Away from Here

Linked in a chain of bodies
Baked brown by unrelenting Ra,
We tug blocks of hardened yesterdays
Across the sand, inching toward everlasting tomorrow.

When I can think of anything but my aching back
And stinging eyes, burning from sweat and sun,
And how many hours left till sleep,
I think of the irony.

How can it be? I want nothing
More than to be away from here,
Yet I drag another stone
To anchor him here for eternity.

I just can't understand. He wants to be bound
To burning brown by boulders piled solid atop him,
When I want only to be away from here
Drifting loose and light in cool fluid blue.

Away from here. Somewhere else,
Floating in crystal clear freedom, on
Currents to carry me from these searing waves of grit,
To anywhere else, just away from here.


This is my offering for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry - Where Poets and Writers Meet.


  1. nice write...crazy to imagine the life of a slave building a tomb for a man that is not dead yet...

  2. I can imagine those thoughts being thought throughout the history of slavery. They did so much to build the 'civilisations' that the 'civilised' couldn't build themselves.

  3. "Blocks of hardened yesterdays..." this sentence alone tells an entire story. You gave this slave a voice that crosses thousands of years and echoes the chains that still fetter millions to this day.

  4. This is a poem I love to read both fast and then slow, respectively. Enjoyed that, lines that can sound good as both structured stanza and flowing line. Your tone and detail make the lines easy to picture. thanks

  5. Being an Egyptologist,i understand this piece quite well..yet,one thing i know about Egyptian workers and slaves who used to carry on the stones for building the pyramids or the relegious temples and tombs for the Pharaohs ,they did it with love..:) and total submission to their lords,not unwillingly..mostly they were Enjoying their jobs as working for their Deified kings later on,after all i believe such amazing works of creaticity and glorious civilisation,couldve never been an outcome of miserable slavery alone..:)
    i apologize for being lengthy,but i really Enjoyed the poem..and the idea stroke me..i visited every tomb and temple in Egypt..i just relate to that atmosphere..lovely read..thank you for sharing..:)

  6. Excellent, also enjoyed reading of "Desert Rose's " comment as well. Amazing histories that spark so much though! Wonderful writing!

  7. Powerful poem that is still relevent today. Maybe not as much physically but more emotionally. Great job!

  8. One of my dreams is to visit Epypt...so much mystery and magic...just like your poem. I really enjoyed it so much.Thought provoking as well :) Thanks for sharing my friend ~ Amanda

  9. I enjoyed this. As story, and as something that opens some contemplation. Thanks. - Bill

  10. Very interesting poem. I was intrigued by Desert Rose's comments, but I think the poem works anyway as an echo of anyone who has been forced to submit to another.

  11. Patti...This was fantastic!!
    I felt like I was there...

  12. The first stanza is so powerful! What a wonderful work this is!

  13. History is only written about the great and the powerful. Only poets can bring to life the lives of the common men.

  14. Interesting take on an aspect of history we all "know" we very seldom think of those who actually built such gargantuan structures
    "We tug blocks of hardened yesterdays
    Across the sand, inching toward everlasting tomorrow"

  15. Interesting change of tone halfway down as though the poem is a reflection of the thoughts of those building monuments, it also read to me as an extended metaphor for those that labour in difficult work or personal relationships. I do poetry for fun rather than publication so for this week only, I’ve nervously posted an example from each of my blogs: an Elegy from Scribbles and Diversions, a Gogyohka from Random Twitter Stories, and free verse poem from Random Short Stories.

  16. Amazing poem and i love Egyptian history, great lines. I came by one-stop but i remember when you visited me from Urban Cowboy's blog nice to see you again Patti~

    Wild Rose~

  17. Man, makes you think... We're all a bit like that slave in our everyday working lives, really. And, yes, it is insane that someone would want a grand building erected to them when they're not even going to see the inside of it until after they're dead! Bizarre!

    Nice read, Patti. Very nice. :)

  18. intriguing. i guess i'm kind of slow, it took me a couple of reads to realize what you were saying. then it was like...duh... lol

    very well done!

  19. To everyone: Thank you so much for your kind comments. "Poet" is not a term I'd ever apply to myself, so your encouragement means so much. I really appreciate it.

    How lucky we are to have the contribution of an Egyptologist. Thank you, Desert Rose! I'm sure you are right about the commitment the slaves must have felt, but let's say that my poem speaks for the one infidel in the pack who really resents the whole thing. Not only did I speak for him, but for anyone who feels chained to daily drudgery, whether voluntarily or not.

  20. there's an amazing flow in your writing - and the cry for freedom...speaks to me...thanks Patti

  21. Lovely poem about the need to break free...
    You've expressed it so beautifully here, Patti...
    Really enjoyed the read!

  22. Historians now speculate that farmers worked the pyramids in the 'off season'. Yah, like anyone would WANT to tote those rocks. Great poem made me feel I was there.

  23. Yes, you too became that entity you imagined. I haven't been there but I saw the exhibits and took the courses. Don't we all imagine what life bound to drudgery like that must have been like! You capture the feel of it and the ache of it and the imaginary release from it that it would have taken to keep hope alive. Well done.

  24. PattiKen

    A wonderful poem on Egyptian pyramids and those who helped build them. One of the true wonders of this natural world, so much we still do not know about the mysteries in that sacred land of Egypt. Thanks for the good read, and thanks to Desert Rose for her comment to shed some light on the things we do not know.

    Lovely poem.

  25. Hi Pattiken..been away for a week and am catching up..an excellent poem that appealed to my love of all things historical..cheers Pete


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