Sacred Verses (30): We Are All Shadows / Traveling Through the Open Doors

We Are All Shadows

Earth, you are the residence of my bones,
the keep of my flesh with me from the beginning,
the house my ancient father made for me;
I will never be separated from you,
as your mountains will never be separated from your horizons;
they will endure on your loins as the sycamore endures,
rearing the green essence of field and meadow,
orchard and vineyard, cavern and grove.
You have passed to me these secret things from your seed,
and I carry them with me as the swallows carry the sun.

Sky, you are the residence of my spirit,
the keep of my shade with me from the beginning,
the house my ancient mother made for me;
I will never be separated from you,
as your stars will never be separated from your vault;
they will remain imperishable as your directions are imperishable,
holding aloft the gleam of Mooring Post and Bull’s Foreleg,
She-Hippopotamus and Crocodile, Lion and Myriad.
You have passed to me these constant things from your breast,
and I carry them with me as the winds carry the clouds.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the earth,
who gives us his seed of the ages stretching back to our beginning;
where we come from the gap of darkness and into the day;
where the thighs of our mother stretch forth to give us the world;
where the world is held up by the ocean encircled by void;
where the void is the source of the many from which the world is woven;
where darkness is the warp and light the weft of the primordial gods;
where the Gods comprise earth and sky, below and above, seed and womb;
where are hidden the children of the earth in the tears of daylight;
where the west swallows the stars that are born again from her body;
where the east spreads wide for the mirror of the swelling sun;
where are completed all the Mysteries that go forth as creation’s shadows.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the sky,
who gives us her breast of the eternal courses traversed by the sun;
traversed by the Unwearying Stars who rise and set by me;
traversed by the ark of daybreak which sails with me;
traversed by the ark of twilight which moors with me;
traversed by the souls of the north which provide breath for me;
traversed by the souls of the south which provide water for me;
traversed by the hawk of the east who shines gold on me;
traversed by the stork of the west who gives flight to me;
traversed by the Sun-God whose right eye opens for me;
traversed by the Moon-God whose left eye opens for me;
traversed by all the Secrets that go forth as life’s shadows.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of flesh and bone;
I take the pathway of doors my corpse provides,
steering me with the hand of my senses into the field beyond.
Life is my father, the deeds of my skin,
and death is my mother, whose clothing of the dusk conceals the virgin dawn.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the eyes;
I take the road of doors my mirrors provide,
gazing through my corpse and predicting the spirit following the flesh.
Daylight is the map my living feet tread,
and nightfall is the guide of my starry stride.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the ears;
I take the counsel of doors my music provides,
singing from the sparrows who hear the sun’s summons.
Earthly voices are the direction of my bones,
while the words of the sky provide wings for my soul.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the nose;
I inhale the incense of doors the earth provides,
swelling my worldly lungs with the savor of the immortal Gods.
Sweat is the scent of my corpse of the earth,
while breath is the flavor of my spirit of air going forth.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the mountains;
I ascend the soil of doors the beginning provides,
bursting up through the ocean of my mother as the mound.
My base is the road taken by the sun when he declines,
while my apex is the golden throne his ascension mounts.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the winds;
I sail the watercourse of doors sky’s breath provides,
moving in and moving out from the reach of the horizons.
My coming from the north revivifies the eternal sky,
while my coming from the south renews the enduring earth.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the rivers;
I quicken the flood of doors the netherworld provides,
overflowing every channel where my name spreads like water.
My water of the fields is the green of precious turquoise,
while my water in the sky is the starry veil of lapis lazuli.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the east;
I take to my breast the lotus of doors daybreak provides,
striking my heart with the fiery crest of a heron.
His call is my name rising from the pyramidion of the sun,
and his alighting is my soul’s forthcoming to the region of eternity.

We are all shadows
traveling through the open doors of the west;
I enter the mouth of doors twilight provides,
reuniting with my mother who acclaims her star-born child.
Her darkness is the secret cavern where my corpse is renewed,
while her light is the celestial door thrown open for my soul.

I am a shadow, like all the shadows
traveling through the open doors of the worlds;
we enter the lifetimes of doors eternity provides,
going forth by dawn and coming in by dusk.
Our life is the earth our corpse mirrors in daylight,
while death is the sky our soul ascends when night is opened.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

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