An Egyptian Hunt

Je me souviens

I am more convinced… more
Prone to stop in my walks,
Staring at lone blades
Of grass. I

Will stop.
I will scratch
My mind and toss
Time to canopic jars. Yes,

Canopic jars I
Pick up and rearrange,
Pick up and rearrange, placing
Some behind chairs I
No longer sit in, down
Hallways I am too afraid
To walk down…
Just past that door
I used to push open
Into our rose garden.

Some I put in purses.
Hide in the soft felt lining
Of fur coats for
For safety. But,

The jars, no matter
How secretive how
Wild, pass and
Repass through
Vague secrets of lost time.
Moments by ponds –
Past seconds measured out
With spoons on mornings
Too early for rising –
The dawn crisp.
Almost disconcerting.


I would like to take
My canopic jars and plunge them
Under a tepid pool
Of pale water.
I would work at them
With rough hands, twisting
And twisting… the clock
Breaking from the water
I push up
From my tub. Then,

The top is popped. I
Squat to the floor
And listen, expecting
A heartbeat.


The jars only hold so much.
I think they are full
Of mystery, of some
Sacred second trapped
Forever, like little worlds
Of water and snow
Picked up on long forgotten

I shake and I shake.
I turn the jars over
And pound them harshly
Against the floor.

Jars of sunshine
And snow, of
Days ticking beyond
That precise pounding
Out of time. Days
Of moments. Days
In the rain during an afternoon
Walk in Ayutthaya –
Mists among
The ruins.


They are the smell
Of nights before rains.
They are the sounds
Of midnight thunder.
The hush before a storm.

I hold them close, these
Canopic jars… the paths
I take and took.
The routes to towns
I got stuck in…
If only for a little while.

Posted as part of Poets United Poetry Pantry

7 thoughts on “An Egyptian Hunt

  1. ZQ October 25, 2015 / 5:58 pm

    I enjoyed reading this. Thanks.


  2. Sherry Blue Sky October 25, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    The charting of a journey, well told. Those intriguing jars – full of memories.


  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) October 25, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    I read this one several times Mathew, love the thought of canopic jars, like the memory can be like hieroglyphs you trace with your fingertips…


  4. whimsygizmo October 25, 2015 / 6:53 pm

    This is truly beautiful.
    I’m deeply enamored of:
    “Jars of sunshine
    And snow, of
    Days ticking beyond
    That precise pounding
    Out of time.”


  5. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) October 26, 2015 / 12:03 am

    I would like to hug this poem to me as you might one of your jars. Like Bjorn, I have read it several times, loving all you say and suggest.


  6. humbird October 26, 2015 / 2:07 pm

    I love how sacred all around you, how you’re trying to save each piece of nature in the jar….Amasing!


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