Clothed in white, my spirit sails the new horizon
where memory has never been forgotten,
in the place where the face of the northern sky blushes with stars;
theirs are remembrances of the first words ever spoken,
heard now with my ears upon the gusts that celebrate the sunrise.
“You remember where you sailed from”, they whisper behind my damp ears,
“from that lofty sycamore of memory which stretched the womb of the sky;
she yawned for you with her mouth in the evening,
and took you in with her flood to ride the waters where the sun descends.
The sun is your companion, like memory, which rises and falls
throughout the ages; but the knowledge he imparts is the eternal becoming,
which governs all things the Gods have reared upon their words.
“Gods are this forthcoming with the sun,
imbibing his memories as beams of light,
then rearing them as language in the turquoise boughs of the sycamore.
Her branches are the ages and her leaves every name ever spoken;
yours are reckoned with their malachite and green of jasper,
their turquoise of the sky whose constellations spell out your knowledge.
You have heard this knowledge where you sailed from,
the thighs of your Mother in the east, which bestowed you your beginning.
Listen to your mother who resides in the east,
for hers are the lips that know the memories of the sun
in his millions of circuits through her womb;
she who has counted them and knows their vast enchantments.
How many circuits and how many cycles has your spirit reckoned?
Look to the stars traversing their river in the sky,
in whose sacred depths the words of memory remain forever”.
I take my oar in hand across the waters;
their azure fills my eyes with the sky, my heart with the depths.
Gazing up to meet my Mother with fresh eyes and wet ears,
I inhale the savor of this Field of Reeds in which spirits paddle
the boats of yesterday and tomorrow.
Yesterday I was a sapling of that ancient sycamore,
with no more leaves than days stretching back behind me.
I did not know history or regret, nor the ages of my life
guided by the sun’s countless risings and settings;
these the courses of nature which remained a mystery
to my untested countenance.
Mother, take me to your holy shore from my boat of offerings;
let me offer what I bring to the sky who bore me,
feeding me her breast from which my names of many ages fell;
let me offer my feet to the earth who carried me,
giving me his roads and his fields of verdant memory;
let me offer my legs to the mountains who stood for me,
enduring my deeds as I traversed my name of history;
let me offer my knees to the trees who bent for me,
showing my body the ladder ascended by spirits;
let me offer my loins to the fields who gave me their seed,
sprouting for me the numberless beginnings of which we are made;
let me offer my manhood to the vault’s unwearying stars,
ascending for me as a map of my becoming in the twilight sky;
let me offer my navel to the sacred river who brought me,
quenching my ignorance with the flood of our ancient memory;
let me offer my breast to the south who nourished me,
bringing me the waters beneath which my memory was renewed;
let me offer my throat to the north who breathed me,
exhaling the divine language through which I live again;
let me offer my mouth to the west who took in my corpse,
weaving for me a pristine form from the net of indestructible stars;
let me offer my eyes to the east who beholds the reborn sun,
seeing my spirit come forth by dawn as a swallow of bright light;
let me offer my nostrils to the wind who brought me forward,
urging my bones to know their own strength against the tide;
let me offer my ears to the swallows who carry the voice of the Gods,
reminding my heart who truly gave its beating and its breath;
let me offer my brow to the peaks which pierce the veil of heaven,
bestowing my two eyes sight of the doors through which spirits fly;
let me offer the vessel of my heart to the Gods who comprise creation,
holding all the worlds in their tongues of sacred memory.
Mother, lead me to the waters of the sky where the stars never rest;
may they receive with their radiant hands my offerings,
my bones and my flesh clad in a pure mantle of light.
See my open palms raised to the starry vault above my brow,
and shine with your voice the knowledge of the open sky where I sail.
For I am your secret son born from the gap in the eastern sky,
and what I know is what throws wide open the doors of the portal of light.
I have seen by the renewed flame of the sun that heron of flashing plume,
whose crest has become my crest on the golden thighs of dawn;
his language is my language which bespeaks the Gods,
numberless as the unceasing stars in the midnight sky.
She is my sky and my Mother,
lifting me up by her flood to the place of my new beginning.
I take my oar in hand to the horizon where spirits rise as herons;
they alight for my outstretched arms on their Mound of our beginning.
Remove the earth from my well-traveled feet and give me my birth,
from this Mound where the flood retreated from the sun;
I come clothed in white to drink the ancient waters.
This is the treading-place of spirits on their celestial wings,
where I too have traveled in a boat sped by the arms of Mother Sky.
She yawned for me with her mouth in the morning,
opening her horizon to send me forth where the sun ascends.
The sun is my companion, like memory, which enters and departs
throughout my ages; but the knowledge he imparts is my eternal becoming,
which governs all my forms the Gods have reared upon their words.
All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa