Whose words now ring in my ears upon leaving this western land?
It is the language of the Gods that becomes my enchantment,
removing the earth resting heavy on my limbs;
this earth into whom men retreat when their time on the banks has ended.
What I have accomplished is the swallowing of slumber by the nether sky;
she has devoured my sleep and fashioned for me the body of a star.
Sky, my Mother, has shouted for me my inheritance from the stars,
which have risen on the ladder of the east,
making love to the morning horizon.
Departing now, this land of the west;
fed by its stream, clad in the shades of its Gods,
and recognized as one of its effective spirits,
I withdraw in the company of the sun;
his body feeding the mouths of the hungry spirits with gold;
his eyes restoring their sight with beams of turquoise;
his form brightening their twilight waters with his burnished reflection.
Whose reflection do my eyes see in the water below?
My own two eyes stare back through the opaque keep of the flood;
and this brilliant countenance is my own, by whom the spirits are roused.
“Let us remember the language of that Ancient Earth”, they say,
“He having come before the primordial Gods;
He having moved the waters, pushing aside their torrent
to stand on the Mound of the first horizon;
he having brightened the first horizon with his mirror;
he having opened his two eyes in the hallows of darkness
to find the earth and sky;
he having pulled the Mound of ages from the embrace of nether sky;
he having clashed with serpents on the outer limits of the world;
he having brought the world up and out of darkness;
he being our first sun on our first horizon;
he finding his hand in the shadows and embracing his loins with her savor;
he becoming she, and they having spoken the language of the Gods
Let us remember them with the language of memory,
which clothes the naked earth and returns the stars to their sky!”
Whose language becomes my memory of my many ages?
It is my heart traversing these lonely waters with me;
this waterway being the place where spirits may forget their memory,
wandering in the shadows and starving for the Sun-God’s light.
It is when we have forgotten the ancient language of the heart
that we lose the radiance of our effective spirit;
alighting not, but taking flight as an ibis into the western vault.
Ibis, you with your glimmering crest are the return of my heart to me;
remembering your transparent beauty,
your gold-dappled plumage,
your light’s mantle of many colors;
I call you to my breast and hold you there.
Your language is the memory of my heart,
speaking from your most ancient time as the passage of my many ages.
Ibis, who like moon’s crest shines by night,
fills my breast with his awareness light;
I behold the sights that he has seen,
in west’s full shadows and east’s bright sheen.
My heart flies fast to its ancient source,
upon whose leaves reads a stellar course;
the tree of Gods where the sun is reborn,
to grapple night’s serpent whose coils are shorn.
O earth of my Father and Mother’s sky,
I drink from your tree of my ages gone by;
its waters to fill me as west’s shadows fall,
its life to become me as eastern lights call.
A persea tree flowers after gloaming calls,
with malachite leaves and electrum boughs reaching heaven’s veil.
It beckons the stars to spell out their courses upon its oracular leaves;
these being written by knowing hands whose portends govern ages.
This is the place where my ibis heart has led me;
his wings unfurl the leaves upon which my names are written.
Twilight’s ears have never heard my names nor slumber imbibed them;
for only the dawn can read this most ancient language,
carried upon the tongue of the north wind and its stars.
Whose stars are these in their ascent over my northern brow?
They are my many and secret names clad in the Sun-God’s colors.
Here I come in the entourage of the northern stars,
whose channels through the celestial waters become my guide;
following after them, I behold my body rise from its deep horizon,
enchanting the banks of the earth below.
Behold you earth and sands of the ravenous desert!
I have risen above your graves, and your sands do not know me.
Your red land cannot possess my shroud of slumber,
nor your spirits hold my heart from its starry flight!
See me now you snares and clutches of the outer darkness,
for I have transformed my shade to become an ibis
of dazzling crest and plumage!
Whose name do I carry in my bill of hallowed metal?
Lord of the Eight Primordials is my name when my crest glimmers;
it is the badge of the eight and ancient Gods who assembled in the flood,
their tongues predicting the following of day after night;
their hands weaving the warp of light with the weft of shadow;
their loins meeting in the embrace of void and substance;
their feet treading the Mound and their hands uplifting the vault;
their right eyes foretelling the sun and their left eyes foretelling the moon;
their north becoming the wind and their south becoming the waters;
their serpents biting time and swallowing eternity;
and their language twining the first beginning as the birth of the Gods.
These are the words that have caused my ascension in the east,
while the west pays me homage on the day of my farewell;
not knowing me to tarry in its sands or follow after its graves,
I go forth by the uplifted hand of the morning sky.
Come near and hear these secrets of the Hidden Shrine
where my effective spirit has flown;
its scent of heady myrrh precedes the forthcoming of a god,
whose tamarisk feet bestow the lifespan of the sky to earth’s spirits.
Are you one of those spirits of the earth with famished lips?
Come then and drink these Mysteries had from the Ancient Earth,
which lifted up the Mound at the time of the first beginning;
they became the world’s nourishment when the Gods came into being.
My heart is an ibis with a crest of winking silver;
it carries the pale sky upon its wings of divine strength.
His scent is the myrrh which foretells the footfall of Gods,
hidden in their clouds of heavenly savor.
Their feet know the memories of the Ancient Earth,
whose ages came before the birth of breathing men.
Their ages came before all breath and its speech;
but their breath is the language through which speech is known.
The tongue cannot speak it nor the breath know it
until the heart draws it from the Mount of its beginning.
Will you rise as I have risen upon that dawning Mound?
My heart has woven a miracle for my breath and tongue;
proclaiming the speech of the Gods known before the world’s beginning.
These are the words secreted within the courses of unwearying stars,
the northern and eastern heavens resounding with their powers.
These are the words that ring in my ears upon entering this eastern land;
they are the enchantments of the Gods beheld by my effective spirit.
All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa