10 Aug A Hymn to Ra
Accept me, Ra, before you go,
before I go,
Do polychromatic dawn threads
like the tiny coruscating disks
sewn into a sequin dress?
Bring me to the breast of the night,
let me suckle stars,
cuddle obsidian cosmos ancestors?…?
They honor you, Ra,
like I do.
We sing your praises when you rise,
whenever you duck under the earth.
Embrace me, like a mother, O eternal night!
like a black origami flamingo,
by dark paper, dark praise?…?
Let all be run by your rule, Ra!
You know I’m your right-hand man, right?
You made me into a microchip,
a code that doesn’t die?…?
Hand me over to the hours
of day and night.
Time is my bulletproof vest.
I’m an ankle-tagged newborn
tongue-tied to the nipple of dawn,
the teat of dusk.
A child of the dark,
midnight skies move over my skin,
black-limbed angels of unburdened air,
keep me close,
but I fear the bulls with backward horns?…?
O hula hoop of light, eye of Ra,
you are my 24/7 security squad,
discover me as your gift?…?
From the tomb stela of King Wahankh Intef II, pharaoh of the Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt, 2108–2059 BCE
Translated by Samson Allal
Originally written in Old Egyptian
One of the beautiful things left with us from the tomb of the Pharaoh’s. Eqypt is known to have worshiped the sun god – Ra in the Egyptian Old Kingdom (c.2613-2181 BCE) and continued for about 2000 years until Christianity eclipsed the religion.
The sun god – Ra was introduced by Pharaoh Akhenaten Amenhotep IV who took over the throne after Amenhotep III in the 18th dynasty. Akhenaten is believed to be the father of Tutankhamun – the youngest Pharaoh to rule Egypt. Akhenaten Amenhotep IV believed and promoted monotheism.