Where the World Once Began

A Tribute to Egypt

I. Flight of Time

Soaring like a god on wings Isis-blessed
In search of beginnings – a mystical quest
O’er newly wed mountains and islands estranged
‘Cross deserts of water – my Horus-eye ranged

In a flash I catch sight of her delta arms wide
She bids me fair welcome, this patchwork clad bride
With gold sand swept hair and brown sun baked tan
I am meeting my maker – where the world once began

II. Cacophony of Cairo

The City Victorious bustles and teems
With the chaos of life near bursting its seams
Hooter blasts mingle with chant-calls to pray –
A whirling sound dervish that’s danced every day

The dead and the living find shelter in tombs
The skyline is punctured with crosses and moons
While the tranquil Nile whispers of history unfurled –
The lotus bud blooming of the civilized world

III. Era of Gold

The speaking stones echo down canyons of time …
The vulture and cobra are shown intertwined
Two crowns worn together – the red and the white
As the kingdoms of upper and lower unite

The floodplains turn fertile and peace fills the sky
From the golden creator, the gods multiply
The sun is discovered in Earth’s cavern womb
The word crystallizes in temple and tomb

IV. Pyramids of Knowledge

Blocks hewn from stone form steps up to heaven
In praise of the sun – the spirit to leaven
The chambers within are sanctums of peace
Where the body can sleep and the soul find release

Resting content ‘neath the great shadows three
The lion of wisdom holds life’s precious key
Reflecting the dawn on his time honoured face
Weathered with patience – great guardian of grace

V. Monuments of Glory

Amidst all the rubble and ruins of old
Legends still linger and stories are told
Of glory and power, of order and law
Of beautiful cities and triumphs of war

The towering pylons conceal a great hall
Where a petrified forest of papyrus stands tall
Obelisks and statues rise regal with pride
Protecting the family of gods safe inside

VI. Valley of Kings

The dusty white mountains and valleys converse
In whispers of secrets hid under the earth
Of tunnels and treasures and sarcophagi
Of caves where the queens and the kings came to die

The tombs tell their stories in rainbow relief
Of ochre and kohl, green, blue and gold leaf
The walls speak of journeys from this world to nether
Of Judgement that weighs each heart ‘gainst a feather

VII. River of Life

Tufted green palm trees cling to the shores
Barely escaping the desert’s hot claws
Farmers and fishermen battle the haze
‘Neath the envious eyes of the limestone cliffs’ gaze

On the blissful blue water drift swans graced in white –
The sails of felukas shine billowing bright
The Nile’s ebb and flow are now slaves to the sluice
As the people and river search hard for a truce

VIII. Legacy of Ramses II

For three generations he ruled from the throne
Constructing and carving his likeness in stone
From statues colossi, his praise song still rings –
The original Gulliver, a giant among kings

Still awesome the sight, though millennia have passed:
The mountain of worship whose face is unmasked
Where horses and chariots do battle for kings
Beneath the protection of the gods’ outstretched wings

IX. Vision of Rebirth

Centuries trickle, as the future is frayed
Kingdoms erode and dynasties fade
The sacred ankh’s buried beneath aeons of sand
Its destiny resting in time’s patient hands

But the soul winds are changing, a gold sun’s on the rise
The snake is uncoiling, the bird again flies
From death, life takes breath, we feel the birth pang
And emerge recreated – from where the world once began

Wayne Visser © 2017


I Am An African: Favourite Africa Poems

This creative collection, now in its 5th edition, brings together Africa poems by Wayne Visser, including the ever popular “I Am An African”, as well as old favourites like “Women of Africa”, “I Know A Place in Africa”, “Prayer for Africa” and “African Dream”. The anthology celebrates the luminous continent and its rainbow people. The updated 5th Edition includes new poems like “Africa Untamed” and “Land of the Sun”. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.