I love giving treats, so what better treat could I think to give everyone for Halloween than a couple of my original, unpublished poems! As a gift to readers, I’ve posted two of my MUMMY poems below. I’ve always had an obsession with mummies myself (mostly the Egyptian variety), and especially reading about mummies in horror! I’m a fanatic about historical research and excavations of mummies, but also fantastical fiction of curses and revenge.
Let me know what you think in the comments! I will offer a brief message about each poem under it. Just beware of opening any wrong doors as you enter to read…..
Dancing with Mummies
Eva doesn’t want to put on her costume,
of witch, cat, or pink Power Ranger,
she wants to wrap up in the gauze of time,
in a mummy’s trappings,
and run through sand-drenched streets.
She wants to hop on the trolley near Wade,
and blend in, quietly assessing the onlookers,
who seek a haunted tour near Lakeview,
but she has plans to see dead of another sort.
She wants to jump off the rail as they do in the movies,
glide inside the Museum of Art as if in ballet shoes,
and move to the rhythm of passion and history.
Eva winds her way to the marble catacombs
of sarcophagus and statue,
lightly carrying herself on the chill breeze from
the hauntings of the ancients, risen before her.
She puts her arms out left and right, smiling,
as the mummies slowly step toward her in
the dark and empty room, taking her in
…and they dance.
Swaying, waltzing to the music of magic and fortune,
of sacrifice and power, their decaying faces alight again
with rebirth and hope, mobilizing her spirit.
Water of the Nile, green reeds of salvation,
scarabs rustling and blue funerary
carvings whirl by her entranced mind,
as if she’s time-slipped to Cairo.
She has no need for trick-or-treat, or bobbing for apples,
she’d rather laugh and drink and sing
with the priests and goddesses from thrones centuries ago,
eat olives and grapes instead of Smarties and Tootsie Rolls.
Eva closes her eyes and she twirls, her hair flying backwards,
spinning like a windmill, feeling her own energy, laughing
with the ghosts and monsters before her as they take turns
in a ballroom dance for her soul.
– Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, ©10/29/18
I love going to the Cleveland Museum of Art near Wade Circle in Cleveland, where people meander in the beautiful park, and there are trolley tours, with many tourists visiting the famous Lakeview Cemetery. Their motto of the museum “for all people” is very true as they are able to offer the whole of the museum (except very special seasonal exhibits) for FREE. We have learned so much about history and art both there. In fact, it was just designated as the second best in the United States. One of my favorite rooms there is the Egyptian exhibit and it was the inspiration for this poem.
King Tut’s Revenge
From the glass, from tomb,
With layers of cloth loose-hanging,
dripping in gold, woken and ambivalent.
Hand over where his amulet protects,
he stumbles on ancient legs,
his bones dismantling.
Looking for Lord Carnavon’s ghost,
mouth falls wide with silent screams,
hands outstretched, reading walls
with no eyes, King Tut examines
his life defined.
His skeletal fingers scratch across
the surface of his golden casket,
where he once laid, identifiable
by artistic paint, regal in death.
But bound by revenge, seething
in pain for archaeologists’ desecration,
legs and arms and head chopped in two,
body parts scraped as is mud on a shoe.
Bat wings flutter as he lurches
in the tunnels, moving forward,
on broken limbs he seeks those alive
who disturb his peace, then flee like flies.
His jewels, his possessions, stolen
and sold, even his penis vanished
in dismemberment, with no clues.
His sinister mission is not for murderer,
whether accident, family, or rhino,
but for lost immortality,
Banging into walls, bones shredding,
powder mixing with dust, groaning.
He raises his hands to the sky,
he’s lost his reincarnation hope
He throws dirt from the cavernous
wall, and blows on it in mid-air,
creating a black soot to kill all.
He winds up the particles by hand,
curses in ancient Egyptian as a storm begins.
Creating a tornado of dark matter,
he shuffles with limp toward the entrance,
the living (undead) image of Aten.
– Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, ©10/30/18
I have always been entranced by the story of the Pharaohs, especially with the boy king, King Tutankhamun, born Prince Tutankhamen, and the many various rumors and stories of his life and the drama surrounding his tomb. Though I believe in historical research and preservation, certainly the desecration, horrible handling, and theft should have been avoided. What must King Tut have thought? I think he had every reason to curse those greedy fools…and maybe still has revenge to get still to this day.
A word of gratitude to my son Nassem, who while in college in D.C., was up late into the night with me discussing these poems – he’s always been one of my best and most candid first readers – and photos that might go with them.
And if you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for reading my poetry.
P.S. Also, if you missed it, you can read my new short fiction story, “The Witch’s Cottage” over at the Ladies of Horror Flash Fiction Project for free.
P.S.S. If you want to support the artist, you can find more of my poetry in my dark poetry and short story collection, Breathe. Breathe., here on Amazon.