Something about the Nile; its snake smooth dark swirl seductive,
Menacing toddler crocodiles gliding smoothly along memories indecipherable,
Thrashing its scaly tails to remind the reeds of its legacy,
Across the skylines, jets roar to rival an African lion’s claim to personal glory,
To land on the gleaming tar belt of Cairo’s homecoming party,
Drones rule the sky above to lend eagles extra eyes,
Vigilance is the real deal, to keep important heads on shoulders,
Unlike the stark positions of bones of Pharaohs yet ‘untombed’,
Here are Lessons of lost paths to the mystery landscape,
So soon after an eastern wind wild has neutered human adventure,
With the added disaster of a rogue bear expanding its winter home into another’s lair,
Ancient stones still gleam with the midday sun,
Limestones and granite jewels of selective memories squint their eyes at the glare of unstable feet dancing a fearsome dance,
Stumbling over the red carpet towards the blue podium raised on a brown rooftop,
Green sways in a dream-like smoke-ridden lung of an addict,
Guests show their spots on the world map by their entry display,
Each carries a file,
Each ferries a claim,
All have dreams caked with deeds best described as dilemmas.
Some believe the lie that must be sold with a practiced smile,
Some sweat under the weight of truth that must remain untold,
All come bearing a top secret known to migratory birds,
One that warns them to stop breeding for breeding grounds have flown the coop,
Enter the dignified rogues,
Their eyes bulge with throbbing headaches borne of pleasured pressure,
For each kiss of maiden ventures of milestones of virginal escapades,
Twin bastards are conceived at the price of one.
At the altar of gods who die to resurrect under the tutorage of a North African sun,
Sons of men take boarding and lounging at the 33rd degree belt for a few days,
Here; they listen not to understand but to respond,
The harvest of armyworms sent to the blue rooms, where,
heirlooms of families borne of sky hues dance the willow dance,
Not in their own musical dialects, but,
By the undecided hand of a stormy night.
Welcome to the land of lessons.
Welcome to the land of mystery.
Welcome to the land of possible answers.
Very important people with an important mission,
Mission arising to meet the heights of ancient gatekeepers,
Stoically watching the living toying with death,
At the valley of Kings bones and relics of the undiscovered,
Alexandria has given birth to a fledgling library,
One un-looted by a presumed custodian of language,
Owners unsettled as heart rates compete for value,
Overhead rapture making headlines of proposed progress,
To paint the sky a thicker blue,
To persuade the earth to be a richer green,
Deconstructing to reconstruct,
Toys take the podium,
To eloquently play the master’s fiddle games.
Remembering the demand,
Stepfathers calling shots over step-children.
Owners with muted lips,
Read volubly what is a learned prayer,
The law owns the argument over right and light,
Wrong is a poor man’s surname,
Carrying the burdens of known and unknown plagues,
Misrepresented at the council of hieroglyphics,
The presence of his absence competes with the minarets,
Vibrating with urgency,
To do ablutions for righteous torments.
Tears are a mockery to an observer,
A tonnage of salt wouldn’t affect the sweet freshness of the Nile,
Neither do frogs throwing tantrums stop a bull from having its way with a cow,
At the oblong table,
Men undress an already undressed womb.
Sagging breasts oozing ancient dust of nothingness,
Spilling hopelessness into quirts onto dry gaping mouths,
The seismic thunder from a fallen jumbo echo across the air-conditioned spaces,
The ocean pukes strange features of creatures wrapped with colored polythene,
Up north, the glacier merrily thaws to a stream of white frozen death,
Infernal greet new days with plumes of choking smoke,
Momentarily: everyone forgets color,
Speaking instead of a common enemy which is not race,
Presently, everyone discards biases of cultural inclination,
Taking proffered hands to compare notes on tomorrow,
Through the afternoon to the cool of the evening,
Watching the majesty of sunset atop the pyramids,
A prayer floats above the headless heads of states and status,
All reading the writing on the wall,
That millennia hasn’t eroded a structure un-understood,
But cleared self-importance debris of egotistical minions.
Millennia hasn’t diluted the waters of the Nile,
But has swept off bones of mud-caked feet of fake gods into shallow ends,
For jackals and vultures to dispense with their lying bones.
That millennia hasn’t shortchanged the balance of give and take,
But has taken from the excess taker and now calls the trump card,
Unfortunately, in the laws of a caretaker government,
The lord of the manor, king and subject,
Shall in due course reap the sweat of unmitigated sowing.
Cairo speaks with the voice of gifted children and scared women,
Cairo calls for mischievous priest to rethink their commercial hunger,
Cairo chokes on the hidden fumes of unsavory hands proffered as peaceful,
Cairo stirs the eyes of men to dare see the artwork of their greed,
Judge thyself and dare to turn around.
Ancient is not about history or archeology,
Ancient is wisdom in balance,
Which to a T we have abandoned,
To embellish our insatiable guts with excess without limit.
Ancient whispers are songs of the souls that speak balance to life,
Not tourist bucket list mongering before venturing to mars,
Not explorer escapades to enrich a crown drowned in unfaithful faith,
Balance has always been the key,
Between divides and sides,
Between the silence and the vocals,
The belt of Cairo’s snake charmers and afternoon coffee beans roast,
Wafts a sinister scent of false eyelashes dashing an ancient beauty routine,
Amidst the mesmerizing pride of paper, ink, and cosmetic inventions ,
Against the backdrop of fame of place monuments of stunning heritage,
Cairo! You are a city like Deli, like Nairobi, Like New York,
Your fate is the fate of Philippines with stormy seasons,
Your heritage is the drought of Northeastern Kenya,
Your future is as unpredictable as tribal folks displaced from their habitat in the Amazon,
So as men speak intelligibly in your chosen spots,
Listen with keen ears of the sphinx,
Cross-check the syntax and morphology of intention against your museum archives,
Give the world a little more than a week of ballroom etiquette and belly dancing escapades,
The world is a boat filled with immigrants,
This boat is in the throes of sinking from excess cargo.
Let the ancient whispers no longer whimper,
Speak out loud enough even if via hieroglyphics,
The Rosetta stone is on standby to offer interpretation.
Nancy Ndeke is an Associate Editor at Liberated Voices.
She is a Poet of international acclaim and a reputable literary arts consultant. Her
writings and her poetry have been featured in several collections, anthologies, and publications all over the globe.
She has several published works, including poetry, short stories, and Novels, among them;
May the force be with you and A bridge to a bridge through a bridge. She has several collaborations of poetry; One with Renee Drummond-Brown of the USA titled, I once was lost but now am found and another with Dr. Gameli Torzlo of Glasgow University, titled Mazungumzo ya Shairi published in 2020 and registered with the Library of Congress, USA.
Nancy has Wordplay in a whirlpool, with the renowned poet and president of WILD FIRE
PUBLICATION of USA, Susan Joyner-Stumpf. She loves to read as much as she loves to write. Traveling is a much-embraced hobby and so is time well spent with family.