Wep Ronpet (Poem I)

Erynn Rowan Laurie

I.

When the Moon-Beaked won the light
Light from the face of Khonsu
Light from a fragment of the moon’s light

He made days
Thoth the Ibis made days
With his hand he made days
Days between the years he made
Days for Nut
Days for birth
Days for the gifts of Nut and Geb

The Moon-Beaked put his hands between the years
His baboon-hands he put there
Pushing
Making a crack
Opening time with his hands
He made days

Chaos emerged from the crack

II.

Between the Moon-Beaked’s hands
Osiris emerged

From the thighs of Nut
Osiris emerged

From the belly of Nut
Osiris emerged

Flowing down from heaven
The Nile
Black waters making fresh the land
Raising green leaves
Raising papyrus and lotus
Raising barley for beer
Raising the leaves of onions
Osiris emerged

III.

Baboons cried out
As Horus emerged
Bright and burning from the thighs of Nut

The stars in his wings
Horus flew
His eyes opened
Making bright the sky

Water would never pass his lips
Only the blood of his enemies
Only the blood of his prey

His white crown unstained
Horus flew
Ankhs in his talons
His face too bright to look upon

Sun and moon his eyes
Horus flew

IV.

In the middle of days
The days between time
When chaos walked upon the land

Laughing
Set came down

Long of snout
He who laughs at dark
He whose destiny slays Apep

Set came down
Down to the prow
The prow of the Boat of Millions of Years

With eyes of fire
He set ablaze the lands of his enemies
Even at his birth he set them ablaze

Set came down
His red hair fiery
Red like desert sand

Master of all strength
Set took the Was-Scepter in his hand

Thunder began

V.

He held the year open
Held open the days
Days for Nut

The Moon-Beaked watched in wonder
Isis descending

On vulture wings
Isis descending

Geb cried out
In joy
And Osiris
Osiris raised his hands
Adoring her beauty

On vulture wings
Isis hovered
Her foot not yet on the land
Black land
Fertile land

The touch of her foot began
The song of cymbals
Vulture-Crowned
She walks among men

Under her wing
Fruitful earth

VI.

Singing her praises
The Bennu-Bird cried out
Shaking the sistrum
The Bennu-Bird cried out

Between the hands of Thoth
The Bennu-Bird cried out

Nephthys cried out
Cried out grief
On that day she knew
Shaking the sistrum she knew

Nephthys made her abode in Senu
Her abode in darkness
In decay
Her abode in death
In death that makes fertile
In death that breathes life

Shaking the sistrum
Nephthys cried out
Striding forth from the thighs of Nut

VII.

Laughing
The Moon-Beaked smiled

Chaos ebbed
Withdrew
As Thoth withdrew his hands
Chaos cried out, shrieked
Fading
As Thoth withdrew his hands

Nut drew breath
Resting
Her body bright with sweat
Her body bright with stars
Tired from birth

Geb raised up his hands
Raised up his children to Thoth
Raised them up to the Maker of Days
Raised them up in praise
Raised up five days outside of time

Re shouted out
Dismayed
“On no day, within no year”
Five days outside of time

Laughing
The Moon-Beaked smiled


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