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

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