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

Advertisements

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

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

Sacred Verses (27): The Gods Drink Their Image

The Gods Drink Their Image

I go in carrying my corpse in my hands;
all that I have from my Mother of my many lives,
their fears and transgressions pecking like crows;
these my entourage from my many lives,
their black cloaks haunting my shade for all its deeds.
We carry with us the corpses of all our accomplishments,
and like sparrows they gossip our names to the sky.
Sky, hungry sky, swallowing my sun into the hallowed west;
you swallow my mortal flesh whole, and with it my deeds;
for the sky is our beginning and our end,
and the Gods drink their image when it comes back to them.

I go in carrying my fear on my naked bones;
does he know his name, his scent, his flavor;
all that he has from his Father of his many forms.
Once I was green and gold like a field of corn,
my lighthearted soul fluttering above me as the azure sky.
I knew laughing and drinking and lovemaking,
the gleaming mirror of the sun throbbing from my loins.
I knew the names of my light-spirits, swallows on the wind,
tittering with the sky in the language of the fresh earth;
their speech the ancient tongue of an earth and sky united.
I knew these words and this language in my heart,
which received the knowledge of memory from the swallows;
and they received it from the Sun-God,
whose lotus breath knows our beginning and our end;
and the Gods drink their image when it comes back to them.

Where are my swallows now, who saw with their carnelian eyes
the rising of my sun on the fresh horizon of the east;
when I was still young, flawless, and green as the earth was green;
when I stood with my bare ankles in the flood,
my hands sifting the droplets of their beginning;
when my brow wore the diadem of the sun’s rosy light,
his rays playing over my wet breast and thighs;
when my shade traveled near me and knew innocence
as its companion,
before it played with snares and become entangled in nets;
when my eyes could see the future of their earth,
his Father below and his Mother above;
when the indomitable mountains appeared yielding
to the soft touch of the eyes, their peaks as lips to kiss;
when my mouth knew its first kiss and tasted its first lovemaking,
the flood sliding between my open thighs
to receive the power of the desirous sun;
when my passions knew only their beginning, never their end,
and the Gods drink their image when it comes back to them.

My light-spirits began as swallows as all spirits do;
they know from their birth the language of the rising sun.
They alight on the edge of the sky to hear the stars,
to catch their unwearying travels in the words their memory weaves.
This is the language of the swallows kept by the Sun-God,
whose beams traverse the four directions where swallows fly.
Their breasts and rosy faces have been kissed by the sun’s lips,
and their wings by the midnight sky, where their flights have ended.

If we spoke the language of swallows, we would hear how we began;
how the shade of our beginning was fashioned in the deep,
where the coils of serpents choked the first Mound of the earth;
how the Sun-God found his mirror alone in the surging darkness,
peering for the first time at his reflection of burnished gold;
how the loins of our first Father grew a sycamore on the Mound,
its boughs the bearers of his passions stretching from the abyss;
how the turquoise sky was upraised by the sycamore of the first dawn,
her body of gold becoming the Mother of the untiring stars;
how the light-spirits were born as swallows to perch near the elder sun,
their ears hearing his first words ring out into the burden of shadows;
how the bodies of the Gods were fashioned from the ancient elements,
their powers of gold and turquoise springing up from the first Mound;
these powers knowing their beginning, but never their end;
and the Gods drink their image when it comes back to them.

This is where we gathered our powers and our forms,
our lives reaching out before us like shoots of green in a void;
where we began as light-spirits untarnished by the shade of mortality.
This is how I began when I was still a child and could hear
the language of swallows carried on the wind.
They gave me the memories of the Gods in their first bodies,
which appeared upon the mirror of waters the beginning held.
Our beginning, our youth, our green souls were reflected with them;
many in number, they opened their wet ears to hear the song of those Gods,
being our gods and our voices, our language and our forms.
How those waters of the void fell from us, leaving our corpses awake;
how I held my swallows in my hands like the beatings of my own heart.
Have I now wings to travel like those hearts on blue-black wings,
to carry words of turquoise that sprout from stagnant shade?
Have I now wings that know their beginning, but never know their end;
and the Gods drink their image when it comes back to them.

I have gone in carrying my heart in my hands;
all that I have from my Mother of my many lives,
and all my Father gave me from his loins clothed in shade.
All my transgressions perch on my heart’s shoulders
like those swallows on sky’s edge;
she recalls their exploits as they recall my deeds,
and as the Sun-God knows his language from beginning’s form.
My youth has slumbered within my bones, my greenest hours faded;
I come again into the breast of the sky to shed my earthly skin.

Sky, my fragile youth and my beginning,
the Mother of my light-spirit whose breathing lights the vault;
I drink you in as my lips swallow your starry breast,
your thighs beneath me open to receive the sun of my green loins.
May my image grow within you as a star of undying aura,
born again in the east on your horizon of ascending light;
this light that glitters by day in the company of ancient swallows,
reaching up into the turquoise veil with their lapis wings.

Earth, my heady passions and my forthcoming,
the Father of my flesh and bones whose breathing fills the sky;
I drink your seed in as my lips swallow your inundation,
your skin on my skin bestowing me your savor.
May my flesh and bones be received by your hallows
to charge the cavern of beginnings;
where our Ancestors meet to receive their light-spirits
after travels through the memory of time.
Let me travel with them and hear their memories,
to become a swallow of the sky and air;
these qualities that know their beginning, but never their end;
and the Gods drink their image when it comes back to them.

I go in carrying my peace on sun-clad bones;
he knows his names, his youth, his beginning;
all that he has from his Father of his many forms.
He has drunk from his Mother’s sky of many lifetimes,
reckoning his past and his many transgressions.
But fear is unknown to him when he passes over
into the house of the midnight sky;
for he has tasted the waters of our beginning,
where all that once was has received the untarnished flood.
His reflection is the green and gold of the untouched Gods,
these qualities knowing their beginning, never their end;
and the Gods drink their image when it comes back to them.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa