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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fast Day 122 October 3 2009 {Ramses Entreats His Coy Lover}

Temple of Abu Simbel

At Abu Simbel, Ramses Entreats His Coy Lover

Before I ever saw thee sitting there,
I sensed your presence,
the sandy ore of your chestnut eyes
that fall on me
like a meteorite falls
in the waste lands: fire and iron!
So much has changed; it was so long ago
that nations bent their dusty heads
and obeyed on bended knee...
They prayed to Great Rameses!
Ruler of all you survey!
I forget. I forget the fragile thread
of our lives together...
O, when the ibis took wing!
O, when the figs grew in the Fayyum!
O, when first I sought to break the gold
plate inlaid with lapis that lay glacier-like
upon your breast, I panted as Anubis
and hunted the fierce brown kernels
that lay symmetrical
upon that ivory ground!
A thousand years I wait in pain,
and then a thousand more
until you come up the Nile...
until Sirius runs his course...
until Geb desires Nut again
and heavens and earth combine
your beauty to create -
beauty so fleeting -
impossible to carve into this stone!
Let me be a servant of immortal Isis, and
I shall sweep away the flowing sea of sand
from the bourne of your cruel resting place!
O, come to me in spring,
Daughter of the Heavens!

Rameses was the pharoah who constructed the temple of Abu Simbel in Egypt.
The Fayyum was an area in the Egyptian desert anciently and modernly irrigated and bearing fruit.
Geb and Nut were the god and goddess of the earth and sky. Their embrace brings forth the world.
Sirius is the Dog Star.

Whereas Rameses could capture his grandeur and power within the huge carved temple for all eternity, he could not capture the beauty of his lover, whom he awaits endlessly.


Ruth said...

There is eternal, primordial and universal longing here.

Montag said...

Thank you, Ruth. There is indeed an unquenched long as it is not thwarted, the longing continues, and there is hope!