Who Comes When Desert Howls

Who Comes When Desert Howls

Alone and without the mantle of the sky,
do my feet dig up the earth beneath the earth;
the cavern where bereft souls are seen to wander,
robbed of the Black Land and its gemstones of blue and green.

What goddess flares above my brow stripped of the moon’s fingers;
his beams do not find her nor does the morning star know her.
Here glowers the veil of sundown devoid of the sun;
where come the lonely bau-souls to await his noble passage.

By day I have crossed the Red Land in search of tamarisk memories;
how intoxicating an evening spent in the company of her branches.
The myrrh of earth’s celestial lady sought me out in my haze of joy;
life that summons the Gods to yearn for mortal breath never taken.

The Gods of the vault never tarry in flesh with starlight for a home;
their vessels of gold never knowing the void of existence without form;
yet their immortal endurance has never made the love that I have made;
their gilded rise as imperishable stars never savor where I have stayed.

In desert’s tempestuous voice I hear the Red One’s rage when he calls;
having wounded the Celestial Eye, his passage makes the sands seethe.
How the green days flee his footfall and the mountains hail his rancor;
their unbending spires endure as the green land meets its grave.

Blue of lapis you cannot meet my eyes nor taste my lips yearning;
green of turquoise cannot kiss my naked toes or clothe my ravenous heart.
Tamarisk and sycamore, your language has no words for my choked ears;
even the willow’s melancholy lips would be invited if I could hear.

Sunrise has no mantle for my loins which carry grave’s clinging veil;
shall the Sun-God’s eyes seek me out in dark hallows of mountain’s keep.
Blue-black shroud you confound my brow bereft of its pure gold;
my diadem of stars seeking other horizons to share its generous lights.

Does beauty find the eyes of the blind or music deafened ears?
My life has left its footsteps in the sand of its fragile years.
Regret you are my comfort in the place of willow’s hands;
the love I have made now fades behind me like those turquoise lands.

Age you have uncovered me when I hid in sweet blue waters;
the flood of youth was fast as it swelled the pride of my thighs.
Can I carry your sweetness in my arms or veil you in my heart;
where its ancient vessel remains unfilled amidst the burning sands.

I have held my ba-soul in arms stripped bare, its wings feebly clinging;
listening to its muted cries like those of a swallow snared in a net.
My enchantments deserted me with my youthful heart;
both tangled in the net of age which knows no remedy or master.

But in my keep I have a name unknown to age or desert’s ears;
before this life became my mother it followed on my heels.
No net can snare my secret name which sails above the wind;
he comes whenever I call him, and knows his hidden power.

Body I do not need you in land of red or green;
youth clinging to what it knows and mind to that unseen.
Let Gods find me journeying in the land where mountain scowls;
where my name travels fast as one who comes when desert howls.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

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