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

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Girdle of the Sky

Girdle of the Sky

She is the sycamore mistress whose supple arms encircle the sky,
her gilt branches winking in the languid embrace of the sun’s final moments.
How he stretches down for her, dappling those leaves and naked feet;
how lofty reach those arms of gold, those fingers of turquoise splendor.

Her name is House of Heaven as she stands upon her hill;
receiving the Sun-God’s diadem which outshines him upon her brow.
Two upright horns in whose curve radiates the power above the vault;
she receives him by eventide with half moon lips through which the stars
glimmer.

We enter her twilight cleft in the western mount where Sun-God slumbers;
his descended body swallowed by her mouth of celestial flood.
Is she not the keeper of his seasons, the golden vessel in which he lies;
when she becomes the tree of the fecund mound to receive him when he dies.

When the sacred river is at its flood she dips her naked toes;
a net of dusky gold glistens in her wake, her footfall watched by gods.
Ruddy lips catch a taste of the flood rushing fast to savor her ankles;
how quickly turn the heads of gods and men to steal a glance as she drifts by.

She dips low beneath the flood like that lotus when sundown calls;
how her twin mounds of east and west rise with vigor above the waters.
The Sun-God chases the wind to find his secret throne between them;
and blushes the flood as its wet kiss finds the source of life’s nourishment.

On the riverbank beside her weave and dance the papyrus scepters;
zesh-zesht, zesh-zesht they whisper as her wet thighs emerge.
Sycamore cow is her name when her flood meets the earth,
when all that is green becomes an ornament of turquoise at her breast.

Here Gods and men process to the quaking of hips and thighs;
when heaven’s shrine thunders, her voice cracks open earth and sky.
Drum and rattle and terror are hers as she takes to ecstatic movement;
how the eyes of all tumble down when she crashes in a cloud of myrrh!

Beneath the acacias whose branches sweep the vault she dances
without respite;
malachite green and real lapis lazuli follow her sacral tread.
With brow in the sky and feet under soil she knots the worlds in union;
her divine throne making her home the keeping of Gods and men.

She has made of her sycamore branches a perch for the Sacred Falcon;
he alights with eyes wide open to the shrine of celestial play.
With her lithe body she girdles the sky whose sun becomes her lover;
as nightfall sweeps the river he receives heaven’s dappled embrace.

It is she who lifts him above the earth, the place where he alights;
her lotus breath becomes his name when she holds him firm by night.
Her stars she bestows to her lover of air, her eyes become his crown;
when earth pays homage to his sacred feet it is she who draws him down.

Night finds her braided tresses home of moon with stars behind;
a crescent to form a diadem and a net of gold to shine.
When daylight brightens her perfect form as girdle of the sky,
a gilded belly flashes copper navel above an ebony shrine.

Sycamore Goddess whom earth and sky follow appears full-faced by dawn;
the Sun-God’s yawning arms stretch far to hail her lotus face unfurling.
Our sacred river leaps in its turbulent courses to kiss her vaunted roots;
the earth itself rising to follow when her fingers arouse his Two Banks.

What raiment does she need when all of heaven is her mantle;
creation wraps her primordial form in fine gold and beams of turquoise.
Yet ground and vault dance with desire for the raptures of her light;
our sky’s girdle by which the life of the sun becomes our eternal mansion.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa