Egyptian Poetry:  Religious
God is a Master Craftsman

God is a master craftsman;
                yet none can draw the lines of his Person.
Fair features first came into being
                in the hushed dark where he mused alone;
He forged his own figure there,
                hammered his likeness out of himself--
All powerful one (yet kindly,
                whose heart would lie open to men).

He mingled his heavenly god-seed
                with the inmost parts of his being.
Planting his image there
                in the unknown depths of his mystery.
He cared, and the sacred form
                took shape and contour, splendid at birth!
God, skilled in the intricate ways of the craftsman,
                first fashioned Himself to perfection.

How Splendid You Ferry the Skyways

How splendid you ferry the skyways,
                Horus of the Twin Horizons,
The needs of each new day
                firm in your timeless pattern,
Who fashion the years,
                weave months into order--
Days, night, and the very hours
                move to the very gait of your striding.
Refreshed by your diurnal shining, you quicken,
                bright above yesterday,
Making the zone of night sparkle
                although you belong to the light,
Sole one awake there
                --sleep is for mortals,
Who go to rest grateful:
                your eyes oversee.
And theirs by the millions you open
                when your face new-rises, beautiful;
Not a bypath escapes your affection
                during your season on earth.
Stepping swift over stars,
                riding the lightning flash,
You circle the earth in an instant,
                with a god's ease crossing heaven,
Treading dark paths of the underworld,
                yet, sun on each roadway,
You deign to walk daily with men.
                The faces of all are upturned to you,
As mankind and gods
                alike lift their morningsong:
"Lord of the daybreak,

When Being Began Back in Days of the Genesis

When Being began back in days of the genesis;
            it was Amun appeared first of all,
                    unknown his mode of inflowing;
There was no god before him,
            nor was there other god with him there
                    when he uttered himself into visible form;
There was no mother to him, that she might have borne his name,
            there was no father to father the one
                    who first spoke the word, "I Am!"
Who fashioned the seed of him all on his own,
            sacred first cause, whose birth lay in mystery,
                    who crafted and carved his own splendor--
He is God the Creator, self-created, the Holy;
            all other gods came after;
                    with Himself he began the world.


Egyptian Poetry:  Secular
Send Him Back Hard by your Lady's Small Window

Send him back hard by your lady's small window
                    (She is alone now; there is no other);
Stuff yourself full in her banquet hall!
                    Then though bedrock be shaken sky high,
Though very heaven break down in the stormwind,
                    he shall not (lovely lady) be moved.

Lo where she comes to you, bright with her thousand pleasures!
                    fragrance spreads like a floodtide
Drowning the eyes, and the head whirls.
                    Unable the poor fool before her.

Ah!  this is the hand of Our Golden Lady!--
                    She gives the girl as your due
That you keep to your service in Her Holy Name,
                    able anon, old pecker, to say
You've had the world in your time.

Ho, What She's Done to Me--That Girl

Ho, what she's done to me--that girl!
                    And I'm to grin and just bear it?
Letting me stand there huge in her door
                    while she goes catfoot inside.
Not even a word:  "Have a quiet walk home!"
                    (dear god give me relief)
Stopping her ears the whole damned night
                and me only whispering, "Share!"

I Love a Girl, but She Lives Over There

I love a girl, but she lives over there
                on the too far side of the River.
A whole Nile at floodstage rages between,
                and a crocodile hunched on the sand
Keep motionless guard at the crossing.
                Still I go down to the water,
Stride out into the waves--
                how is it
Desire can soar in the wrench of this current
                rough water be tame as my fields?
Why she loves me! she loves me! hers is the love
                anchors the shifting toeholds;
My charming girl whispered water magic
                (crocodile sits spellbound)--O my love,
Where are you, whose hand
                is so small yet has mastered the River?
--There, over there! already waiting,
                right in the path of my burning eyes!
The only one dear to my heart,
                and she crowns the shore like a queen!

Whenever I Leave You, I Go Out of Breath

Whenever I leave you, I go out of breath
                    (death must be lonely like I am);
I dream lying dreams of your love lost,
                    and my heart stands still inside me.
I stare at my favorite datecakes--
                    they would be salt to me now--
And pomegranate wine (once sweet to our lips)
                    bitter, bitter as birdgall.

Touching noses with you, love, your kiss alone,
                    and my stuttering heart speaks clear:
Breathe me more of your breath, let me live!
                    Man meant for me,
God himself gave you as his holy gift,
                    my love to outlast forever.


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