The boy king lies in his tomb for millennia.
Interred by ancient rite, silent, his sightless eyes
banished from light in the comfortable chill
of the afterlife so meticulously prepared,
he becomes legend. Civilisations pass.
And we can only find traces in the sand
of what it was that came before us.
Until the grave-robbers come, and break down
the hidden door that kept his sanctuary.
What dust fell on their heads
from those sacred walls
that were never meant to be seen again?
Did some dark presentiment stir in their hearts
as they gazed on the forbidden?
They shrugged it off. And now people
come in their thousands to see Tutankhamen.
* * *
Beatrix 'Trixie' Hall, my paternal grandmother,
lies, at rest, in Waverley Cemetery.
My father used to fall on her grave and weep.
In a difficult time I tended her plot
with care, learning, through my fingers,
something of the continuity of the heart:
linked to the earth - my family
living back through time; living now.
In a state of natural prayer
I kissed the marble of her stone.
I will not go and see the boy king,
torn out of his eternal home.
I'll find some earth to dig, some loam
that I can work in its proper place.
And if I find a skull there, I'll know
that I've been gifted reverence.
6 April 2011