Monday, 19 November 2007

Pazyryk Chief


My bridle lies inside this room
in readiness against my need
My boots and saddle rest
against the wooden walls
with saddle covers decorated
as is the custom for a War Lord

My Sphinx of horns and wings
my lion-griffin marked along
to show what braveries I follow
echo out the finest features
in the tattoos of my arms
my chest and here along my face

My woman pricked and rubbed in soot
to make these oxen on my chest
the leopard here the lion there
and round my body To the back
a tiger striking down a deer
My woman lies beside me in the room

Lord of the mountain and of plain
below the lights of all the seasons
I slept and fought to take in war
this woman here the guarding horses
set outside my door forever
the wagon where we made my sons

They found my body in the hills
just where the mountain meets the plain
The hair - to guard my strength -
had gone to decorate a belt
My skull was broken in the rain
of blows from axes in their hands

My women died as women die
Our bodies lie inside this room
in careful herbs and well preserved
My wagon waits beside the door
my horses - masked in death - as strong
as when I beat her tribe for her

This coffin-log from where trees grow
is carved to keep my journey safe
My tigers march along the lid
She serves me for eternity
and when I reach the Afterlife
my riches will precede my coming

copyright 1997 Charlotte Peters Rock

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