To Kyrene

Relief: Kyrene, overpowering a lion, is crowned by Libya. © 2019 Trustees of the British Museum.

Maiden girl, strong of heart, upon the mountainside,
Had Artemis taught the huntress’ art in your tender youth?
To brave the untamable wilds where men dare not,
To wrestle the bright-maned lion to the rocky sloping stone,
Strong of arm, strong of spirit, to protect the tender flock,
To draw the fated blood from the lion’s tawny neck,
With not a weapon in your shapely hand!

Strong-limbed, bright-browed, were you a nymph in her company?
Delighting in the spear and flashing arrow to bring the beast to ground,
And how many hearts of gods did turn to see racing girls,
With wild cries and dancing steps across the mountainside.
Artemis prepared the way, rearing you in her wild arts,
Producing a spirit that would stay, to not be hindered by dreaded fear,
To not take to the wind and flee away, but to know the game of hunt,
And the fortune to which it ends,
This dance between hunter and hunted.

Why would not a god, when seeing your valiant spirit bright,
Not have the heart within his breast beat for you his bride.
He caught you from the mountainside, to tangle with a greater hunt,
Danger never sweeter than that loving hunter who draws in quick,
To capture his maiden huntress bride upon that high windy cliff.

To Apollo Creusa bore Ion,
And sprung a fair granddaughter, Chlidanope,
And she in grace bore you, lovely nymph,
Born to capture a golden heart.
For Apollo to love you upon windy Pelion,
And he loved you in the flowered bed,
Arranged so artfully by the pillow
And by the bloom of Aphrodite’s blessed hand.
And there the bright-haired women in joy
Did dance to your marriage crown.

Hail to you most blessed among women, fire-sparking heart,
To you born a great generation, nurtured at the breast of the Earth.
Fortunate woman in Apollo’s loving embrace, mortal-born nymph,
Apollo’s tender gifts ran plenty for his love, his bright-eyed bride,
To your honor and affection
The nymphai dwell in company at your side.

— Lykeia (Published in Hymns from the Temple, 2010)

Arrows

Flying
High over the trees
And striking
Clean through the hearts
Of the young boys

Running
They are running
Screaming in terror
Confused by the wrath
Of a God

Tearing
Straight through
And ripping
The flesh from soft bones
Not yet hardened by life

Falling
Hard upon the ground
So warm
Red and pooling
Soaking in deep

Wailing
Throaty and rasping
Keening to the sound
Of bodies thrashing
And convulsing their last

Silence
Quiet and still
Red eyes
Soaking in a red scene
Everything lost to hubris

— Columbine

Belonging

I belong to Apollon– the prize of my Lord.  He sees me, He knows me.  I yield to His word.  Who I am, what I am, are extensions of Him.  I walk this world primly, and am bound to His whim.

And yet, no greater freedom have I found, anywhere.  For I pursue my own goals with the utmost care.

I belong to the Prince.  Aegletes, Lykeios.  Phosphoros, Telchinios.  God of sunset and wolves.  Of stars and tornadoes.  None of these can ever be tamed.  So it is with myself.  I alone hold the reigns.

And yet, I am compelled to do as He pleases, for my head and my heart embrace all of His reasons.

I belong to Despota, the one who is Master.  He who becomes the unyeilding disaster.  His will becomes mine, and for it I’m grateful.  His eminent knowledge spares me from what’s hateful.

And yet, I am human, and sometimes can be hurt, but Apollon knows all, and rends lies in the dirt.

I belong to the God with the serene smile.  But make no mistake.  With Him, life is a trial.  In all that I am, and in all that I do, He pushes and moulds me ’til I acknowledge His veiw.

And yet, through His shaping I am made better– more whole.  For such is the fate of the untempered soul.

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 3]

We Remember

O Lord of the many paths
We remember You
O Lord of the flirtatious wind
We remember You
O Lord of shining smiles who lures all eyes in His direction
We remember You

 

Apollon, God of temperamental thought
Apollon, Prince of disciplined action
Apollon of the way that is both light and dark
We remember You

 

O Lord of deepest ambition
We remember You
O Lord of swift motivation
We remember You
O Lord of the true example of Will made manifest
We remember You

 

Apollon, harbinger of change
Apollon, bringer of storms
Apollon who directs us in each new endeavor
We remember You

 

O Lord of what lies between
We remember You
O Lord of that which is untouchable
We remember You
O Lord of the sacred and cleanser of the profane
We remember You

 

Apollon, God of ambiguous oracles
Apollon, God of the poet’s tongue
Apollon of the arts of sound and movement
We remember You

 

O Lord of skill unequaled
We remember You
O Lord whose love is unrivaled
We remember You
O Lord who embraces fully the truth of our natures
We remember You

 

Apollon, teacher of difficult lessons
Apollon, restorer of troubled souls
Apollon who dispenses clarity in forms both desired and unwanted
We remember You

 

— Columbine, 7/14/2016

The Red Cloak

You, streaking across the wilderness

Darting between the doors of civilization

A phantom, an apparition now gone

Trailing behind You is the red cloak of sunrise

For where You have passed, night retreats

And where You have been, the sun too shall be

And when the light arrives, I will be waiting,

Waiting to catch the scarcest glimpse of You

Fading into the dawn

 

O Lord, Who is the majesty of the spaces between our natures

Of animal and human

Of predator and prey

Of survival and starvation

Of twilight and midday

Wrap me in Your blood red cloak,

That I might always feel the blood within me

Like rivers upon the landscape

 

Aegletes!

Apollon Aegletes!

O Shining God!

Welcome to these lands

Nourished upon Your Truth

Strengthened by Your perilous winds

And never to feel a moment without Your Love

Come, O Glorious One!

As the day progresses, so too shall my thoughts of You

And Your red cloak drifting downward,

Sunset settling upon my dwelling place

 

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 1]

The House of Lions

The House is full of lions;

ferocious and cunning and sleek

They lounge in rooms of plenty,

never wanting for fresh meat

 

Their coats and manes shine, splendid,

with the allure of those untouchable

And they are not offended,

so long as you’re unreachable

 

But, step foot inside their House,

and you will know them, surely

Not unlike the timid mouse,

you’ll die, or heed this warning

 

The House is full of lions;

savage and gentle and sweet

They are My finest weapons,

and against them none shall compete

 

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 7]

The Instrument of Apollon

I am the instrument of my Lord

His breath moves through me, and I speak the melody of His thought

In the dance, He leads, like violins leading the score

His wrist and fingers command, and from me the pure sound is wrought

Keen is Apollon in the Hunt;

bow drawn and arrow flung, as swiftly as the lightning strikes

With penned words, both soothing and blunt,

He delivers with regard only to the right

~

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 6]

His Lantern

I hold His fire, I tend His glimmering flame

He keeps me near Him, bound by love and pain

To be a lantern, delivering His light

To shine, relentless through Winter’s long nights

 

He speaks of many things, in my wafting presence

I will keep His secrets, while He tours the Heavens

And in our contemplation of the nearness of our souls

We revel in the future, which only He may know

 

Oh, how He darkly shines, a contradiction most Divine

Prince and King in one is He, ascending toward His faculty

The throne awaits Him; only knowledge will sate Him

Watching and learning, He plans, and soon will play His hand

 

And while He attends the business of Gods

I, His lantern, shall herald His cause

Through the cold, and the dark, and the fearful season

I will carry His spark, and thus shall I please Him

 

I glow with His light, for I am His lantern

He keeps me close, and vows not to abandon

The love that is ours, and the hopes that we share

For the Light of the World is beyond all compare

 

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 2]

The Storm I Seek

You are the storm I seek, and the path I travel even while the world awaits Your return.  For You have gone, yet do You remain here, in my heart and hearth.

You are the foundation of my love and the one who is worthy.  You are the fury stirring within me, and the pride of my accomplishments.

You are the sunrise and its blazing trail through the sky, and through Your love I am purified.

Through Your touch I am healed, and I willingly give myself to You.

Your kisses can be like ice or fire or scathing sands.  You are all of these, expressed in pure, raw emotion.

Oh, yes, You are the Restrained One, but You are also the frenzy of the chase, and the instigator of lust.  For You, I am purified.

From You I do not hide, but sit quietly and patiently for Your arrival.  And You are coming… and I will be here, waiting.

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 1]

Prayer for Aegletia

Blessed are You, Apollon, light of this world
May we be kept within Your reach
Always striving to seek what is right
And what is good among all life situations

Blessed are You, Apollon, gleaming in the distance
May Your trail illuminate the ways
That we may follow You
Even as the dark begins its reign

Blessed are You, Apollon, wolf of twilight
May we never run fearfully from Your howl
Which is the precursor to Your embrace
And a warning to the many who cross Your path

Blessed are You, Apollon, perched upon a high throne
May we bask in Your radiance, yearning to honor You
In action, as well as speech
For You are the arbiter of peace and righteousness

Blessed are You, Apollon, our Lord, our King
Riding on the winds, holding sway over the Seasons
May we know You as intimately as the soil knows the rain
And may we dance to the melody of Your lyre, in Winter, once again

— Columbine