November 6th, 2010


Another Egypt poem

Incident in the Halls of the Dead
Anubis grows dog-tired of weighing hearts
of watching the Devourer gulp some down.
Its slobbering and chewing makes him frown.
He feels disgust and kicks the beast. It starts

to whimper, then it snaps its vicious jaws
around his leg. He hits it with a rod.
The pain reminds him, though he is a god,
that he is bound by many of the laws

that limit mortal lives, that pain is good
and teaches us to keep our temper. He
bends down, tickles its jaw. It chewed his knee
but hardly broke his skin. He knows he should

but cannot love the brute. Souls in a queue
have seen this. He's in pain. Embarrassed too.

More Egypt

Poor Folk

The peasants who raise crops, the men who pull
great blocks of stone down ramps, the tavern whore
all these have their small lives, but they want more.
To have eternity. Great Amun's bull,

the god Osiris, Isis who is blessed,
these are their gods as well. The haughty rich
may ride them down, shove them into a ditch.
But will not get to keep eternal rest

from them. When poor folk die, they wait and go
in crowds through the dark kingdom's silent way
so many they scare lions and snakes away
without the spells that wealthy people know

and fill Anubis' hall. He nods them through.
Poor hearts weigh less than evil rich folks' do.



Their plan succeeds although it takes them years,
and though it costs them everything. They send
a poppy blight to China, and they spend
gold sending steam-guns to the mutineers

in India. Black airships in the night
swoop down to rescue all escaping slaves,
take them to Canada, and men this saves
are then recruited to the bloody fight

that follows, saves the peoples of the Sioux,
who keep the Black Hills. When the red flags fly
in London, and they are condemned to die,
they kiss upon the scaffold, and stay true

and only are unmasked once they are dead.
Albert the Good, Victoria the Red.

Just how many Egypt poems am I going to write?

Nature Myth

Set kills Osiris. Slices him apart,
and throws his penis to a crocodile
feeds owls his brain, and centipedes his heart
and sniggers, sings a cheerful death song while

he works. When mother Isis wanders by
and asks him where her husband has got to
Set looks quite innocent, and tells a lie.
He doesn't know, he's making barbecue

for all the beasts. She guesses. Goes around.
Gets all the bits except his genitals.
Stitches and wraps and brings him back all sound
save for his ivory cock, his new jade balls.

Lost happiness can be brought back complete.
To do it though, you may well have to cheat.