Sacred Verses (41): Divine Beloved / There Was A Well and I Reached

Divine Beloved

There was a date palm and I reached for its fruit;
glistening like jewels, that fruit woke my purpose,
and memories of a sweet elixir drew my feet on.
How the desert had chased my heart from its contentment;
longing for that distant valley swaying with malachite fronds,
my heart grew a stride that measured the distance of mountains;
it could never be at peace with the wilderness it had known,
the grave for my flesh and the earth for my bone;
will the quest of any pilgrim rest before reaching home.

Give me my feet to walk, and I will walk Your desert;
breaking open the mountains with its breath,
my ears wake up to those powers above our heads;
where we listen to the Gods as They pass down Their memories,
where the forms of men are fashioned in the sacral fire.

There was a tamarisk and I reached for its honey;
spun like thread of gold, its luster woke my courage,
a taste of that yonder valley clad in green memories.
You will be led by the mettle of your hidden heart;
this is what the tamarisk placed on the tip of my tongue,
which hungered for knowledge to the very reaches of the sky;
and it was the changing sky that gave my heart its resilient metal,
a color that remains while all others change;
will the heart of any pilgrim let tarnished mettle lead the way.

Give me my lips to kiss, and I will kiss Your sky;
casting its net of gold and precious stones,
my eyes wake up to that river above our heads;
where we swim with the Gods as They ride the wind,
where the souls of men endure as the halos of stars.

There was a well and I reached for sweet waters;
reflecting the sapphire sky, that blue ocean woke my voice,
and songs of past travels drew my breath on.
How those restless spirits led my will from its complacency;
thirsty for the chorus of ancient and hallowed mouths,
my ears grew a reach exceeding the fiery horizons;
they could never be complacent with the prattle they had known,
the mundane for my heart and the transitory for my soul;
will the breath of any pilgrim rest before reaching home.

Give me my voice to speak, and I will speak Your names;
resounding through the ages as the language of souls,
my mouth wakes up to that sound above our heads;
where we speak with the Gods as They pronounce creation,
where the future of men is woven with the Sacred thread.

There was an acacia and I reached for its thorns;
mirroring the cruel sands, those spears woke my senses,
and memories of my sufferings drew my endurance on.
How those barbs of the world urged my Spirit from its skin;
starving for the arms of my Beloved clad in sacred sky,
my image grew wings that spanned worldly chasms;
they could never alight on the ephemeral pleasures they had known,
skin deep for my hands and shallow for my soul;
will the vessel of any pilgrim rest before reaching home.

Give me my wings to fly, and I will fly to Your sky;
opening through the veil of death and life,
my form of Spirit wakes up to that sound above our heads;
where we rise with the Gods as They raise creation,
where the love of men is liberated by the Sacred thread.

There was a torch and I reached for its fire;
burning without air, its light woke my enduring sight,
and memories of my birth drew my Spirit on.
How the hands of death pulled my memory from its skin;
gasping for the breath of my Beloved exhaling sacred sky,
my heart grew a memory that spanned the ages;
he could never find life in a single body he had known,
mortal in flesh and temporal of bone;
will the soul of any pilgrim rest before reaching home.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Sacred Verses (40): Invested With A Door In the Sky

Invested With A Doorway In the Sky

I am invested with a pomegranate tree,
whose fruit of ruddy treasures tells the seasons;
its ruby seeds foretell the sunset of my passions,
erupting as the fire of youth on love’s horizon;
these I freely bestow in a garden pregnant with music,
unfolding from my hands with the climax of the sun.
I have not hoarded the benevolence of this sacred tree,
but have given its fruit to the hungry lips abounding;
they now eat with me in a garden of peace abiding.

I am invested with a desert of khamsin winds,
howling through the peaks of the dying west;
this the direction all breathing men fear,
the keeper of my corpse when I abandon my vessel;
these are the sands I share with my brothers,
who partake of the mountain winds we haunt.
I have not possessed the vessel in which I moved,
but have given its stream to my thirsty brothers abounding;
they now move with me through the towers of the sky.

I am invested with a river of generous flood,
making its way through a barren land thirsting;
for me it has quenched the longing of my youth,
sweet with the dance of sycamores at dawn;
these are the green things I plant with my footfall,
wherever I am led by this river flowing from me.
I have not squandered the well from which I drank,
but have given its sweetness to the empty souls drifting;
they now drink with me between the banks of the earth.

I am invested with a net of brilliant gold,
spread across the sky for the bounty of the sun;
its warp is the past and its weft is the future,
foretold by a spangling of stars from which the Gods shine;
these are the maps I read with knowing eyes,
claiming the northern sky enduring for my spirit.
I have not shut out these lamps the Gods hung,
but have given their lights meaning in my deeds;
they now speak for the Gods in the wake of my travels.

I am invested with a torch in evening’s garden,
blazing near a pool of flowers whose colors whisper;
they tell me the stories of sparrows climbing the sky,
of twilights that open their thighs for hunting moon;
these are the signs of life my heart has read,
lit by all the lights that heaven knows.
I have not thrown away the knowledge of this garden,
but have cherished its flowers as the memory of the night;
they now unfold their petals for the day when night has closed.

I am invested with a heart of red jasper,
whose voice is the call of a heron in its flight;
he alights in a willow as the Sun-God is swallowed,
and rises in the fire of dawn with a mantle of gold;
these are the tokens of renewal beyond the grave,
claimed by hearts in possession of a malachite edge.
I have not blunted these treasures of the turquoise sky,
but have planted them in the earth for others passing by;
they now take up my mantle through the winding world.

I am invested with a body of light,
coming forth by day from the corpse I have known;
he takes up other senses when the sky becomes him,
and earth becomes his shadow as the eastern gate opens;
these are the Mysteries unknown to walking men,
who find the door held open when their skin falls silent;
I have not fled from the silence of this moment,
but have gathered all these treasures in my waking time;
they now hold open the sky for me through my nighttime travels.

I am invested with a door in the sky,
opening for my shadow as the sun casts its magic;
before it stands yesterday and behind it tomorrow,
roaring the future like twin lions in the veil;
these are the prophecies of flesh and their Spirit,
both walking on through the passage death keeps.
I have not averted my path from Spirit’s journey,
but have walked toward that door with its messages in me;
they now speak through the door to the world in my wake.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Sacred Verses (39): I Slay Death In His Field / Where They Begin Again

I Slay Death In His Field (2).jpg

I turn into this field from which living men wander;
for theirs are dreams of pleasures without end,
senses ever filled like a summer sky with swallows;
their wings beating with the history of the sky,
while the corpses of the earth are kept by the earth,
and all that belongs to the soil returns to feed it;
this is what I am, and what you are, and what we are;
meeting the earth again after our journey,
where there is never again a thing to fear.

Do you know why swallows never tarry on the ground?
Theirs is a home in the bosom of the sky,
or on the other side of vast oceans uncrossable to others;
but they cross them without a care for the wind,
wild and tumultuous like the desires of living men;
they cross without the comforts of spring,
or the blankets of the willow sweeping the green.
Theirs is a pilgrimage between earth and wind,
to the eaves of the sky where they begin again.

Shall I now begin again as I make this field my home?
Ancient Father has given me His strength as I traversed
the peaks of lonely mountains where crows gathered;
and they gave to me their song and their joy,
not only the sorrows of the silent graves forgotten;
for the dead are my dead, and I shall be with them too,
to speak through the living stones of the empty valleys,
to sing through brook and meadow;
the dead are your dead also, and they are what we are.

Shall I now begin again as I make this sky my home?
Starry Mother has given my eyes their sight as I wandered
beneath the Bull’s Thigh and his companions of light;
and they gave to me their map of the soul,
not only their ether where spirits are scattered;
for the stars are my spirit, and I shall be with them too,
to speak through the rising and falling of the brilliant veil,
to whisper through north and south;
the stars are your stars also, and they are what we are.

I turn from this earth over which living men wander
to find pleasures and senses that can never be filled;
green youth that fades, riches and praise
that stand for as long as a blade of grass stands;
they are all cut down by that indomitable wind
that drives the swallows before him;
this is what I am, and what you are, and what we are;
meeting the sky again after our journey,
where there is never again a thing to fear.

Do you know why stars never tarry in the sky?
Theirs is a home in the infinite directions,
or on the vault’s other shore in company with souls;
but they return to the place where they began,
where the veil holds a gate in Her golden loins;
and this is the gate where living men aspire
to cross the threshold between flesh and air.
Theirs is a pilgrimage between earth and wind,
to the eaves of the sky where they begin again.

Shall I now begin again as I make this river my home?
The holy waters have given my spirit a current as I drifted
between the banks of yesterday and the morrow;
and they gave to me their wisdom of the present,
not only their memories where the past is scattered;
for memory is my eternal ladder, and I shall climb it too,
to speak through the language passed down by mothers,
to speak through the words the trees tell their sons;
memories are your language also, and they are what we are.

Shall I now begin again as I make the wind my home?
The four directions have given my name a lasting power
as I turn into this earth where I slay death in his field;
and they gave to me their names of the Ancient Gods,
not only the god of the fresh and fleeting present;
for the Gods of past are my future, and I shall be with Them too,
to shout down through the ages where the many travel,
to wake up the sleeping earth with the voice of its sky;
the Gods are your awakening also, and They are what we are.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Tree of Great Shade

Tree of Great Shade

My days in the summer sun grow shorter;
his hands beg for water that I cannot pour,
as the desert makes haste to strip the verdant land;
the cliffs, peaks, and triumphant sand glower,
while he begs for solace I cannot pour;
yet I have a spectral heart that lingers
like a bowl of alabaster;
the sun streams through it in the afternoon,
and in the evening it is filled by the moon.

I become a vessel of precious stone
when his eyes and hands have need;
and when I need he sees that vessel empty,
to pour a spirit that requites the desert’s hands.

My twilights in silent prayer grow longer;
his feet beg for devotion I cannot conceal,
as the holy river makes a flood to sate the thirsty land;
date palm, sycamore, and sweet carob beckon,
while he begs for devotion I cannot conceal;
yet I have a sacred blossom that hides
like a bud beneath the river’s edge;
it closes as the sun withdraws,
and when the light matures it opens up its treasure.

I become a stone in the fast-flowing river
when his mouth and lips have need;
and when I need he sees those waters still,
to polish me like turquoise with his praying hands.

My days of drinking spring drafts come to an end;
his hands beg for time I cannot spill,
as what my loins have grown is planted in his land;
skin of tamarisk honey, lips, and brazen tongue speak,
while he begs for time I cannot spill;
yet I have a vintage drawn from the south
like those waters of the flood;
it comes when summoned by the wind,
and when the wind dies it returns to its cavern.

I become a tree of great shade
when his heart and spirit have need;
and when I need he sees my roots grow,
to shake the leaves of the world with my branches.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Amun-Ra of Myrrh / Lead Me To Your Tree

Amun-Ra of Myrrh

I heard the call of myrrh from a lonely sky;
a tree of scented breath upon which the Gods ride,
sending out a divine cloud to bring me in;
a ba-soul of the Hidden One to soothe my wandering senses.

The myrrh tree fills my head with lofty sight,
with visions that spring from a well I thought buried;
but a cloud of intoxicating sky chased my eyes,
and He was the Lord of Winds pulling the earth in.

His Ram-Soul made a noise across the sky
like a trumpet blaring in the full light of day;
though it was night His flame caught my eyes and ears,
and with sky-clad lips He drew me to His sacred boughs.

Amun-Ra of myrrh and dust of gold,
concealed in plain sight where my senses find You;
by dawn Your sky-tree burns to scent the heavens,
and at nightfall enchants the earth with stellar fingers.

Eyes, lips, and hands doused in myrrh of the heights;
His skin seeks out every sense with its power,
and I am taken deep into waters of lapis-lazuli;
with perception as a boat I traverse His potent waters.

Tree above these waters I enter, make me a home;
within your boughs and branches hold a swallow,
who alights as this ba-soul of my keeping;
and let him drink that lapis water of sacred ground and vault.

Swallow of copper and gold, hawk of obsidian eye,
come down from Your branches to tell me the way;
for there is a road sweeping through the ordered stars,
being the Hidden One’s edict for my traveling soul.

Amun-Ra You have called me out of the earth
which held me like a sleeping stone;
with open mouth Your breath becomes my guide,
and You lead me to Your tree of starry myrrh in the sky.

I heard the call of the Gods from the eternal sky,
who bring the two regions together with stellar hands;
the Earth in His solitude, the Heavens in Her joy;
theirs is a union traveled by the ages of souls.

Let me be among those who travel the far reaches,
with breath of myrrh and wings of the morning swallow;
and may those Gods who summon the wind hear me
as I make my twilight cries across the wandering veil.

Beholding Your sacred tree on the evening horizon,
I step beneath branches that hold Ancestral souls;
these are mine in light or darkness,
the scent of generations my open mouth sends out.

Amun-Ra of myrrh and dust of stars,
revealed in hidden sight where my ba-soul finds You;
by dawn Your sky-tree burns to scent the heavens,
and at nightfall enchants the earth with stellar fingers.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Where the Heron Flies

Where the Heron Flies 2

My riverbank awaits the mooring of his celestial barque;
coming and going, reaching and returning,
he takes terrestrial feet in his prow of the upper waters,
and brings back the wings of spirits to their hallowed shore.

Horizon of the Sun-God you fare splendid for my eyes,
catching the shadows of an evening on your fiery wings;
but you catch more than precious gold in your arms,
for yours is the net of the sky circling souls in pilgrimage.

Yesterday was the morning of the youthful Gods,
whose mirrors shone upon the waters of my fresh reflection;
while tomorrow is the twilight of the distant Elders,
who make procession to the western abode of our slumber.

We rise in the gap of the resilient east,
opening and seeing, standing up and taking flight;
but we return to the silence and repose of that yonder direction,
the gap of the descending west through which our corpses pass.

Those Westerners are upon my lips in name and deed;
when spoken they come back from the shrine of memory,
who recalls the flames the world of passions once stoked;
and these fly back with vivid wings upon our open mouths.

The dead are where we keep them, alighting or passing through;
they appear with crests like flashing white clouds,
or as shades that shift beneath our worldly horizon;
but only our eyes of etheric sight capture the dance they do.

I pronounce the names and forms your journeys took,
you spirits now risen from worldly corpses;
for I one day shall join your ranks of holy wings,
taking my passage through the western gap as She sings.

Wrapped in my mantle of pure white and myrrh,
my feet take to that river rushing through twilight air;
and who finds me but that net of stars opening the way,
where the heron flies clad in his veil of sacral light.

My riverbank beholds the mooring of his celestial barque;
arriving and receiving, alighting and beckoning,
he takes worldly forms in his shrine of the upper regions,
and brings back the wings of spirits to their hallowed shore.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Life Knows My Name / When I Am Poured Out

Life Knows My Name

What the Gods have given
increases from the holy soil
where my toes are firmly planted;
the trailing vine with its yellow flowers,
a voice of the Sun-God with creation on His lips;
mandrake of malachite and amethyst,
within whose enchantment my heart swells;
tender cornflower wearing her girdle of the sky,
drawing down the river of heaven to her breast;
marguerite of untouchable joy,
living at my feet while holding the sun within her;
poppy of heady memory leading my senses,
I am overcome when your savor announces the Gods;
and these are at my naked feet when daybreak calls,
when I am replenished by the memories of the sun.

The earth knows my name
when my feet find his depths by the river’s flood;
my feet that read the message of the waters,
speaking a turquoise tongue to the fields;
my feet that walk the pathways between tamarisks,
which know the darting of sparrows
as they play with the dancing sky;
my feet that journey with memories of acacia,
and recall the black banks harboring frogs of youth;
my feet that drink the south as he rushes
with glistening hands over the groves of palm;
my feet that memorize the twining of flowers,
sending up earth to couple with his lover;
my feet that tread the prophecies of the river,
when I am flooded by the memories of my skin.

Life knows my name
written on the leaves of her shining tree,
where the sun reads each letter in spans of thousands;
heralding the years of word and wing,
climbing those heights above the river;
a life who sings with the red breast of swallows,
who knows the tongue of the air;
a life who gathers the knowledge of the wind,
encompassing the vessel of the four directions;
a life who inhales the messages of holy groves,
sent aloft on arms of myrrh to kiss the sacral corners;
a life who breathes the open lotus of first light,
imbibing the sky as his yielding mistress;
a life that measures the distance of those heights,
when I am poured out by the memories of the sun.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

My Tomb Is On This Shore

My Tomb Is On This Shore

My tomb is on this shore,
in the place where the earth is swallowed by the sky;
His nakedness is covered by Her imperishable stars
for the eyes of swallows ascending the western vault.
And my nakedness?
His loins are awakened by the flowers of the sky;
beaten gold and ruddy copper flash as His girdle,
growing from a garden the hands of the Gods have planted;
cornflower and lotus unfurling their bright petals,
lighting a lamp before him
in the darkness of the desert’s edge.

I call on the Lord of the Rivers
to meet me by the water’s mouth;
Sebek Who is in the Water,
the Great Crocodile beautiful of forms;
who tears the sky with His double plumes,
appearing in the east as the Lord of Bakhu-Mountain.
This mountain is my destination, the sky rent above its peak;
and it is this crocodile of flashing white teeth
who makes a gap for my wings to enter.

My tomb is on this shore,
at the junction between the earth and sky;
He beholds the entourage of jabirus dancing
in their pilgrimage through that torn and glimmering veil.
And my pilgrimage?
His dance is the ascension of lamps in heaven’s lap,
whose yawning places him at the gate of a stellar home;
the tireless stars of generations hailing,
making of their song a guide for the wings of souls.
I answer when my ears of twilight are opened,
and my mouth breathes the breath the crocodile has woven.

I call on that Crocodile great of terror
to meet me by the desert’s mouth;
Sebek Who is Ruler of the Desert Edge,
whose teeth and claws reveal the flashing of the sun;
He coming on the dark waters to predict light,
crossing waterways as the sky flees His shadow.
These waterways are my destination, this Shadow my guide;
and I am brought up by the One Who Flies to the Skies,
who makes the starry vault a road for my wings.

My tomb is on this shore
in the place where the earth gives way to the sky;
His nakedness is revealed as the pathway of stars
for the eyes of herons rising on the eastern ladder.
And my nakedness?
His brow is crowned by the crest of the sky;
striking flame and sun’s eye are His mantle,
shooting forth from a horizon the Gods have opened;
thigh of bull and crocodile’s tail unveil their power,
lighting a lamp before Him
in the darkness of the sky’s edge.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

She Places A Shroud / Like the Shadows

She Places A Shroud.jpg

I will not die like the shadows of those mountains
who are cast down by the body of the nighttime sky;
She who has revealed Her midriff to be the house of stars,
with bare and copper breasts firmly set in heaven’s center;
She of that lapis veil overgrown with marguerites of gold,
whose cleft is the river where the mountains disappear.
I will enter Her mouth on a warm and clear evening;
but I will not die like the shadows of those mountains.

She places a shroud where my navel turns in,
and I am born again through the fabric She has woven;
this new Mother of mine in whose arms I am received,
to suckle at Her breast the luminous milk of the stars.
White being Her color, She gives Her elixir to my lips,
in a scintillating field shot far above the earth;
not a field of terrestrial water, but the seed of starry gods;
and I will not die like the shadows of those mountains.

I will not die like the fields of this earth
who are cast down by the body of the ambitious desert;
He who strips the green feldspar veil from the land,
with a red and raging storm throbbing in His hand;
He of the wind whom the thorny acacia fears,
whose tail is a shooting arrow aimed between His ears.
I will pacify His mouth on a cool and calm morning;
but I will not die like the shadows of those mountains.

She weaves for me a shroud where my soul turns in,
and I awake from my corpse through the door She has opened;
this sanguine Mother of mine in whose cavern I am received,
to pass through night’s hours as the kernel of the sun.
Red being Her color, She gives Her blood to my navel,
in a watery field flowing far beneath the earth;
not a field of mortal water, but the skin of eternal gods;
and I will not die like the shadows of those mountains.

I will not die like the waters of this earth
who are cast down by the body of the churning sands;
He who comes to drink and leaves the oasis bare,
standing tall before the mountains with red in His hair;
He who bends the southern sky to open as His bow,
whose arrows pierce the starry center where all spirits go.
I will take His arrow’s journey on a shinning and lucid night;
but I will not die like the shadows of those mountains.

She enchants for me a shroud where my magic turns in,
and I grow from the field Her green words have spoken;
this turquoise Mother of mine in whose sky I am received,
to spring from Her loins as the mirror of the sun.
Gold being Her color, She gives Her stars to my breast,
in a river of molten metal far beyond the earth;
not a field of pervious metal, but the flesh of deathless gods;
and I will not die like the shadows of those mountains.

I will not die like the shadows of those mountains
who are cast down by the thunder of the stormy sky;
She who has revealed Her wet tresses as the deluge,
with wide and open mouth to swallow light’s center;
She of that nighttime veil overgrown with obsidian shade,
whose cavern is the shroud where the sun’s mirror disappears.
I will enter Her mouth at the end of my worldly journey;
but I will not die like the shadows of those mountains.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

The Gardens I Have Left Behind

The Gardens I Have Left Behind

Distant sounds still reach my ears
from the gardens I have left behind;
honey of tamarisk, thorn of acacia,
and sycamore of my green youth;
mandrake of enchantment and fig of devotion,
where is your sweetness now;
and where are the branches that sang
of the cool river following a southern wind?

It is by way of memory
I meet your lips in a northern land;
red desert and peak of the west,
to which the swallows sing when they alight;
fresh fields of palm and mourning willow,
calling the turtledove to serenade the earth below;
and their songs still reach my ears
from the gardens I have left behind.

I have heard you sing of paradise
beside a pool sharing the day’s reflection;
where swallows of ruddy breast drink sweet waters,
where the timid sky is coupled with the brazen sun;
yet I know of no soul who has returned
to speak of greater treasures;
and I know of no man who has come back
from the desert’s unquenchable thirst.

Have I not shared a paradise with you
on an evening of breezes ensnared by jasmine?
His were fingers deftly plucking the scented air,
lit with torches upon whose halos we played;
his were hands illumined with the talents of gods,
to whose twilight constellations we prayed.
This is the paradise all living souls should know,
for no lips have spoken of other gardens from the grave.

Distant sounds still reach my ears
from the gardens I have left behind;
lute of boyhood, harp of pubescent skin,
and tambourine of rousing manhood;
drum of the bedchamber immersed in playful shadow,
where is your rhythm now;
and where are the dances you led
between the sheets of dusk and dawn?

It is by way of memory
I meet your body in an eastern land;
fields of malachite and river in the flood,
upon which the herons dance when they take flight;
black bank and golden horizon,
singing to the turquoise goddess above;
and their songs still reach my ears
from the gardens I have left behind.

I have heard other men sing of paradise
beside a mountain claiming the sky as its own;
where clouds follow in the train of sparrows,
where the stars climb the thighs of a golden sky;
yet I know of no soul who has returned
to speak of greater treasures;
and I know of no man who has come back
from the grave’s unassailable desire.

Have I not shared a paradise with you
on the trails of earth our feet were given?
Ours were arms encircling the dance of the sun,
shared with the soil upon whose fields we played;
ours were hands filled with the boons of the Gods,
to whose forms of earthly skin we prayed.
This is the paradise all living souls should know,
for no lips have spoken of other gardens from the grave.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

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

Marigolds For Ganesha / I Offer At the Table of the Air

Marigolds For Ganesha

Ganapati shows me the sun in the dead of night;
He comes as Varaprada with shimmering boons in His hands,
being the light of high noon when darkness abounds;
but He devours the night hours like sweetmeats,
and His joy is a sound that leaps through the shadows.
Varaganapati, whose hands accomplish all charitable works;
your kindness is the sun illuminating my midnight sky,
when you come to make a bonfire of the ills at my feet.

See what I offer at the table of the earth,
illumined by the torch of the Lord who ignites wisdom;
Buddhividhata of the most cherished knowledge,
whose inspiration pervades all worlds with dharma;
ignorance and illusion being severed by His axe,
and suffering giving way to the cause of liberation.
I call on You when I am tied to my miseries,
and You, O Vighnahara, leap with light to consume them.

Ganesha gives me a gift in my hour of despair;
He shows me my heart rising after I have fallen,
revealing a sun-ripened sweet swelling with the sky;
it is the pleasure of Lambodara that makes my heart grow,
which fills the empty sky like that full belly of His;
and in my despair I find an elephant growing there,
whose belly holds the sorrows of the world in its keep;
the fullness of Vigneshwara grants my heart its airy feet.

See what I offer at the table of the sky,
swirling with the dance of the Lord who knows all;
Vinayaka beneath whose feet the demons fall,
who by His sweeping trunk causes the worlds to stir;
Vikata of fearsome size and celestial action,
riding His peacock above the clouds of His foes.
By my hands I give praise to Vishwaraja of eternal rule,
who dances with the dharma ever-present in His deeds.

Ganapati shows me the moon in the dead of night;
He comes as Bhalchandra with a perfect crescent at His brow,
being the guiding hands of moonbeams as stars abound;
He makes my earthly feet aspire to celestial paths,
while His knowledge holds these stars by which my eyes are led.
Ganadhyakshina, whose hands accomplish all heavenly acts;
your mastery is the glint of stars steering my midnight sky,
when you come to lift my heart to that brow where wisdom rises.

See what I offer at the table of the air,
swept clean by the trunk of the Lord who removes obstacles;
Varaganapati who gives boons freely from abundant hands,
whose compassion heals the ills of the world at His feet;
dancing with the joy He inspires like sweetmeats,
while holding the cares of the earth in skillful arms.
A garland of marigolds lifts my heart to the sky,
where Ganesha receives it with His many and loving hands.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

I Cannot Argue With the Sky

I Cannot Argue With the Sky

I cannot argue with the flooding river,
who speaks to me by roaring as I come near;
his body is a surging curve of molten silver,
flashing between my legs as I seek that other shore.
Draw closer you green waters of the south,
and give me your turquoise to wear on my skin;
your drops that form a necklace of precious stones,
lasting but a moment as the sun sips my finery.

Gods of these holy waters invite my belonging;
with flood and abating let me come near,
to that door beneath the surface where spirits swim with you,
where the sun disappears into eventide’s dusky veil.
It is a veil I wear when I slide beneath the waters,
when I chase the face of the sun into his hidden cavern.
It is where I become a child of my mother,
wet again from that shrine of my beginning.

I cannot argue with the desert sun,
who speaks to me by burning as I come near;
his body is a winking sheet of divine gold,
heating my tongue as I seek that distant oasis.
Draw closer you flame of the desert sky,
and give me your metal to wear across my throat;
your drops that form a garland of luminous pearls,
lasting through midday as the wind drinks my neck.

Gods of these flames invite my dancing;
with spark and kindling let me come near,
to that door within the light where spirits leap with you,
where the moon disappears into daybreak’s living fire.
It is a fire I wear when I rise beyond the sky,
when I chase the moon’s mirror into his hidden shrine.
It is where I become a child of my father,
ablaze again from that mound of my beginning.

I cannot argue with the twilight sky,
who speaks to me by twinkling as I come near;
her body is a curtain spangled with stars,
climbing high on the horizon as I seek that open door.
Draw closer you stars of my Mother Sky,
and give me your light to wear on my breast;
your drops that form a ladder of pure golden dust,
lasting through the night as the moon wears my mantle.

Gods of these stars invite my ascending;
with rising and shining let me come near,
to that door within the sky where spirits rule with you,
where the earth disappears into night’s hidden gate.
It is a gate I wear when I traverse the holy threshold,
when I chase the sky’s fire into its hidden home.
It is where I become a spirit of sky’s body,
brightening the vault where earth had his beginning.

I cannot argue with the transient earth,
who speaks to me by changing as I come near;
his body is a mound embraced by shifting sands,
held open for my loins as they seek that nether door.
Draw closer you sands of my Father Earth,
and give me your purity to wear on my feet;
your drops that form a mountain of enduring metal,
lasting through the ages as my bones wear your mantle.

Gods of this earth invite my abiding;
with body and spirit let me come near,
to that door within the earth where spirits live with you,
where death disappears into sky’s hidden womb.
It is a womb I wear when my Mother swallows me,
when I chase my shadow into his eternal home.
It is where I become a body united with the sun,
ruling from the sky where the Gods had their beginning.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Who Has Summoned Me / Surely It Is Mahendra

Who Has Summoned Me

Who has summoned me to this garden of Nandana?
Surely He is the one whose breath rides the sky
under the cover of the clouds which are His tokens;
O Sakra the King of the Devas, of rosy-gold flesh and form,
coming over your clouds as Marutwan;
you turn my eyes skyward so that the earth cradles me,
and with my arms raised I am showered with dew.

Who has summoned me beneath these five trees;
their paradise gathers the sky to a canopy for play,
where birds weave a tapestry of praise for the ears.
Voices above mingle on a sandalwood rhythm,
with notes of jasmine to announce His forthcoming.
His sky is parted with peals of divine thunder,
revealing a musical body to shake these hallowed branches.

Who has summoned me as a field to drink the rain?
Surely He is the one whose right hand wields the vajra,
its beam of gold piercing the bright fabric of the sky;
O Vajrapani of the thunderbolt hand,
of lightning fingers and quickening dance;
I spread out my body like the parched land that calls,
imbibing the rain of your monsoon as it falls.

Who has summoned me from the east as a fire;
its glow fills the clouds with a shower of gold,
rending the ocean that churns above the world.
My heartache is rent and my still body is churned,
when Divaspati appears on His elephant of startling white.
Let the heavy clouds shatter for Him where they will,
as the lightning He carries has its way with the earth.

Who has summoned me to partake of the heavenly nectar?
Surely He is the one who rides His chariot across the sky,
crowned with intoxicating gold that stirs the senses;
O Swargapati of brilliant colors and shining forms,
coming over the earth as the bringer of verdant fields;
you turn my heart skyward with your elixir of holy forms,
and with my lips I know you as the mountains know the winds.

Who has summoned me from sleep with His savor;
fragrance that spreads through the clouds on His heels,
red lotus that opens from the sky with dawn’s flame;
His are the scents that awaken the slumbering mind,
the charge of the weapon on high striking the untamed heart.
Let His arrows and net hit their mark where I stand,
and find me kneeling tomorrow in the palm of His hand.

Who has summoned me to this dream in Nandana?
Surely He is the one who possesses heaven’s nectar
above the rain-heavy clouds that are His tokens;
O Mahendra who shakes the earth and heaven’s mirror,
coming over the sky as the light that stirs the world;
you turn my body skyward so that heaven’s arms cradle me,
and with my heart raised high I am showered with dew.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

 

I Am Your Pilgrim

I Am Your Pilgrim

There is a tree in yonder field who calls to me;
like the voice of the past, he speaks in yesterday’s tongue,
a language of rustling beneath the present wind;
and I find his leaves more true to me
than the prattle of worldly men.

Yew tree and sycamore; you sentinels of the valley
where my memories lie in waiting;
constant are your boughs and branches,
recalling the bones I lived in,
making my skin come to life again.

I am your pilgrim in spiritual armor,
clad in the words you whisper by evening’s breath;
softness bespeaks wisdom more enduring than a shield,
and silence cuts deeper than a sword
when treading on pompous heels.

I come bearing an offering to place in your branches;
equanimity lighting my form from within,
even in the presence of the howling wind
who picks apart your branches.
You remain and I remain, steadfast in our serenity;
or should the sky run away from that wind
when he blows to hear himself speak.

I am your pilgrim in stride with a lover’s step,
led by the words you breathlessly speak in bed;
tenderness predicts a heart more yielding than a pond,
whose ripples from the center are carried to yonder shore;
these ripples are the notes I play when unafraid.

I come bearing an offering for the sky that waits above you;
a turtledove whose call is echoed by other wings,
who gives what he was given on those sentimental clouds;
a buoyant spirit even on the incoming storm,
whose wings point ever upward
as the earth demands affection.

Acacia and tamarisk; you guardians of desert and river
where my resilience is remembered;
your thorns and honey abide in my spirit,
recalling my memories of sweetness and sin,
coming to the surface of my tempered skin.

I am your pilgrim in worldly armor,
dancing by the desert’s cruel edge;
however he lashes me with burning tongue of sand,
I move with the memory of my youthful river;
I bend my fluid body to his unyielding hands.

I come bearing an offering to ornament your arms;
my naked purpose poured out for your reach,
even in the presence of the thirsty sand
that strips the green from your branches.
You remain and I remain, fluid in our dances;
or should the river give way to the dunes
when they shift to feel their own weight.

I am your pilgrim dressed in the patience of the sky,
abiding above your earthly skin with Spirit in my fingers;
Spirit who takes by the vessel in which he lives,
Spirit who receives by the pleasure he gives;
these pleasures that lift us when we are unafraid.

I come bearing an offering to honor your memory;
ancient words that recall the seeds from which we grew,
even in the presence of the desert wind
which consumes the green things he sees.
You remain and I remain, vocal in our stillness;
or should our memories flee from the wind
when he howls to hear himself speak.

There is a tree in yonder field who calls to me;
like the voice of the future, he speaks in tomorrow’s tongue,
a language that persists beneath the present wind;
and I find his leaves more true to me
than the prattle of worldly men.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa