At the Great Temple, Abu Simbel:
My “Ozymandias”

So there they sit, the great ones, centuries later,
still sightless, gazing out across the desert sands,
the four of them—well, three and a half of them,
if you discount the one that’s come to pieces,
head off, half his torso gone, tumbled in great,
shattered boulders strewn down below his feet.
Talk about grandeur. Talk about colossal.
Talk about beauty, serenity, mangnificence.
Talk about awe, even—but that’s a hard one,
with a thousand fellow tourists tramping
through the site. Still, words are inadequate.
And who am I to write about them anyway?
Some Johnny-come-lately tourist, protected
in the bubble of my tour group, camera dangling,
trotting along with my laptop after all the rest.
My head is way below even the lowest level
of their great stone feet. I look up, dizzy.
They look out, distant, not seeing, seeing
further than I can imagine, across centuries
of time, way past the pitiless moonscape
of the desert sands, heads in the azure sky,
toward the the stars that only they can see.

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