Thursday, February 24, 2011

Red Shirt

 Portrait of the Boy Eutyches
Egyptian, A.D. 100-150

Has anyone seen the boy who used to come here?
Round-faced troublemaker, quick to find a joke, slow
to be serious. Red shirt,
perfect coordination, sly,
strong muscles, with things always in his pocket.
Reed flute, ivory pick, polished
and ready for his talent.
You know that one.

Have you heard stories about him?
Pharoah and the whole Egyptian world
collapsed for such a Joseph.
I would gladly spend years getting word
of him, even third- or fourth-hand.

* * * 

This reading is poignant for me today,
partly because of the recent triumphs in Egypt.
Today is also the 15th anniversary of the day
my redheaded (not redshirted) brother passed away at age 47;
except for the flute, every word of the first stanza is true of him!
He visited the pyramids at Giza in 1969
and took some beautiful photographs of them and the Sphinx.
I wish I had one here to scan and show you.

Bennett Williams Hart
b. June 28, 1948 d. February 24, 1996 


Pam Baker said...

Now he will be in all our hearts.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

You have built several memorial pyramids to your dear brother here, and especially at synch-ro-ni-zing, where we gladly get word of him first, second and third hand.

Andrew said...

Just lovely. I can feel the sense of abandonment and lightness in this. And then missing him, wondering where he went.

ds said...

Beautiful tribute to your adored brother, who is with you still (and smiling).

rauf said...

music was forbidden in Islam Ruth, but the Persians broke away and sang (in praise of God of course) with music. Songs about nature were in deed about the glory of God. The singers and musicians got away from the wrath of fundamentalists. Yes these maniacs were in business right from the 8th century. Many poets singers and musicians were beheaded.

i admire Peter in many ways Ruth specially in his thinking and levelheadedness. Do you see Bennett in him ?

Ruth said...

Thank you, each of you.

rauf, I had not thought about Bennett in Peter. I think Bennett was a bit more zealous than Peter, driven by a desire for justice in the world. Peter is exactly what you said: levelheaded, and very, very rational.