( IP) The Last Pharaoh
Sweeps, her golden barge,
as the sun sinks low,
serenely down the river.
Her entourage in silent stream –
a bask of crocodiles; how bitterly
they weep, as she for Caesar,
for Egypt and for Anthony...
All is lost...All is past.
Her hair – silken strands, weft
and weave in a breeze that blows
the stars around, as the Sphinx,
cold as the stone from which
it sprung, casts a knowing eye.
This Egyptian flower, this Cleopatra,
this Isis, or indeed, any other name
she may be known by, would smell
as sweet; her perfume, wafting
on the wind, whilst she sings
in a timbre that moves
the restless, shifting sands.
As if possessed – tears at her bodice;
rips apart her rose-silk gown,
and with trembling hand,
points toward the water,
and thus said Cleopatra,
“Bring me that asp – thereby
blithely swims... for I would hold it
to my heart; to think, to sleep,
to dream of dear Orisis and our castle
in the sky, for the gods inform me
it is done, it is finished.”
And as surely as the Nile
ran through her veins,
the snake – coiled
as Egypt’s history,
drank there at her breast,
and with dying breath,
Cleopatra speaks her last.