of light. Yes, I realized his incorporeal nature,
Transcending flesh and bone. His soul had
Worn many bodies, yet he spent months
With simple shepherdess like me.

From parchments and papyri, I had learned
Knowledge of divine, reason and argument,
Our evening discussions more esoteric and
Intense. Whilst his voice was sea-foam soft,
He could cut knife-sharp when I erred in text
Recitations, stanzas he knew by memory in
His venerable heart. He found god in smallest
Things, mixing finite with light of heavenly
Streams, pained realization in my breast.

"Saint Peter," Jusepe de Ribera, circa 1637, WikiArt photo.
“Saint Peter,” Jusepe de Ribera, circa 1637, WikiArt photo.

Sleeping by warm campfires, Kudret at my
Side, sheep bells ringing, teacher spoke to me
In dreams, “Honour immortals, follow in their
Footsteps, knowledge of divine gird you, our
Time is complete. God’s prophetess you have
Become.” With rising sun, my desert hermit
Was gone, footprints into sand disappearing
Beyond peaked dunes, for wondrous months,
His divine light visited in mortal form.

A poem of personal pilgrimage, the nature of the journey
and its timelessness will clarified in Part 3. Having read
Parts 1 and 2, who or what do Zayda, Kudret, and/or
Dolius represent? What other symbolism may be present? 

Next is “Part 3: Returning to Cypriot Past.”

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