Kleokatra, daughter of Kleptoemanekneeark,
Pharaoh of first kingdom Egypt,
before measured time made its mark,
walked by reedy edge of river Nile,
content in her own pleasure park.
Down from the sky came god Atum,
tall in his chariot, to woo her,
so great was her beauty.
On the grass the wheels of his chariot rested.
In his white tunic, he spoke of his amorous duty.
“Kleokatra, you are fairer than the ibis in the dawn,
more feline than the sacred cat of Isis,
let us make our marriage bed in the summer corn,”
thus were the words he chose to woo her.
Kleokatra lifted her left eye lash,
said to him in silver flash:
“You may stand grand in the world of archetypes,
but you do not make my eye brows moist,
you do not play my pipes.”
Atum gazed hard at her, stunned by her words to wonder,
but anger did not boil in him, to be refused by a mortal maid,
his temper did not thunder.
At last, he opened his cask to ask if she were not impressed by him.
“I like that your chariot needs no horse,”
she answered, as she watched two tiddlers swim,
“and that it rides from cloud to land,
yes, I am impressed by that, of course,
but I do not wish you to hold my handles
or to bend down to sniff my sandals.”
Atum rode away in his chariot,
his face a pale mask, back to his sky abode.
Kleokatra knelt down and smiled,
spoke gently to a toad.
Kleptoemanekneeark, her father,
summoned her to his pyramid throne.
“Why reject Atum? He a god?” he demanded.
“Do you wish ever to be alone?”
“No, father,” said Kleokatra.
“But he does not inscribe his hieroglyph on my heart,
he does not mould his pot in my soul.
I want him not to hold my handles,
for he does not make my ankles sweat in my sandals.
He may be king of archetypes,
but he does not play my pipes.”
Her mother, Hyparhissterrikkal,
purred like a cat on her cushion and said:
“Spoken like my daughter.
She waits for her true trout.
Will not take any minnow from the water.”
smiled at the words of his wife.
He liked the way she let fruit fall in his dish
and how through her talk
she revealed she was obsessed with fish.
Kleokatra here fades from history.
The stone tablets that tell her tale are lost.
Her later life lies behind the mist of mystery.
But those few who know it
speak of the white moon that shone over the tent
she shared with her husband, a camel tamer,
who for her plucked a lyre’s strings and recited verses
of which he was the poet.