… a thought making crooked all that is straight.

Poetry

Poem: Cosmic Shivers of the Thrice-Black Bird

[DEDICATED TO THE DEATH DAY OF ANDI D.]

Do birds sing at night in the cities
While darkness reigns on the land?
Lights imbue the air with iridescent glow
That tarnishes midnight creating
A subterfuge of sleep.

I lay awake three nights in a row
Listening to a lone blackbird sing
Even though dawn was a dream away,
Fantasy in the mind of Nut;
The morning star still hidden in her belly.

My world upturned while he sang a song
Of dawn, pressed into night’s breast;
His throat trilled vibrations of the sun
Into the bosom of Night, pricking her skin
So she bled into my mouth: I could not breathe.

Nature was inverted during those nights;
The spirit of day had invaded the Du’at,
The bark of Ra dragged screaming
Through the underworld where the dead
Heard the song of the thrice-black bird.

Cadavers quaked at the sound with longing
Remembering dawns when the blood
Pulsed, throbbed and rose in their veins –
A bloody dawn inside their own bodies
That now rotted in the earth.

I heard the dead groan at the agony
Of Beauty – Cosmic Shivers – that ululated
From that bird. As I lay listening,
Breath stilled under the Midnight Sun
I pondered my own death that surely must come.

©StarofSeshat 2016

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To write … or to be “a writer”?

The end of March, all of April and part of May were a write-off. My M.E. and reactive hypoglycemia flared up so I was bed-bound for around 15 -20 hours of every day. Hell. Things stabilised in May, although “stable” to me still means “affected every day by my illnesses”. Sadly I had to come off the raw vegan diet in order to reach some kind of balance again. I still hope to go back to it, or perhaps just to the transition diet, popularly known as Raw till 4, but at the moment I’m just trying to crack down on being vegan as it’s tough giving up dairy completely.

My writing has picked up. I am working through a poetry course at the moment, learning about form and structure as well as content. I am half-way through the course and already see an improvement in my poetry (none of it is published yet on my poetry blog). Today I wrote a sonnet pastiche on Tennyson’s “If I were loved as I desire to be”. I’m pleased with the result. I get such a buzz from writing the main draft of a poem or from getting a lot of editing work done. I’m currently working on one of the main submissions for the course, a poem about the deep sea. So far I have 14 pages of draft work for a 35 line poem.

Feedback from friends on my recent writing has been good, although they are always supportive and vocal in encouraging my work. Feedback from the other course participants is … interesting; peer criticism forms about 50% of the course and I’m finding it difficult to offer constructive criticism. In private I gasp, “Oh my god, that’s awful!” or “Wow! I love it!” and that’s about as constructive as it gets. I’m not yet in the right frame of mind to take their poetry apart and offer helpful, critical suggestions. This latter ability will soon get some practice as I’ve joined a local writers’ group and we will be holding co-writing sessions but also critiquing sessions. The challenge is to learn to offer criticism but also to take it. At least all this literary criticism is toughening me up. What does surprise me is when I encounter someone who is “published” but whose writing is pretty dire … then I think, “Hey, I’m not quite as crap as they are, maybe I could do that too!” The main difference between us is less the quality of work and more the extent of self-belief. THEY believe they are writers and self-identify as such. I keep viewing myself as a dabbler, and even though (in my opinion) some of my writing is better than theirs, I pull back from calling myself “a writer” because it smacks of delusions of grandeur. But maybe I need to be a little more grand and a little more deluded if I’m ever going to make anything of my writing!

©StarofSeshat 2013


Easter weekend catch-up

It’s Easter weekend and the sky continues to try and snow, throwing down a sprinkling of flakes while frowning grey clouds upon an earth seemingly impervious to the rising sap that must be there, somewhere, hidden in the frozen ground.

I chanced a religious joke with my mother that involved Jesus hopping … it didn’t go down too well as “Our Lord” doesn’t do such things. Transubstantiation and walking on water is within his remit but hopping is for heathens, apparently.

Ghost now has a shoebox in her cage. She is blind, neurotic and scared of the world, but the shoebox makes her brave. If I touch her outside the box she squeals in pain and anguish, shudders and shrugs me off as if it is the worst thing in the world to be touched. But if I can trick her to jump into the shoebox, suddenly she collapses under my touch into a tooth-grinding flat rat with eyeballs rolling in her head with pleasure. The shoebox is obviously her G-spot.

I have set up a new blog today, one that will contain mainly my own poetry but also other poetry that appeals to me. In less than a month I shall begin a poetry writing course. I’m excited and keen to get my bardic finger out. I find that poetry is often the best way to exorcise a powerful emotion, quick and painful though it can be; prose is a long drawn out affair that tends to pull me into navel-gazing martyrdom. The link to my new blog is here: Seshat’s House of Poetry.

My back is gradually seizing up and I am desperate for a massage. Sadly my previous masseuse left the beauty salon. The salon has a high turnover of staff, which is never a good sign. The owner is a bitch with a penchant for blonde staff members; one of the masseuses wondered if her boss might be trying to establish her own Aryan Nation. After having seen her out in casual military wear, looking like a Dominatrix about to walk over someone’s face, I wouldn’t be surprised. The issue was complicated further by the salon refusing to massage me until FOUR months after my hysterectomy because they were concerned that I would pop open and spill my guts like someone standing on an ice cream. A ridiculous idea, and contraindications for massage after hysterectomies are 6 weeks, not four months. So now I’m on the lookout for a masseuse who won’t treat me like an overstuffed sausage ready to burst its skin.

Below a photo I took of purple crocuses down by the river, before the most recent cold spell:

Purple Crocuses

©StarofSeshat 2013


Egyptian Poetry III

[Dedicated to my Sun]

I am hungry for more of your love,

You, my wolf cub!

Making love to you is intoxicating;

I will not stop

Until I am beaten from your bed

Driven to the swamp lands,

To the land of the Syrians beaten with rods and branches,

To the dark lands whipped with palms,

To the high lands bruised with sticks,

To the low lands bloodied by harsh hands –

I will not heed their words.

How could I ever leave the one I hunger for!

 

*****

 

I wish to speak these words to Ptah, Lord of Justice:

“Give me my beloved tonight!”

The river is wine,

The reeds are Ptah

and Sekmet his lotus petals;

Jadit is his buds

and Nefertem his blossom.

 

The Golden Sun is full of joy;

The earth is brightened by its light.

Memphis is a bowl of love apples

Placed before the face of such beauty.

Both from the Harris 500 Papyrus
© starofseshat 2008


Broken Skin

Broken skin

Feel the pain

Hide inside

And go insane.

Wounded heart

Hidden sigh

Can you feel

My need to cry?

Blinking eyes

Bitten tongue

I hold myself

Till all is done.

Reaching out

With my mind

If you feel

What will you find?

All alone

No one here

The voice is silent

Rent by fear.

© starofseshat 2008


A diamond in my mind

A diamond light before my eyes

Refracting sunlight on my face,

Beyond the clouds I see it rise

Out of reach… another place.

Perhaps I’ve lost my sight to god

His radiance slipped behind a cloud,

But I can feel the earthly sod

Cold beneath my heart’s dark shroud.

The light within reflects without

My sight obscured by objects grim,

I feel my way o’er rocks of doubt

And know the path will lead to Him.

The memory of that diamond light

Burnt, imprinted on my mind

Carries me in the darkest night

And makes me see although I’m blind.

My naked hands are cut and bleeding

Raked by things I cannot see

I hold them out, my fingers pleading

For a god to pity me.

© starofseshat 2008


Egyptian Love Poetry II

Oh, how my heart beats fast
When I think of my love for him!
It beats not like a human heart,
It jumps like a beast.

It stays my hand when dressing,
And stops me reaching for my fan.
It keeps me from rubbing kohl around my eyes
And holds me back from oiling my body.

“Do not delay meeting with your heart’s desire,”
It says to me as often as I think of him.
Don’t act like a fool, my heart,
Why do you worry me so?

Stay calm. Your lover will come to you
But the eyes of the many will also be on you.
Let it not be said,
“She is a woman in the grip of love!”
Stay firm whenever you think of him,
My heart, do not beat so in my breast!

My heart draws close to you
As I lie in your arms,
I wish to touch you in ways my heart desires.

My eyes are coloured by the wish to look on you.
You make my eyes bright.
I press myself against you to feel your love,
you are the most precious thing to my heart!

How sweet this hour with you,
I wish the hour was an eternity!
My heart has been raised up
By sleeping with you.

Whether in sorrow or joy –
do not leave me!

 

[From the Harris 500 Papyrus Songs]

© starofseshat 2008


Egyptian love poetry I

I received a book of Egyptian poetry today. Unfortunately the texts are in German, so I have translated them into English. Each translation takes us a further step from the original, but I hope the sense is retained.
How wonderful to think that thousands of years ago, men and women were experiencing the same emotions we do today.
 

The voice of the swallow cried and said:
“Day has come –
when will you leave?”

I won’t, you winged creature,
You are tormenting me!
I found my lover in his chamber,
And my heart was exalted in joy.
We spoke to each other:
“I will never leave you,
We will stay hand in hand,
And when I go out,
I will be with you at every place of beauty.”
He has made me the happiest woman
And my heart is untroubled!

 

[Harris 500 Papyrus songs]

 

My God, my lotus flower, I will come with you;
it is a beautiful thing to go down to the river.
My wish is to enter the water
And to bathe before your eyes.

I will show you my beauty
In a shirt of the finest linen,
Soaked in balsam oil,
My hair tied back.

I wish to enter the water with you
and leave with a red fish
resting peacefully in my hand.
I will lay him on my breasts
while I look at your beauty,
oh my husband, my lover –
come, cast your eyes on me!

[No papyrus reference – classified under “Other songs”]

[Not too sure about the whole fish-on-the-breasts thing, but methinks it may be a euphemism (ahem) 🙂 ]

And another …

The key to my heart
is there on the other side!
The river flows between us,
the flood rages at this time of the year. 

A crocodile is watching on the sandbank,
But I step into the water,
Wade through the flood,
My heart is courageous though I am in the river. 

The crocodile was as a mouse in my eyes
and the water was like land to my feet.
Your love makes me strong
as if it is a water spell cast upon me. 

Now I see you before me,

the key to my heart.

 

[No papyrus reference – classified under “Other songs”]

 

And just to show that priorities haven’t changed (beer and women!), this short line:

I kiss her and her lips open,
I am drunk from her kisses as from beer.

🙂
© starofseshat 2008