Pyramids and Tombs

EGYPT

Sphinx and Pyramid
Sphinx and Pyramid

Tombs and Pyramids

cairo's smog

inexplicably
is explained away by our excellent guide
as being the result of nile fog
and agricultural fires burning in the countryside
between the sahara and this city
of twenty million souls' urban sprawl
as if we could not see all of the vehicles
in which we ride and which we see
must have had a great part in darkening the sky
with its ugly horizon haze
even if mixed with nile river mist 
and burning farm debris

the three great pyramids of giza
free of smog
point magnificently toward heaven
on the city's western side of the nile
the eastern margin of the sahara's sand
stretching westward toward the atlantic
almost a whole continent away

their massive size
cause one, almost
to believe in ufo construction crews
hovering their spacecrafts above stone quarries
not far awsy
and using laserlike beams of pure energy
to cut perfectly fitting blocks
of solid stone
before lifting and levitating them
to tomb preparation sites
where, for centuries, they have paid
renewing tribute to the absolute rule
and complete tyranny
of their pharoahs
with no greater goal
than to glorify themselves
their human magnificence
ultimately
their divinity

as do the scattered tombs
around the ridge from the nile
[king tut's with his mummy inside
ramsees iii's and hatshepsat's--
one of a tiny number of female pharoahs]
in or near the valley of the kings
short bus ride from cruise ships
shuttling hoards of tourists
up and down
this lifeline of water
through the arid sands
of north africa

and the temples of the gods
at luxor and karnak
were not where believers went
to meet their gods
and be blessed in their presence
but where their divinities' priests
entered the living spaces
of the gods themselves
to perform rituals
in hopes of obtaining the gods' favors
whether they were to come or not

egypt's greatest philosophical gift to us
historians of such ideas claim
is the genesis of our western world's
belief in immortality
that the treasures of the tombs
[almost all robbed except tut's]
was the beginning of mankind's belief
in an eternal afterlife
where all true believers
would find absolute happiness
in their existence hereafter

the pyramids
stand
belief 
in eternal life 
continues

jmurph

 

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