Jagari Mukherjee – WE Gifted Poet Award ’20

‘The Beauty Has Come’ : Nefertiti*


They say, with time beauty dies.
All lies. 

I am known only for a beautiful face.
They remark on my lotus eyes, perfect chin,
scarlet lips, exotic headgear and necklace inlaid.
That's all — there's no more to tell—
for I ruled Egypt, and ruled it well.
With my husband Akhenaten, I remained,
No Caesar, no Antony till the end.

A plague took my life, not an asp.
A life well-lived is out of the grasp
of Drama and Art.
No actor clamors to play my part.

For eons, I'm a gorgeous bust:
no woman's envy, no man's lust,
no historian's delight,
no scholar's pride.

I stand for you to see
what happens when history
is forgotten, and you are
a non-entity—
Nothing great, nothing remarkable.
Only a powerful queen who did not fall.
'Tis nothing apparently.
Nothing at all.

* Bust of Nefertiti viewed by the poet at Egyptian Museum, Berlin in 2005
.
.
.

Self – Portrait As NYX

1.

I walk in the ether-scented intoxication 
of lonely power
past the planet-gods who watch in awe.
Stars wash my hair and the firmament
is my body.
I dress in muslin clouds.

2.

It is not easy to be born
out of Chaos
nor to give birth to Thanatos.
My son Hypnos exists behind eyelids,
and Hemera, my beautiful child, follows
me at work—my dichotomy, my binary.

3.

The God of Thunder turns away in fear—
he loves women who submit.
Leda and Europa are to his taste:
I am not.
My fiery soul has no answering echo—
I wear shimmering moon-fragments
on my bosom to murder hunger.