Tuesday, 7 January 2014


It is not that there was a sudden rush of wind,
A change in the breeze,
A breath.
Like a Pharaoh’s mouth
The gape was silent,
There was no expectation,
No beckoning;
A black hole
with the desert sand a film on the parched lips.

It is not that there was a light of joy,
A glint of promise,
A spark.
Like a Pharaoh’s eyes
The gaze was hollow,
There was nothing to see,
No welcoming;
The sockets shells
beneath a bandage of filth across the brow.

It is not that there was a sea of fragrance,
A waft of sweetness,
A scent.
Like a Pharaoh’s skin
The aroma was dust,
There was no tang,
Mere dry brittleness;
No taste but a soft bitterness
from the rasping snake’s skin shed three millennia ago.

It is not that there was a burst of song or wailing,
A cry in the dark,
A whimper.
Like a Pharaoh’s larynx
The cords were petrified,
There was no timbre,
No sound but oppression;
The ear felt no disturbance
from the silence trickling long in the tomb.

But there was an imperative,
A need to provide,  
To insist.
Like a Pharaoh’s life
Great power surged forth,
The piling of stone on stone,
A great monument rising;
Much adoration and dreaming
and a deep born incestuous love that lingers still.

Colin Morgan  


  1. the piling of stone on stone...many big achievements have been made in the silence...without trumpets and drums...those are often those that last longest...fine poem sir...

  2. As the first man on the Pharaoh's tomb, the things you see and describe so freshly, will never be seen the same way again.


  3. i think we all have that inate need to create and build monuments...and our own pyramids as the pharoahs did...hopefully they dont become our tombs...i would love to go to egypt though and see them....

  4. The last stanza ties this image of a Pharaoah's tomb to something much more..really then monument is something else than the withering corpse..

  5. What a beautiful write to a rising Pharoah's tomb ~ The fourth stanza particularly resonated with me ~ This is a gem to read tonight ~

  6. Hi Colin, a powerfully realised evocation of power - set against mortal decay - very well sustained... Already looking forward to where you might go next... With Best Wishes Scott www.scotthastie.com

  7. The pulling of power the resounding pleasure of it ... to leave here remembered is that not what we altimately seek, nice work... bkm

  8. the last 2 stanzas are perfect...I am so glad I read your poem tonight.

  9. Colin - really liked how this poem built on each stanza (sorry for the pun) the 4th stanza was really strong - K

  10. Great use of contrasts. This spoke to me especially since I've just been last week to see the Tutankhamon exhibition in Geneva... and it's mid-boggling, the lengths they went to, to assure entry into the after-life, to leave something behind. You read about it, you learn about it at school, but it's only when you see all the artefacts there before you that this search for eternity becomes evident.

  11. I felt a contrast between the awe inspiring magnificence of the tombs and the insignificance of the ordinary person, slaves probably, who built them.

  12. Would this be what it feels like to open one of those tombs? You've painted the experience in all senses most vividly.

  13. finely wrought ~