This past Thursday, we had another one of our poetry jams on Twitter, this one augmneted by a new technology tool (see the main home page for what it looks like). The prompts from @tspoetry were all taken from Treasures of Tutankhamun, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Technology, Tut, Twitter, TweetSpeak – we must have a thing for Ts around here.
Here are the first group of poems, under the general heading of “Songs of King Tut.”
Songs of King Tut
Slats, Joints and Slants
Through dim, linen-touched light of
the papyrus scented candle, a scent to
make a royal husband happy, I peered
at you through wooden slats, saw the
curve of your back slanted from me. I
found your verses telling it slant. We all
tell it slant, I think, how can we help it?
Well, at least I’m somewhere relevant.
I want to slant into God, slide down the
words and down God’s throat.
I closed my eyes and dreamed that
God was touching my skin and flesh,
with His bare hands circling me,
joints of hands working, loving, healing.
Then He’s stretching me again,
always pulling at my skin,
pressing on my muscles.
Tonight, for a brief hour, I stretched
each joint out, across the blankets, and
Ivory and Ebony
Ivory hooves, tusks to carry burdens .
Papyrus, ivory-beaded drums thundering.
I was not born with such ivory skin. I was
darker and somehow faded… fade… filmy
disappearance, then dark wood, dark as
night, carried from far away. No
do not say it; the drums don their own
dress, tinny accesories and syncopated beads
carried on ebony shoulders.
Unshod feet drum a rhythm.
Spirals and signs, making it mine,
My life is bordered by continuous
spirals. Thoughts whirring, swirling,
Write it on your heart, paint it on the wall.
He worships her shoulder and the spirals of
history freckled down the back of her
I look back over my own
shoulder at the spirals of choices that
fall away behind me.
I will paint my wall with splashes of
victorious color, and little drips of
disappointment, shadowed by the
spirals of joy following a spiral border
always looking back.
Watch your step or the spine will stick
you, and your desert guide will react
with insurance-inspired caution. I like
it when you kiss my freckles, warm soft
lips tenderly taking each dark dot into
careful consideration. My lion of a man
showers me with spirals of fresh love,
plucked from God’s hand.
In Santa Fe, the free standing spiral
staircase still inspires.
- Poets and Poems: Laura Mullen and “After I Was Dead” - January 24, 2023
- “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” – An Old Poem, a New Artwork - January 17, 2023
- Poets and Poems: Nancy Murphy and “The Space Carved by the Sharpness of Your Absence” - January 13, 2023