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Unread 09-10-2019, 02:29 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Location: TX
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Default The Ram God Khnum

The Ram God Khnum: Version IV
British Museum

This ram’s extinct. But on the god,
its horns stand yet. Each twist and curl
is lost in Nature, not his head –
since he’s not young. He scans the hall.
His crown confirms the god who threw
gods and men on a potter’s wheel.

In Egypt, where both ram and bull
persist, the smoke of sacrifice
climbs up to Heaven. But is all
Khnum fashioned lost beneath the soil?
Like river birds, we greet the day;
yet we have nothing to reveal.


The Ram God Khnum: Version III

The ram’s extinct. But on this god
its horns stand yet. Each twist and curl
is lost in Nature, not his head –
since he's not young. He scans the hall.
His crown reveals the god who threw
gods and men on a potter’s wheel.

Khnum surfaced from beneath the Nile.
He views his works with his ram's eyes
from some stele in the British Museum.
It's cold in here; the crowd wear coats
to look on him. His left hand holds
crisp British air, as if it’s real.

And this is how gods come to call.
Though their tongue's gone, that alphabet
compels the mind. Each choice we make
is patent; gods are thus made up.
What they might want, we can't foretell.
We age, not them, that is the deal.

In Egypt, where the ram and bull
persist, the smoke of sacrifice
climbs up to Heaven. Is the work
Khnum fashioned lost beneath the soil?

you say. Like birds, we greet the day.
But we have nothing to reveal.


The Ram God Khnum: Version II
British Museum

This ram’s extinct. But on the god,
its horns stand yet. Each twisting curl
is lost in Nature, not on him –
for he’s not young. He scans the hall.
By his crown, know the god who threw
gods and men on a potter’s wheel.

In Egypt, where believers will
remain, the smoke of sacrifice
rises to Heaven. Is the work
Khnum fashioned lost beneath the soil?

you say. Like birds, we greet the day.
But there is nothing to reveal.


The Ram God Khnum: Version I

There is another world and it is this one.
Paul Éluard

This ram’s extinct. But on the god,
its horns stand yet. Each twisting curl
is lost in Nature, not on him –
since he’s not young. He scans the hall.
By his crown, know the god who threw
gods and men on a potter’s wheel.

Khnum surfaced from beneath the Nile.
He views his works with his ram's eyes
from some room in the British Museum.
It's cold in here; the crowd wear coats
to gaze at him. His left hand holds
crisp British air, as if it’s real.

The gods come calling. We do not.
Though that tongue's gone, its alphabet
compels the mind. Each choice we make
is patent. Gods are thus made up.
What they might want, we can't foretell.
We age, not them, and that's the deal.

In Egypt, where believers still
remain
, the smoke of sacrifice
rises to Heaven. Is the work
Khnum fashioned lost beneath the silt?

you say. Like birds, we greet the day.
But there is nothing to reveal.


Image: https://www.britishmuseum.org/resear...00854&partId=1

Deleted: to air
and folks
know their tongue
that is
where believers are / not rare
won’t
We wish for something to reveal.
Thus gods come calling. We do not.

Last edited by John Isbell; 09-19-2019 at 08:38 PM.
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