Saint Mary Magdalene of the Desert, Jusepe de Ribera, c. 1641, WikiArt photo.
Saint Mary Magdalene of the Desert, Jusepe de Ribera, c. 1641, WikiArt photo.

Part 3: Return to Cypriot Past

To Cypriot shores, my heart guided me,
Not as slave girl, but woman who knew
Divine Dolius, studying at his feet, new
Creation desert-crucible formed. Kudret
And I journeyed by merchant ship to city
Of Paphos, yearling pig sacrificed in my
Stead. O! How my life had been trans-
Formed, shepherdess to prophetess.

Welling within were stanzas and verses of
Temple papyri, wisdom of ages, chapters
Committed to memory. Yet, I knew not how
To begin this life anew, where or when to
Speak of divine, to one person or to crowds
Assembled. Miracles I could not perform,
Nor heal sick, feed hungry, allay soul’s
Infirmities, for I was but coinless mother
With needful toddler son.

"Slave Market," Jean-Leon Germone, circa 1866, WikiArt photo.
“Slave Market,” Jean-Leon Germone, circa 1866, WikiArt photo.

Along walled streets of Paphos I crept,
Kudret in my arms, dressed in dark robes
Of Libyan shepherdess, no one took notice,
Until my old master encountered me, bitter
Pain seized his heart, he recognized me for
What I used to be, slave girl with his son.
Hand opened in peace, I stated, “I have
Beheld earth, starry heavens, cresting
Seas, release your heartfelt sorrows.”

With fanfare, he ushered Kudret and myself
To his villa, tearfully taking our son in his
Arms, my place amongst his daughters, we
Bathed and rested in finest luxury. Yet, he
Understood no words of what I said of Dolius
And his teachings. In fact, he knew nothing
Of what I spoke, fearing divinity was too
Puzzling or complex, I returned his offerings
With bows and grateful smiles.

"Soul Carried to Heaven," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, circa 1878, WikiArt photo.
“Soul Carried to Heaven,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, circa 1878, WikiArt photo.

Vexing, I could not feel coolness of bathing
Pools, softness of tiger-skin draped bed,
Tasteless was honeyed fruit, wax upon my
Lips, spiraling images of fear and dying,
Sharp dagger stabbing into breasts, stabs to
Waxing womb, blood spurting, Dolius greeted
Me above clouds. “Visions you were gifted
Of what should have been,” he stated, “all
Dreamt between thrusting blade and death.”

“I must go beyond the dark world of sense information to
the clear brilliance of the sunlight of the outside world.” ― Plato

Thanks so very much being a part of my poetic journey, reaching
600 poems.

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