Sunday, November 1, 2015



So many merchants in Thebes,
as many as mouths starved,
golden chariots, birds,
lionesses in helmets carved.
So many blockheads in Thebes,
“I’m pure, I’m pure”, they grind,
so many plaintiffs in Thebes,
the defendant is a harpist blind,
and when they claim their rights in hordes
I stay quiet, recalling the poem’s lines,
that papyrus, my dear, those words
that free man – is a stain upon slavish eyes,
it is then that I touch your hair
and upon your face my fingers stay put.
In Thebes once again flow the rivers of tears
I do love you, Hatshepsut.
Dimly shining bangles on your wrists,
royal Nile turns blue in the predawn mist,
at the river bank rustles the rush,
storks against the roofs brush,
do you see, clouds hailing from the Valley of Kings,
mighty winds break and tear the locks as they cling,
a thunder is coming of heavenly forces,
listen, by the porch there await chestnut horses,
orchids, nymphs and hibiscus
are braided into their silky manes,
Thebes, what’s the use of these wars, heinous?
Castles, temples, these obelisks?
You and I, we will leave this cursed, wretched place
and forget the New Kingdom forever,
before us will stretch vast, azure space,
behind – eucalyptus forests will hover,
I will find a grotto of pearls for you -- black
I will bring you some fish from the bay…
But in truth. by the gates guards were attacked
by a crowd and the air by sandstorm is holed and cracked.
And Thebes in the darkness sways.

Dimitri Melnikov

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