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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Crux (A Bumpersticker)


File:Kom Ombo 0333.JPG

Ankh -- Weiterleben im Jenseits: wall relief, Temple of Kom Ombo, Egypt, Ptolemaic Dynasty, 1st/2nd c. B.C.: photo by Hedwig Storch, 2009


if you believe in the Paranormal

File:Kom Ombo Nov 16th 1838-David Roberts.jpg

Temple of Kom Ombo, 16 November, 1838
: David Roberts, illustration in Egypt & Nubia, from drawings made on the spot by David Roberts, lithography by Louis Haghe, London, 1845-1848

Weiterleben im Jenseits

Continue in the Afterlife (Beyond, Next World, Other Side, Hereafter)

File:Ankh-Royal Ontario Museum.jpg

The Ankh, reign of Hatshepsut, 1508-1438 B.C.
: Royal Ontario Museum, photo by Pasitigris1, 2010


Loop amulet of the snake goddess
double edged ax
sacral knot

gods, lock my mummy into another life

along with three hundred crocodiles

File:Kom Ombo-David Roberts.jpg

Temple of Kom Ombo: David Roberts, 1848, in David Roberts' Egypt and Nubia, with drawings made on the spot, lithography by Louis Haghe, London, 1845-1848


The belt buckle of Isis
in gold
beaten to an airy thinness
as in a mirror
on the wall, multiple

the images
this one
with that one

what words can't get a handle on
some physical tool or key
may be needed

File:Codex Glazier 2.JPG

Illuminated crux ansata (handled cross) on manuscript of New Testament (Acts 1:1-15:3) in Middle Egyptian dialect of Coptic, Codex Glazier, 4th/5th c. A.D.
.: photo by Leszek Janczuk, 2010

Camera Obscura

crux ansata
a peek around a corner into another world

File:Kom Ombo 0331.JPG

Wall relief, Temple of Kom Ombo, Egypt, Ptolemaic Dynasty, 1st/2nd c. B.C.: photo by Hedwig Storch, 2009


Ed Baker said...

the oldest community/civilization continuously living on the same spot/land .. NUBIA ...

utterly wiped/flooded ot by
The Aswan Dam!

now all re: Nubia
in museums...

I wrote a poem "Nubia"
it was published in The Calvert Review (U. of Md.) in 1969

and in 1970, my Butcher of Oxen

more 'good' "stuff" tom thanx

you know a lot... damn few of us left.

TC said...



This is not the first archeological expedition from Beyond the Pale. Previous forays into Egyptology have included:

From the Egyptian Book of the Dead

The Pharaohs Sacrifice Themselves Before Her

This one has been in my mind for about twenty years, after a brilliant musician friend, Shawn Jimmerson, filled me in at length on the lore of the Ankh. That's when the bumpersticker legend occurred to me.

Elmo St. Rose said...

Bumper sticker mode

Egyptology for those who once
thought the Gods were heavy:

Jerry Garcia playing Dylan

"She wears an Egyptian ring
that sparkles before she speaks"

The Grateful Dead

"In the land of the dark, the ship
of the sun is driven by the
grateful dead"

lowbrow had a good CD in his truck

Anonymous said...

The Egyptian civilization has always bewitched me. They have succeeded in keeping the veil on to keep their mystery alive for all the generations to come.


TC said...

Egyptian ring, dark ship of the sun, witching, mystery -- all those work for me, anything, yes, please, soon...

If I could honk (or Ankh) my way into the afterlife in the Temple of Kom Ondo, the first thing I'd do upon reawakening is offer a friendly greeting to every one of those three hundred mummified crocodiles who would thenceforward be my neighbours for eternity.

(Perhaps fortunately, the light is pretty bad in the crocodile-mummy niches of the Temple... but from what one can make out, the black leathery croc-remains look a bit like a cross between stretched-out wads of beef jerky and the flattened cartoon corpse of Road Runner after he's been crushed a few dozen times by a fourteen-wheeler... no worse looking really though than your average retiree, and in fact probably quite a bit cleaner...)

Anonymous said...

I love the way this rises and falls and how you’ve bordered the texts with the two “bumpersticker” strips. I love the heart and humor and the way you have preserved the mystery here. Each section is special and necessary in its place, but Ankh, Weiterleiben im Jenseits and Camera Obscura allow Religious and Glimpse, the poems they bracket, really to shine. I think this was worth the twenty years of meditation that preceded it. As for the current state of the contents in the Temple of Kom Ondo, I always think it’s a good idea not to dwell on that.

~otto~ said...

Ah, Tom, this lightened me a bit. Thanks. And yet I am thinking this isn't a light poem. Weird. Things have been weird lately, good weird, so I will not ponder the weirdness much. Sorry I have not been around as often. I have been consumed by many things the past few months but I will return in full soon maybe. And I will bring all my skershim with me.

TC said...

Curtis, thank you... and I apologize for making those mummified crocodiles sound ugly. Actually they are quite sleek and nice, like microwaved Manta Rays perhaps.


Great to hear from you and I'm glad it's been good weird. Here it's been varying between shades of bad weird and ... but on the other hand, apologies, Otto, for inducting you into into the new Tomb of the Verifications (the spam became suddenly overwhelming, and full of dark potency), but on the other further hand thanks very much for the magic skershim, I have a feeling it may come in handy.

By the way, speaking of cheering up, an analysis of the German yields a million shattered glass fragments of the Ankh:

Ankh -- Weiterleben im Jenseits

Weiter = More


1. Far
2. Further
3. Wide
4. Long
5. Other
6. Broad
7. Extensive
8. Additional
9. Great
10. Vast
11. Big
12. Loose
13. Open
14. Dilated
15. Roomy
16. Elastic
17. Capacious
18. Loose-fitting


1. Far
2. Further
3. More
4. On
5. Widely
6. Farther
7. Away
8. A long way
9. Forth
10. Further on
11. Beyond
12. Furthermore
13. Along
14. By far
15. Onwards
16. Onward
17. Afterwards
18. Otherwise

leben= life, live


1. life
2. living
3. existence
4. vitality
5. natural
6. subsistence


1. live
2. exist
3. inhabit
4. dwell
5. subsist
6. be alive

Weiterleben = Survival; to live on, to survive

Jenseits = Beyond


1. Hereafter
2. Next world


1. Beyond
2. On the other side of

Weiterleben im Jenseits = Continue in the Afterlife



A[nk]h, thanks (again) for this, don't know why what I wrote here yesterday disappeared (?) but here it is, as best I can remember --

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
Ad on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

And meanwhile, in a different key. . . .


light coming into sky above still black
ridge, waning white moon above branches
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

sketch familiar surroundings,
“feel much better here”

what is just an “eye” to see,
in relation to, visible

grey-white of fog reflected in channel,
whiteness of osprey circling across it

Anonymous said...

I've been re-checking in on (and around) Crux (A Bumpersticker) since Tom posted it and the poems and images have provided a lot of what has kept me going -- my head above water, my spirits up – for the last couple of days.

I've enjoyed all of the posts, but the final two will probably keep me going for a while longer. My German language studies (which were undertaken to satisfy graduate school competency examinations) ended a long time ago, but I really, really loved them. The sounds of the language and the puzzle-work and flow of translation are so stimulating and moving.

Steve’s 8-30 poem, including:

“sketch familiar surroundings,
‘feel much better here’
what is just an ‘eye’ to see,
in relation to, visible”

is a splendid companion to the pieces on this page.



Good to get to see this yet again (at the top of the pail), trouble w/ internet yesterday, 8.31 'went missing' here, but here now (as time keeps passing) today. . . .


blinding silver edge of sun above still
black ridge, blue jay calling on branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

i.e., think of experience of
a word about or against

picture two, man in distance,
sense of time and again

grey-white fog against invisible ridge,
whiteness of gull flapping to the left


And here, if only for the record (time going backward?) is yesterday. . . .


grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, song sparrow calling from branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

perceived world that visible
one, once the structure

measured, in purely relative
terms, “time” essential

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
wingspan of cormorant flapping above it