Dikteon Cave

Above the Lassithi Plain, I climb
and climb, until a caress from the wind
and a welcome bench allow me rest.
Other pilgrims pass, perhaps repeating
in their minds, as do I, their prayers.
Above the village of Psychro
in the Dikte Mountains of Crete,
I climb to the Dikteon Cave
for the sake of the world’s healing,
or more truly, I climb and don’t know why;
for to answer the call, a pilgrim
need not comprehend it.
I resume the climb and follow blind.

Finally the cave where Zeus, they say,
was hid, and fed by bees and goats,
in a place that made him safe.
Now my steps are downward into dark.
The Mother draws me deeper.
I didn’t know, how could I know
She has such wet and fluted columns,
and forms of every flowing shape.
Here Minoans wedged in crevices
little golden double axes,
votives offered to the Mother.
In the upper chamber, a stuccoed altar,
then rock-cut stairs descending to a pool
where stalagmites rise massive
and a stalactite cloaks over us.

The Dikteon Cave envelops
my little human motions
in its spreading garment of darkness.
The grotto, like my body,
is shaped around an empty space.
How deep it is she takes me,
how directly she connects me
to my womb inside the earth.
I’ve lived my seven decades on her surface,
a slowly drifting crust, an outer layer only,
which I mistook for Earth herself.
Now I orient anew,
fathoming our fullness.

©Susa Silvermarie 2019

Archaeological finds show uninterrupted human presence in the Dikteon Cave for 6000 years.

 

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