Ateruw / I Will Never Let Them Go

Ateruw

They glide past my eyes on either side,
these jewels the Gods dropped one by one
into the floodwaters;
the finest gold, turquoise, and malachite,
catching the sun’s hands by the tips of their fingers;
these jewels the Gods dropped one by one
into the river they love.

I have loved, too, as I dropped my body for you,
wrapped in dazzling white linen
on the breath of a festival day;
taking to the waters that drew near to kiss me,
as I imagined your skin drawing near in perfection.
Ateruw is the name of this flood that knows my name,
gliding past my eyes on either side.

I could tell the eyes of the sky
that the Earth-God has summoned me;
His arms flashing with turquoise,
His limbs of burnished gold making a mirror of my skin;
but my hands caught the river
in their eager net of flesh,
with kisses and devotion sliding beneath his surface.

They glide past my eyes on either side,
these prayers my lips have woven one by one;
into the flood they have slipped with desire,
to flash beneath the surface for my hungry net.
Rosy gold and most holy stone have dropped from my sight,
their words of value still singing to my ears;
and I will never let them go, once their song has faded.

I have sung songs the sacred river knows,
wrapped in heady myrrh on a festival day.
Their words catch the Gods in a net of perfume,
carried on sandalwood with jasmine flowers in bloom.
They are the jewels that draw near in perfection,
as other voices slip through the holes my net leaves;
and I will never let them go, once their time has ended.

I could tell the ears of the river
that the Sky-Goddess has summoned me;
Her thighs embraced by a canopy of stars,
Her golden breasts full for my hungry lips;
but my hands caught the clouds
in their quick net of lust,
with my spirit and intentions lost beneath his surface.

They glide past my eyes on either side,
these flowers the Gods dropped one by one
into their earthly garden;
carnelian, jasper, and real lapis lazuli,
catching the breath of the sky by the tip of Her tongue;
these jewels the Gods have let slip by me,
one by one into the river they love.

I have loved, too, as I dropped my shadow for you,
wrapped in a heart of fiery red stone
on the glare of a midsummer day;
taking to the holy sycamore that drew near to kiss me,
as I imagined your soul drawing near in perfection.
Ateruw is the name of this vessel that holds me,
gliding past my eyes on either side.

I could tell the lips of the earth
that the Gods have summoned me;
their souls of turquoise like flames rising high,
their wings of lapis lazuli holding the sun in His mirror;
but my hands caught the western mountains
in their net of flesh and bone,
with my heart and shadow lost beneath his surface.

I have held the jewels the Gods once held,
wrapped in their mysteries
on the skin of a festival day;
taking to the waters that slip by the net of my eyes,
tempting my hands with perfection as they draw near.
They are the words my soul’s ears will always hear,
and I will never let them go, once my heart has mended.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

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Sacred Verses (38): Meeting At the Gates

Meeting At the Gates.JPG

There is a meeting at the gates
where I walk in the company of the rain;
the sky is written upon his body
as he falls to the thirsty earth below;
my earth that drinks him deeply,
that finds consolation in his lofty messages;
my earth that needs the kisses
of that place behind the veil;
my earth that gathers all the sky sends,
to hold it for my meeting at the gates.

There is a meeting at the gates
where I dance in the company of the desert;
the wind is written upon his body
as he shifts across his barren kingdom;
my kingdom of the spirit lifted
above the flesh and bones he knows;
my kingdom twined with cliff and stone,
opening for the tips of these etheric wings;
my kingdom of unceasing air
that holds the spaces for my meeting at the gates.

There is a meeting at the gates
where I dress in the company of the sun;
pure gold is written upon his body
as he travels through the shadowy sky below;
my sky that spreads her body for him,
that receives the tokens of life he gives;
my sky that wears the messages
of those stars above the veil;
my sky that reads the wandering bodies,
and holds their maps for my meeting at the gates.

There is a meeting at the gates
where I fly in the company of swallows;
messages of the sky are written upon their bodies
as they travel to and fro between the worlds;
my worlds of earth and air
between which the Gods are known;
my worlds within this skin and bones,
growing from my soil like a tree;
my worlds that keep my secret deeds
until they fly forth for my meeting at the gates.

There is a meeting at the gates
where I awake in the company of jabirus;
the Gods are written upon their wings
as they break the silence of the twilight hour;
my hour of shattering the dusky veil
rising between my corpse and soul;
my hour of hearing the message of stars,
calling through the doors of that secret world;
my hour of kindling the fire within my bones
as it lights my way for my meeting at the gates.

There is a meeting at the gates
where I make love in the company of a heron;
my heart is written upon his gleaming breast
as he rises above me to open my eyes;
my eyes that know the horizons of the sky
between which the sun dances his seasons;
my eyes that see the spirits who know me,
riding high on their western peak;
my eyes that foretell the beating of my heart
that holds the rhythm for my meeting at the gates.

There is a meeting at the gates
where I swim in the company of a sacred lotus;
my future is written upon his sky-blue petals
as he opens in the waters to herald the dawn;
my dawn wearing the embrace of myrrh
as he spreads through the arms of his sky;
my dawn wearing a mantle of fine gold,
predicting midday fire above his watery veil;
my dawn that finds its hidden light shining
beyond the shadows for my meeting at the gates.

There is a meeting at the gates
where I pass through in the company of the Gods;
my soul is written upon their faces of the sky
as they rise through the worlds on their ladder;
my ladder that breaks the darkness of the vault
as it receives the wings of those sacred spirits;
my ladder that stretches between the worlds,
lifting my name high above my worldly bones;
my ladder that speaks the names of those Gods
that hold my life for my meeting at the gates.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Sacred Verses (37): May the Gods Open A Door

May the Gods Open A Door

I awake to a life hidden
behind the world’s dusky veil;
she finds me as my mother,
rising up between her loins of celestial metal.
What finds me is our cavern of beginnings,
where swim the wings of souls;
what finds me is our lake in the nether sky,
where fly the shadows charged by heaven’s breast.
May the Gods open a door
for the passage of my solar wings;
may the Gods open a door
for the breath my mother sings.

My eyes tread the courses of the stars
untiring in their house of north;
in this direction I am taken by them
to the region where horizons gaze;
to behold our bodies glittering
with skins of gold and precious stone.
I am open in the direction of the ever-rising sun,
with brows of lapis lazuli curving on heaven’s crown.
May the Gods open the sky
for my flesh of stellar design;
may the Gods open the sky
for these shining wings of mine.

It is from the soil I swell with malachite presence,
my naked feet known to the sacral ground below;
he knows my seed of green
from which his mighty sycamore has grown;
he knows my heady scent of myrrh
from which his power is sewn.
I now behold green jasper, inhale breath of myrrh;
knowing the seeds of tomorrow, and all the seeds that were.
May the Gods open the earth
for my feet of stone and seed;
may the Gods open the earth
for these feet to take their lead.

I have come on voice of sky,
upon celestial breath;
he recounts the moment of my birth;
his open arms take my death;
he has given his hallows beneath ancient trees,
whose branches foretell my years with seeing leaves.
I come to receive a mantle of stone,
alighting as a swallow in the boughs I call home.
May the Gods open a field
for my wings as they grow;
May the Gods open a field
for my enchantments that flow.

Now I come to a river of luminous spirit
spreading the loins of the eastern horizon.
She is a flower in the river of the sky,
opening her wet petals for my loins as they fly;
she is a mother of gleaming turquoise breast,
holding the sun tightly in her woven gold nest.
I am now wet as the day I was born,
reared on milk of sky, fresh on the breast of morning.
May the Gods open a lotus
for my face of youthful power;
may the Gods open a lotus
for my mirror of the dawning hour.

I came from the cleft of my mother,
from the seed my father spilled;
hers is the sacred cavern
from manhood of earth being filled.
His are the eyes that see me spring
at sacred daybreak on his bank;
hers are the lips the sun hears sing
when I ascend her gilded flank.
May the Gods open a body
for my wings to take their flight;
may the Gods open a body
for my dawn and star by night.

My skin recalls his bones when morning comes,
and when night falls he hears the summons of his blood;
these the fragile gifts of earth,
the sacral river and her mud.
I swim with the sky as the east is born,
and by the west I travel as his daylight is shorn.
The feet that move me are of earth, of tree and holy peak;
the arms that keep me are of sky, the mansion earth’s eyes seek.
May the Gods open a soul
for these bones to open their way;
may the Gods open a soul
for my coming forth by day.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

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

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

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

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