Three lyres. One sun in the east. The image of grace in my two eyes. One glad body. A day. The wind which moves the boats, moves them. The strident sun is walking through a field of stars. The beautiful one is singing in two halves of the sky. A child speaks. An old man nods and dreams. The people have come from their houses to sit in doorways to sniff the air.

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O sun. O Ra. Osiris risen. O child climbing along mother’s back, laughing. Two men in a bark boat, rowing, stop to hear your mother singing. Maat at the double season. Strident sun in heaven.
Ten thousand thousand sticks of light have been raised against the demon. He is fallen. His beard has been cut. His two hands and ten fingers have been severed. His sinews are torn by the knife.

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Be quiet. Ra is in the wind. He speaks when the earth is silent and he alone existed until he named the names of things. River, he said, and River lived. Nile. Mountain. Beetle. Fisherman. From his tongue spring words of water. The river quakes with the sound of his voice. Air escaping from his nose. Breathe deep. The wind a sigh from his mother. Such things are made every day: Duck, Mandrake, Raisin. Grape, Pomegranate, Melon. Cypress, Palm, Osiris.

 From The Egyptian Book of the Dead

 

Photos by Allen Wolfie Simpson & Hanneliese Bredell

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