In Memphis

by Visalakshi Viswanathan


There, in the heart of Memphis
Where blood turned into wine,
The serpent-eyed Apophis
Had minions in line,
For he would wage a battle,
And slay all men and cattle;
Ra’s kingdoms he would rattle,
The sun no more would shine.

He spread raw wrath and odium,
Revived disputes of old.
The gods upon their podium
Saw gore engulf their fold.
Men joined the serpent’s forces,
Shunned truth and chaste discourses,
And rampaged like wild horses
Through Egypt’s streets of gold.

Great Ra sent out his lioness
Sekhmet upon the vile,
The terrible, the treasonous,
The ghouls inflamed with guile.
In her leonine hunger
She fed on each warmonger
And chased each scandalmonger
Into the River Nile.

The Nile, crimson and bloodied,
The gods turned into wine
With ochre that was buried
Deep in Elephantine.
Now tipsy, Sekhmet languished;
Now filled with love, she’s vanquished
Apophis lame and anguished,
Who hides where the sun won’t shine.


Copyright © 2013 by Visalakshi Viswanathan

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