Sacred Verses (33): I Walk With Spirits

I Walk With Spirits

I walk with the desert;
he is the red land of my sorrow and regret,
clinging to my feet as the sand of ages past;
he stretches out not as a lover,
but as a debtor demanding recompense.
My sky takes me by the hand in the face of those sands,
and on the distant horizon I behold the mirror of water;
she is the mother of my new life, waiting;
so I have come back to the place where my feet began.

I walk with the trees,
remembering the yew of my boyhood,
whose words of the future heralded my past;
to be reborn through memory would be my mountain to climb.
He has boughs of yesterday and leaves of tomorrow,
my yew who keeps our past and remembers our future;
older than the vault of the sky, his prophecies hold our beginning.
Through him I recall the breath of myrrh, the Sacred Ones who travel;
they are the Gods who offered me my lungs, who gave me the Ancestral breath.
He is the father of my new memory, enduring;
so I have come back to the place where my history began.

I walk with the river;
she rushes over my feet to find me my spirit,
who travels along the watery road where life and death mingle.
Has she swallowed the crocodiles that wait in the darkness,
my pains of sharp teeth who surface to remind me;
or has she drowned them, those sorrows of impenetrable scales,
my boyhood and wayward youth who hunger to surface.
But I will not find them, not in the shallows where the lotus rises;
he pushes up his face from the mud to drink the golden light.
This is what spirits do when they find darkness,
and this is what my spirit becomes when first light catches his eyes.
He is the lotus that came from my beginning, opening;
so I have come back to where my spirit began.

I walk with my body,
who carries the scars of my mother and father upon him;
for we all wear our history like clothes,
putting some on with relish and discarding others;
how my wardrobe has ransomed my heart for their promises.
I had the scarf of youth and the boots of pleasure,
now worn out like my hands, who carry my heart in thin fingers.
I will not now count the brilliant fabrics I possessed,
now that my body moves sky-clad beneath a mantle of stars;
for this is where I came from, and where you who read me were born.
My stars take me by the fingers and lead me to sky’s shelter;
she is the lapis womb whose waters receive me, swimming;
so I have come back to where my flesh began.

I walk with my lovers;
they give me their manhood and mine, their skin and consolation.
I have had them by moonlight, where my lips taste ivory beams;
I have had them by daybreak, where the sun strikes naked thighs with gold.
I have heard the promises of sages warning of the flesh;
where are their bones now?
I have listened to the sacral threats of ages;
have their fears ever shown us how?
Now I take you with me, all you lovers from my bed;
in memory you live again, on lips and breath and kisses.
You have taught me how precious a gift life is;
shorter than twilight, and sweeter than vain promises or threats.
You are the thighs my spirit enters, renewing;
so I have come back to where my heart began.

I walk with my heart,
gleaming even after nightfall as a stone of sanguine carnelian;
he holds the sun between his lips even after sundown.
He has been lost in a bramble where my hopes found him,
as all hearts are found even when shade takes them.
Shade, you are a gale in the hands of time,
but you make the heart endure with its fragile light;
it is light that bends like a sapling, yet withstands the gale of experience.
Now I imbibe the wind at my back, tasting what life has given me;
and it is still life as it pours from one vessel to another.
He is the container of the sun in which I set, rising;
so I have come back to where my light began.

I walk with swallows,
those little birds of great flight who soar over seas;
their untiring wings find me wherever I wander.
Give me your cloaks of lapis lazuli, your hood of blood red;
and give me your morning call to summon the potent sun.
Yours is the language of time’s beginning where men are made;
yours is sight of sunbeams upheld by wings of shade.
I open my body to let my spirit fly with you;
and this is where we all travel once our skins are shed.
You are the voices of earth that mingle with heaven, flying;
so I have come back to where my speech began.

I walk with the dead;
they came before me with the rising sun,
and they departed when the song of eventide ended.
They are my mothers and my fathers, my conscience and memory;
I remember we came from many, no matter how the one howls.
It is the Ancestors who keep me in the language of their names;
their names are the warp and weft from which our future weaves.
I make my heart a libation from which my past drinks,
while my future is a stream of memories pouring from history’s bones.
I open my memory to let my body become you;
and this is where we multiply once we set our memory free.
You are the ages past from where I hail, living;
so I have come back to where my future began.

I walk with spirits,
who pass through the doors of flesh and bone,
who know where the earth meets the sky;
they know the caverns in the ever-standing mountains,
the portals of imperishable stars flashing.
Their river is a road in the nether sky, where wings of sparrows tread;
they make of the earth a memory, and from sky they make a bed.
How soft their whisper in half-forgotten words, I hear with open heart;
how our past comes calling when our spirit makes a start.
My shadow takes my fingers and leads me to a door;
the earth becomes my lintel as the sky becomes my floor.
You are the memory of me time keeps, returning;
so I have come back to where my travels began.

I walk with the Gods;
they came before us with the rising waters,
and they have never departed, even as our memory faded.
They are our mothers and fathers, our beginning and our end;
and I remember we came from many, no matter how the one howls.
You found me when I was naked on the other shore;
your doors in the sky you opened, where my feet of the earth could drink.
The desert of my memory becomes a field of turquoise,
where the sycamore and tamarisk hold the florid sky.
I am the memory of leaves and branches glistening in the green;
now the sparrows find me as a home for the weary vault.
Come Gods, you stellar wings of earth and sky;
lift up my bones of memory where stars make bright their doors.
I open up my body to let my memory become you;
and this is where immortality finds us once we set our memory free.
You are creation’s waters where spirits hail, ascending;
so I have come back to where my soul began.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

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Stronger Than the Current / Beautiful Crocodile

Stronger Than the Current

When the holy river comes for me
he is a raging nest of crocodiles in my path;
what light the stars shone was consumed
by their cavernous bellies;
the stars of the north which rose for me;
the Bull’s Thigh which sent me a ladder,
glinting upon my lapis horizon;
a torch which showered molten gold upon my feet.
These are the treasures the sky gave me,
dressed in their luminous mantle;
and I too wore that cloak of stars on my shoulders,
until the river came with his terrors.

This flood pulls down the horizon from my brow,
coming down from between the mountains to take me.
In his wet hands like a lover I fall,
opening my heart to be devoured by the depths;
but this heart of mine is stronger than the current,
a stone of malachite with his flint edge.

Beautiful crocodile, I taste your bite and inhale your savor,
your gold, and your carnelian eyes;
you bring me my death, and I bring you my smile;
for this body you take is not the one in which I travel.
Beautiful crocodile, I take your bite for a lover,
and my heart grows back as a malachite stone.
These are the treasures the dark flood has given me,
what create or destroy the passions of men.

When your holy body comes for me
he is a torch of fragrant cedar in the arms of the wind;
his navel of electrum shines through the veil
twilight brings with his whisper.
I am confounded by your myrrh worn like a garland;
I am suspended from your neck as a chain of gold;
and who seeks me out but a heart of malachite
with his flint edge,
that beautiful crocodile with his ecstatic bite.
A stream of moonlight shone from my hand,
drawn from your stellar skin I had by heaven’s gaze;
these are the treasures the earth gave me,
stripped of his dusky mantle;
and I too wore that cloak of moonlight on my shoulders,
until the sun came with his commands.

Beautiful crocodile, I wear your skin and know your scales,
your teeth, and your potent aura;
you bring me my second life, and I bring you my power;
for this heart you take is not the one in which I travel.
Beautiful crocodile, I take your flesh for a lover,
and my will grows back as a malachite stone.
These are the treasures the dark night has given me,
what create or destroy the futures of men.

When the holy flood returns for me
he is a shady sycamore in my path;
what light the stars shine is sheltered in his branches;
the northern stars that rise for my brow,
the Bull’s Thigh that opens my eyes;
the heron of luminous crest
surpassing twilight’s grasp;
a torch of fine gold appearing in east’s mirror,
whose gaze falls upon my feet ascending.
These are the treasures the sky gives me,
dressed in their eternal mantle;
and I too wear that cloak of stars on my shoulders,
until the river comes with his darkness.

This flood brings up the horizon to my brow,
rushing up from between his thighs to take me.
In his wet hands like a lover I fall,
opening my heart to be devoured by the depths;
but this heart of mine is stronger than the current,
a stone of malachite with his flint edge.

Beautiful crocodile, I taste your vigor and inhale your desire,
your turquoise, and your thighs of gold;
you bring me my life, and I bring you my vessel;
for this body you take is not the one in which I travel.
Beautiful crocodile, I take your soul for a lover,
and my heart grows back as a malachite stone.
These are the treasures the dark flood has given me,
what create or destroy the eternities of men.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

My Ba-Soul Found A Home

My Ba-Soul Found A Home

My body found a home
on the day the earth was opened;
he made a sanctuary for me
and filled it with sand.
His gale was the mourning of time
tearing through the lonely peaks;
that one western peak still lit by the dying sun.
Do they come to shed tears for me,
these winds, these sands, these peaks;
or do they proclaim time as the victor,
whose unstoppable footfall makes pilgrimage
to every door.

My image found a home
with blue marguerites on gold;
they flashed for my hidden eyes
against a shroud like the empty sky.
While the mountains reach to embrace her-
she stretching naked above-
my hands find garlands of cornflowers
chanting in heavenly tones.
Do all their petals sing for me,
the cornflower, lotus, and mandrake;
or do they bid the living to live,
to wear well life’s fragile garland.

My ren-name found a home
like a nest in your memory,
where swallows twitter the words
the Gods wove on my mother’s tongue.
Speaking the colors of dawn- never of sunset-
you bring back my steps
to the gate of the eastern sky;
he receives me with a flourish of music
from your garden.
I hear the acclamation of sycamores
as my name darts between them;
my memory comes on swallow’s wings
to lift your heart to my eaves.
Do they always speak of me,
the sycamore, acacia, and willow;
or do they speak of life in their boughs,
swept up by the breath of the wind when he blows.

My ab-heart found a home
where the heron flies by day;
on his breast where the sun is born,
where the turquoise of sunrise hails.
I see with carnelian eyes and hear with jasper ears,
when the flight of spirits opens the sky
to close west’s hungry eyes.
Find me a crest, a wing, a talon;
for I have heard every bird with my ears,
and seen their trek with my eyes.
There is no clothing on the sky
when my heart beats below her;
she makes bright with starry form
my naked loins inside her.
Do they shine for me,
these stars, these lights, these lamps;
or do they tell of heaven’s hold
on earth’s ever-changing skin.

My ka-double found a home
where the ancient Gods abide;
whose immortal bodies share their life
from the flood where life began.
I was with them- all these Gods-
before the heavens and earth existed;
and I shall rise with their enduring stars
beyond the life of the world.
Deny or receive them, these Gods live,
whose forms may not be counted;
and I shall live with them in the vault
where travel the uncountable stars.
Do they travel for you in the sky,
these Gods, these stars, these ages;
or do they endure without our will
to shine for creation’s eyes.

My ba-soul found a home
in the place where jabirus walk;
their trail in the florid veil beckons wide,
a beacon of dancing flame.
The door was closed behind him
when twilight’s mouth was opened;
another door before his eyes
made wings from the dying sky.
I chase the rising stars by night,
their gates hold west at bay;
I make the dawn my gilded flight,
my corpse to rest by day.
Do they behold my corpse when he sleeps,
these birds of stellar design;
or do they see a changeless light
these eyes can see as mine.

My khaibit-shadow found a home
beside the swollen river,
whose tongue of beginnings speaks my name
when the nether waters rise.
I am this god who rises
from death’s terrestrial cavern;
to pass through the lapis veil above
without time’s heavy shroud.
Do not look for me in earth or tomb
where corpses go to slumber;
for I like the Gods pass through these doors
to claim the untiring sky.
Will you look for me within these hands,
this earth, this tomb, this corpse;
or will you see me as I soar,
a shade of the starry mantle.

My sekhem-power found a home
between the mountain’s thighs;
her gap in waiting held me tight
where the seed of the sun is born.
She glimmers for me with gold and electrum,
with lapis and turquoise stones;
these gods to become my flesh,
these spirits to become my bones.
You wear me like a garland of spring
whose poppies raise you high;
I throb as that drum between your legs
which reaches for the sky.
Does he come for me at dawn,
your spring, your drum, your garland;
or does he rise on the life within him
that knows the immortal cry.

My effective-akh found a home
in the nether marsh of light;
his radiant crest brought me up
where the Eye of the Sun is woken.
My plumes of dappled luster
foretell the day when dusk has fallen;
my eyes display the body of the sun
in whose mirror I am reflected.
Do not search the earth for me,
the banks, the fields, or mountains;
the horizons alone tell my story
every day from season to season.
Where I travel there are no corpses,
no skin or bones and blood;
for I am now a radiant form
above earth’s fragile mantle.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Sacred Verses (32): Raise Up My Body / Let Your Sky Receive Me

Raise Up My Body

My journey has brought me across the horizons
where sparrows carry the tongue of the Sun-God;
his words of dusk and daybreak shatter the loneliness of the sky,
now bright, now forlorn as morning and evening seek me.
What have I to do with sparrows who gossip of nightfall,
who summon with their little wings the movements of the veil?
I listen, and they speak of the Sun-God’s fragile skin,
a pale lotus of celestial blue;
he rises for them to unfurl his divine petals,
the language of the sky;
whereupon they chatter the words that part the veil before them.

Have they come to twitter of my slumber,
these sparrows who carry the mark of fire upon their breast?
I would be warmed by the face of their sun,
not drowned in the waters beneath the earth,
nor taken down by the cavern where wings tread the darkness.
The earth has become my father again, as he was when I was his seed;
shall I become a field of turquoise glimmering,
or a pasture of malachite summoning the flood?
If the earth is my father, then I shall wear a crown of cypress
upon my dusky brow;
I shall call the willow my second home, its mournful boughs my refuge.

I would have the bright wings of a heron,
whose immaculate sheen recalls the Sun-God’s first morning;
that morning which came fast over the torrent of the abyss,
pushing from it the sacral mound of the first beginning.
Here I would take the hand of my mother stretching out from the stars;
she comes from the Unwearying Ones, she comes from the north,
where rise but never tarry the Ancients who flew before me.
Mother, I see your starry breast and seize your glinting fingers;
your metal is gold which I take to my lips, your breast a constellation;
these are the stars that carry me to your thighs where life is waiting.

The heights I was called down from have called me back again;
the earth who is my keeper must give way to heaven’s gaze.
The Bull’s Thigh who bore me now appears before my eyes,
in whose lofty reflection the north is roused from its western daze.
Who comes in the north to be my mother, who opens wide her thighs;
my yawning horizon of eastern metal with electrum in her eyes.

You goddess of northern breast and eastern thighs,
where the Sun-God travels to recover his face of morning;
open for me your cleft of the dawn and secure for me our beginning.
I approach with the flesh and bones of a mortal man;
raise up my body from the earth and let your sky receive me.
I approach with the bleary eyes of a twilight wanderer;
open wide my eyes with northern light and let your stars behold me.
I approach with lips sealed fast by the nether sky;
open up my mouth with heavenly metal and let your speech become me.
I approach with nostrils shut against the wind;
open up my nose with that heavenly lotus and let your breath suffuse me.
I approach with loins of western slumber;
open up my channels with living blood and let your womb conceive me.
I approach with the sand of the desert on my feet;
open up the river above my brow and let your flood cleanse me.
I approach knowing the season of nightfall;
open up the day before my feet and let your dawn shine through me.

I see the sparrows now and hear their language in my heart;
not the gossip of the evening, but the words of the morning,
ringing clear through the passing clouds;
they pass on by, but I do not pass, with lips and nostrils breathing.
My heart has sheltered a heron, who knows what the great Gods know;
the earth that gives us cannot keep us, like the mountains that kiss the sky;
our earth becomes our Father, but our Mother lifts us high.

Father, I have my bones from you, my skin and breath of clouds;
but these things I return to you when the heights call me back to her arms.
I hear the willow and cypress, the boughs of your ancient sycamore;
but he too lets go of my feet when the tread of the sky finds my toes.
My arms become the wings of a heron to know the Imperishable Stars;
and I like they have a crest for a mirror, from which the Sun-God shines.

Mother, your body takes my earthly bones, my skin and eyes of water;
these things began in the heights of your stars,
where the light that guides the earth comes.
I behold your northern sky, your cleft of gold and its ocean;
blood swells my loins and I enter the lips where life first hears its calling.
O you goddess of twilight breast and morning thighs,
where all souls travel to recover their first language of the sky;
open for me your legs of the soul-house and give me my beginning.
I approach with the flesh and bones of a mortal man;
raise up my body from the earth and let your sky receive me.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Bring Me the Red Cloth

Bring Me the Red Cloth (2)

Where my feet have traveled leaves the dust upon them;
those mountains yonder, over whose peaks the spirits hover,
between whose amber towers the swallows make pilgrimage.
I hear their animated conversation beneath the wind’s howl,
who weaves his forecast for the wings of hawks and sparrows.
They have come the way I have come, though I on feet and they on air;
we tread the roads above and below, our end the same in time’s keeping.

But I require a body of spirit when that of flesh has tired;
I know my blood and I know my bones, taken by the desert hallows.
Tears and cornflowers have given my toes ornaments of the sky;
shall I now drift on forget-me-nots, or take the wings of poppies?
I would rather have the lotus with me when dusk closes his inevitable hand.

Bring me a torch to brighten my way, and tell dusk to flee like a shadow.
There are sunbeams in my hand through which the morning is born;
let me be one of those blinking lances piercing the flank of the veil;
to know my mother’s thighs of heaven and shine with the face of her sun.

Bring me sandals for my pilgrim’s feet, and tell the Gods to open a road.
There are the doors of the sky through which birds ascend;
let me be a swallow of red breast and red cowl, of lapis wing and foot;
to grapple the sky and proclaim the clouds as my call opens wide the doors.

Bring me a scepter of fine gold for my hand, and tell the sky to obey me.
There are the clouds and their rains before me, the offerings of the vault;
let me be a hawk of gilded form and feather, of striking light above the surface;
to appear through the rivers of the sky as master of all the waters know.

Bring me horizon’s eyes for my brow, and tell the dawn to behold me.
There is the east and there is the west, whose doors know spirit’s wings;
let me be a falcon of divine luminescence, of wholesome sight and knowledge;
to foresee the morning after night’s bleary fall where vision becomes my apex.

Bring me a mount of electrum for my perch, and tell the abyss to retreat.
There are dark waters where eternity dwells, a sea of beginning’s making;
let me be a heron of dazzling white crest, of shimmering eye and bill;
to awaken the eye of horizon’s becoming in east where I am sired.

Bring me a rudder for my boat of the sky, and tell the waters to fear me.
There is the north and there is the south, of wind and water rushing;
let me be a holy crocodile, of malachite jaw and carnelian stare;
to cut through the depths of untamed floods where stealth and speed become me.

Bring me the breath of the Sun-God, and tell darkness he has his master.
There is the beginning and there is the end, an ocean without horizon;
let me be that lotus of celestial view, of fiery crown and center;
to break the surface with my copper mirror as first light’s face appears.

Bring me the red cloth of my beginning, and tell my mother to bear me.
There is seed and there is a womb, a father and mother within me;
let me be that child in his trappings, an image of eternal design;
to knit together my flesh and my bones as spirit meets its makers.

I require a new beginning once my end has found me;
I know my slumber and my blindness, when land becomes my lover.
Shroud and coffin have given my loins ornaments of the soil;
shall I now be still with the willow, or have sycamore boughs as my cradle?
I would rather have the lotus with me when earth takes me in hand.

Where my feet have traveled leaves the stars upon them;
those constellations yonder, in whose spheres the spirits glimmer,
in whose wake I circumnavigate the sky.
I behold their untiring dance in the north, where souls on wings ascend;
their passage from the ground below makes death a stellar path.
They have come the way I have come, though I on feet and they on air;
we tread the roads above and below, our end the same in time’s keeping.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Wine In My Heart / Gold On My Lips

Wine In My Heart - Gold On My Lips

Menu brought his gift to me in the skin of a pomegranate;
bestowed by the lips of sundown, its seeds spoke your lofty name.
This god of upraised arm delivered the sky into my hands;
a treasure that fills my grip as the river swells its banks.

You came at dusk to our sycamore of the sky, half-hidden by its branches;
“let only the moon see us” is what you said, as sky and bough were married.
What shone by the Moon-God was fruit of red beating in my hand;
the drum of your fingers spurred me on to find those heavenly heights.

Yours is a sanctuary hidden by the river, where pray my hands and knees;
Amun-Menu waits there for me with heaven and earth in hand.
His fist governs the holy river above which winks your navel;
I travel its sacred flood without leaving my earnest prayers.

Surely I have tasted the sky while keeping earth’s embrace;
a moonlight wine to warm my lips with vintage of your making.
Your field has a sun-heavy palm, though moon and stars come calling;
two golden dates swing low on my horizon where hungry eyes gaze high.

Shall I call you Amun in the shrine my breast keeps hidden?
The light you concealed warms my naked palm bereft of sacred flame.
Let me offer a hymn before you, stripped of pride’s pretenses;
with wine in my heart and gold on my lips I open the sky at your feet.

I give praise to Amun-Ra of golden horns and copper mirror;
whose full lips bring malachite rays to open earth’s horizons.
Sandalwood knows your secret names within the keep of heaven;
the earth becomes your scent of myrrh on banks of east and west.

I shed my cloak of royal linen to bend with tree and river;
acacia and flood who know their lord and give him what he favors.
What swells his heart is the boon of skin swaying on a breeze;
his eyes to drink the dip of thighs kissed by the dying sun.

What foretells the sky like earth, the mountains like horizon;
who foretells a god like a man, a husband like a lover?
My mouth predicts your flood, O Amun, my hands your burning rise;
and whose prayers predict the coming rain upon my desert thighs?

Amun brought his gift to me on the skin of my lover;
bestowed by the mouth of the sun after twilight claimed him.
This man of worldly mettle delivered the sky into my hands;
with wine in my heart and gold on my lips I open my soul at your feet.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Heart of Red Jasper Is Your Name

Heart of Red Jasper is Your Name

The Goddess Nuit brings you with her lips when she comes;
west’s mouth opens at twilight where your flashing star rises.
Your luminescence foretells the rising flank of the naked moon;
‘lips of lapis lazuli’ is your name at the moment of his ascension.

Djehuty declares you by the enchantment of his tongue;
you glide from his divine speech as a silver crescent’s boon.
What graces my mouth is the fullness of heaven’s eye;
‘tongue of silver’ is your name when his gleam strikes my lips.

The Goddess Auset binds you to me with her girdle;
she brings at her breast the sanguine knot of sky’s magic.
Seven knots surround your center on her seat of constant ardor;
‘heart of red jasper’ is your name where my breast keeps you.

Ausir the green raises you from his pasture when he comes;
sprouting seed weaves your field as the earth my feet travel.
How you rise by the flood the Good God urges from my loins;
‘thighs of malachite’ is your name as you spring from my hand.

The Goddess Hwt-Her shakes your sycamore of the sky;
with swaying hips she catches you between her western mounds.
My mirror leads lonely eyes up the trail of starry branches;
‘boughs of turquoise’ is your name on the morning heaven sways you.

Amun-Ra brings your cloud of myrrh when he comes;
I inhale the rising sun on my heart’s holy horizon.
The Lord of Thrones has placed you before his tree of myrrh;
‘god-making fragrance’ is your name when your breath leads the sky.

The Goddess Muwt fulfills your soul when her lake swells;
she navigates with the roar of your name by moonlight on her waters.
I am there to drink your zeal as thunder tears the sky;
‘traveler of splendor’ is your name when you sail my lightning skin.

Khonsu-Neferhotep brings your shade when he comes;
an open lotus meets the eyes of the sky by daybreak’s blush.
How the east shares your body with the holy river’s mirror;
‘shadow of the Sun-God’ is your name by dawn and twilight.

The Goddess Sekhmet opens your eyes with her hands of might;
your sky becomes her brow of life where ceaseless flame is kindled.
I tread the horizon where I am led into that sight of power;
‘eye of flame’ is your name when your heart of jasper strikes me.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Do His Hands Touch the Sky

Do His Hands Touch the Sky(1)

Through the rustling branches of the tamarisk I hear
the voice of that goddess who brings up hearts in her hands;
her cascade of water entices me to sit beside the thigh of the sun,
to which the souls of the earth are drawn in their twilight season.

With cupped hands I drink from the flood of her golden breast,
the life she gives striking the desert of my lips as turquoise.
I drink the memory of precious stone where my youth is kept;
beneath that perpetual sky I find the wings of my fledgling ba.

O my ba-soul dressed in the glimmering dawn,
where the waters of life seek out worthy lips;
my goddess of the east arrays you in cornflower blue
with her arms of encircling gold;
just as she does for the shoulders of the naked sun,
her cloak of dappled plumage becomes your eastern power.

The heron becomes you, whose double plume stirs the horizons;
he knows the essence of lotus that breathes through his wings.
Those spirits in the drifting sky chirp your name as Ra of the heights,
who has come from the beginning with sunbeams for his colors.

O my ba-soul powered by the undaunted wind,
where the breath of the vault revivifies worthy lungs;
my goddess of the north hoists a sail for you
with her arms of turquoise enchantments;
just as she does for the boat of the twilight sun,
her fabric of swift moving clouds becomes your northern power.

Do his hands touch the sky, this ba of mine in starry flight;
for I have seen the Bull’s Thigh in a veil worn high, in lofty waters suspended.
His wholesome eyes climb that ladder in the sky, on wing of north ascending;
this ba of mine with indestructible wings to join the zenith of lights.

O my ba-soul drawn forth by the gap in the sky,
where the mouth of the sycamore swallows worthy spirits;
my goddess of the west unveils her thighs for you
with her arms of rising constellations;
just as she does for the face of the nighttime sun,
her womb of twelve hours becomes your western power.

I began as a ram-soul of the ancient earth driving the light before me;
whose flickering form like the wings of sparrows caught the evening air.
My skin of myrrh knows the history of the sky, her breath of time and memory;
where the body of the earth is born again on the wings of the eastern beacon.

O my ba-soul clad in the spring of that heavenly sycamore,
where the breast of the sky fills worthy hearts;
my goddess of the south opens the flood for you
with her arms of lapis renewal;
just as she does for the loins of the potent sun,
her cleft of celestial waters becomes your southern power.

I do not end as a corpse planted in the keep of the earth,
nor can the hallows of the west trap me behind her dusky shutters;
they are thrown wide open by the span of my wings of the horizon,
from which the sun rises to the netherworld’s acclaim.

Through the rustling branches of the sycamore I hear
the voice of that goddess who brings up spirits in her hands;
her song of birds in flight draws me down beside the thigh of the sky,
to which the souls of the earth are drawn in their twilight season.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Sacred Verses (31): I Know the Language of Swallows

I Know the Language of Swallows(2)

The sky is my mother who summons me from the west,
her net of gods shining over her body of stellar metal;
they who appear upon her mantle of lapis lazuli,
glimmering over the horizon as dust of fine gold.
I came forth from her when the fresh east yawned,
passing the morning beetle of iridescent shell and wing;
how I made my youthful appearance over these lands,
bolstered by the north wind whose voice knows my name.

This wind-god says to me:
“My Sky-Goddess calls you in the west;
she holds the gate of the hidden land in her mouth of the Unwearying Stars,
where fly the bird-souls who converse with the sun.
Behold their ruddy faces and wings of burnished metal,
going round the limits of the sky who speaks their tongue;
the language of the east which howls with the dawn,
which declares life and denies slumber.

“I soar beneath the bellies of the clouds that uplift swallows,
who in their beaks carry the words of the Sun-God when he sails.
They rise by me to declare what they know, and you rise by me;
what you know is that eastern tongue which reckons the dawn,
its light-rays and heron of dazzling white crest.
My eyes are open and rise as the heron rises;
you too with open eyes shall rise as the heron rises,
with crest of curd white and mantle of blinding electrum.

“You enter the west as a ram of the earth with aged skin,
with dusky gold as your flesh and silver as your bones.
When the swallows titter to my clouds, they tell of your sleep;
what all men come to when they walk in the east and veer west,
when they draw the breath of sky and eat from the earth;
but the west knows the east as south foretells north,
and your feet of these directions follows your breath of the sky”.

My breath is my mother who embraces me in the north;
she appears to set me upright between her rosy-gold thighs,
the ladder where souls burst forth to herald eternity.
I am fashioned from their same metal, from their mirror of electrum;
when I appear it is with the face of the untarnished sun,
rising as the Wind-God said I would, cognizant of the language of swallows.

Do living men know the language of swallows?
We see them weave to and fro in the boughs of the sycamore,
our eyes of earth blind against the train of spirits rising with them;
for their eyes are of spirit while their wings alight on earth,
unlike the eyes of men which see only earth and know only skin.
But I who know the Sun-God take up his colors on my flesh,
and when I go into the west it is with the wings of a dawn-knowing swallow.

You swallows of the Sun-God bear his holy marks on face and breast;
red is the Sun-God’s color when he rises with your sanguine wings,
when he captures the eastern sky from its nighttime coils.
My face glows red and my breast is dappled with jasper,
having gazed upon your sycamores and made my flight between them.
Your wings know my arms, you swallows, and your red cowl becomes me;
it brightens the pre-dawn horizon with the blood of my enemies;
sleep in the west and bleariness in my eyes.
These eyes of mine are open with the eyes of swallows,
never bleary, and sharp with the lance of first light.

These swallows say to me:
“Look!  Open your eyes to see the thighs of your mother, opening.
She is the lamp of the nether sky uplifting the lamps of the stars to her breasts;
these gods of the primordial sea who light the way for spirits traveling.
Travel then, when your time for entering the west comes!
Travel with our wings upon you so that your feet do not tarry on the earth;
but they mix with the Unwearying Stars that sweep the east,
that drive forward the clouds and herald the day.

“Our enchantments are the east which meets birth;
the earth that meets sky;
the gap of the west that meets bird-souls;
the breath that meets the north;
the flood that meets the south;
the turquoise that meets the desert;
the date palm that meets the arid country;
the acacia that meets the rain;
the lotus which meets the nose of the sun;
the sun who meets the horizon;
the horizon which meets the nether sky;
the nether sky which meets the earth above.

“These are the enchantments, the words, the language the Sun-God tells us,
and only the ears that hear his colors may know his speech;
they who know his colors and thus know his speech will know the lives he lives.
His colors are these Gods upon him, which see his lives as theirs in the sky;
so know his colors and thus his lives, and live as he lives in the eternal sky!”

The sky is my mother who raises me in the east,
her skin of brilliant fabric woven from the stars;
they whose unwearying eyes see spirits rise
as swallows of the ruddy dawn.
I came forth from her with their language on my lips,
open with the lance of daybreak by which the earth lives.
This is how I live again, once the west has summoned,
when my tread follows birds of iridescent crest and wing.
How I make my youthful appearance over these lands,
uplifted by the north wind whose voice knows my name.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa