A Sumerian Legend

by Mark Anthony Signorelli (May 2010)

The sun that rose in Kish for many hours
Had seered the walls that ringed the royal quad,
And burned the timeless rituals on the towers,
Imprinted in the dessicated sod
In olden days, to appease some arcane god.
Unsheltered from that painful radiance
Provided every rich appertunance
That eases souls on their reluctant way
Into the kingdom of unwaking day.
And there beside her Lugalbanda sat,
Her lord and husband, just beyond the peaks
Of the unrelieving shade of the ziggurat,
Dispensing from the tears that washed his cheeks
The only rain that place had known for weeks.
Then suddenly, before the broken king
Terrestial Ki, the queen of flourishing,
Enlil, the lord of ruin and creation.

And sacrifice, and keep your arduous laws,

Later will come a time, when time is through,
When she will be restored to your new sight,

There cannot grow a flower on the lawn
So lovely in its splendid burgeoning

Who lack the vision of the promised end,
And thus cannot account for the unique
And holy recompense that we intend,
Once more the monarch answered to the god:
And understand as such a wretched clod
As you have fashioned, ignorant and weak,
Must understand the truth we mortals seek.
I only know that since your mastery
Is unassailable and infinite,
But falls as your almighty wills permit,
Which out of righteousness might stymie it.

As cold and pallid as the stone she lies,
And if you thought it wrong death should efface
The beauty in the sweetest pair of eyes
That ever smiled, this would be otherwise.
So now I want none of your consolation,
In this world or in one to be prepared,
You did not exercise your domination
The hour that suffering our lives ensnared-
This said, then Lugulbanda like one vexed
Enlil observed his going, quite perplexed,
And florid Ki, struck with a new dismay,
Fumbled the flowers from her rich bouquet.

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