Young world explorer stands on high hill top,
cape fluttering in wind, hand grasping long wand,
and bright jewel gleaming in his other hand,
as he turns around, eyes observing island
of treed mountains, lush valleys, and broad streams
that flow in deep sparkling Okeanos Sea.
"How beautiful this world shines in my eyes,
all whole solid shapes of mountains, trees, clouds,
and animals bulging within tight bounds
of their shapes, yet I see fabric of web
composing their bodies formed from small parts,
particles shining as they throb and swirl.
What holds their shapes together and prevents
solid bodies from dissolving to dust
when pulsing gusts of wind blast at their skins?
How quiet and still appears at this flash
of changing time round hill where trees sprout tall
and wide lake that shimmers in rays of light,
and everywhere around me in clear space
I seem to sense someone observing me.
I feel some unseen presence shining bright
as if warm sun is gazing down at me,
but this conceit was planted in my mind,
like farmer planting seed in soil that sprouts
into sapling that will bear juicy fruit,
when my father pointed to shining sphere
and called him Helios, and explained that sun
is powerful god who rides horse of white fire
and sees everything that occurs on Gaia.
Helios, if you are real, descend on wings
and reveal your face so I can detect
conscious awareness in your blazing eyes.
When I shout my words advance across lake,
and echo back from cliff behind tall trees,
as if I am divine spirit of light
observing myself talking by clear lake.
I wait, yet nothing happens that seems strange,
and when I look around at hill of trees
I see nothing but mound of crumbling dirt
and tall thin trunks where leaves flutter in wind.
I look down and see shadow of my soul
cast by my body blocking rays of light,
and fancy I see my own self appear
across lake expanse and swim toward my spot.
I feel my chest and face, and know I am
real living human talking to myself,
for I am alone in meadow of flowers,
and no one but me stands on this lake shore,
so I know I alone am here awake.
I beam my conscious soul on wind-blown words
like sphere of fire beams flowing waves of light,
therefore I think sun is no conscious god,
and nothing more than giant ball of flames.
That shivering sense that presence of great mind
watches me is no more than my own mind.
I am Helios aware I am alive."
from Garden of Epikouros
Hermead Epic of Philosophers