With words and images, I am telling my story. Through art, through sculpture, I am remembering HERstory...

Tuesday, October 2

you've got the wrong goddess

Sekhmet, The Lion-Headed Goddess Of War

"He was the sort of man
who wouldn't hurt a fly. 
Many flies are now alive
while he is not. 
He was not my patron. 
He preferred full granaries, I battle. 
My roar meant slaughter. 
Yet here we are together 
in the same museum. 
That's not what I see, though, the fitful 
crowds of staring children 
learning the lesson of multi- 
cultural obliteration, sic transit 
and so on. 

I see the temple where I was born 
or built, where I held power. 
I see the desert beyond, 
where the hot conical tombs, that look 
from a distance, frankly, like dunces' hats, 
hide my jokes: the dried-out flesh 
and bones, the wooden boats 
in which the dead sail endlessly 
in no direction. 

What did you expect from gods 
with animal heads? 
Though come to think of it 
the ones made later, who were fully human 
were not such good news either. 
Favour me and give me riches, 
destroy my enemies. 
That seems to be the gist. 
Oh yes: And save me from death. 
In return we're given blood 
and bread, flowers and prayer, 
and lip service. 

Maybe there's something in all of this 
I missed. But if it's selfless 
love you're looking for, 
you've got the wrong goddess. 

I just sit where I'm put, composed 
of stone and wishful thinking: 
that the deity who kills for pleasure 
will also heal, 
that in the midst of your nightmare, 
the final one, a kind lion 
will come with bandages in her mouth 
and the soft body of a woman, 
and lick you clean of fever, 
and pick your soul up gently by the nape of the neck 
and caress you into darkness and paradise."
- Margaret Atwood