This prose poem was a special commission, written to accompany (and literally overwrite) a sculpture, A Quantum of Sol (Rising Sun), created by Beatrice Purser-Hallard for the Greenbelt arts festival in 2008. I was asked for an allusive piece in a Joycean dream-language style, with meditative references to the sun in christian and pagan mythology, in contemporary science and in other human systems of thought. As things turned out this involved making a disproportionate number of puns on the names of Egyptian gods.

The text is given below. Also available here are:

A Quantum of Sol (Rising Sun) was erect for only a few days in August 2008, and was dismantled following the festival.

Text-Only Version

...shall all ascend into the bright eternal apex of the enlightened and unconquered soul

the blinding helial light of conversion, h to he, exploding into a new clear sight, indiscriminate radiance corrupted by our polarising vision, everpresent effulgent distancy

sole potent parent to mother material, father to daughter spun also from that archane disc, the golden aten split into lead, ice, carbon, mercury, earth the filial and fecund, oval in her orbit, plump to receive the lightwarm seedflash of her father husband brother sun

lord of hours meting and mensurating dawndusk noonnight, nadir zenith, solstice equinox, years sidereal and cosmic, circling the milkblack core, spinning like a parasol while whirling aeroplanetary children, endlessly calendrical, infinitely stonehengible lord horus (lord graciously horus)

bright daybarge sailing the skyward ocean to the blue meridian, making its waves a tidal delta, cyclical waveform mounting in morn, declining in dusk, then passing into neutral harbour-mouth to weather the dark night of the soul

nightbarge setsailing for the netherworld, setting tonight to set-to with the night setspearing turtlesnake apep talk re your communication with the dead of twelvehoured chaos, anticipating your response by return, alimentary canal turned now to re birth

barging in, bursting from the skirts of night to rise with dayheat each dawn since the fourth to measure morning with the mercury

re treating winterly to arctic valley, re turning aestivally to easter vernal spring, an immillennial parousia of recirculation, re birth re curing with cyclic solemnity, in days, in years, in minutes of untimely dark devouring

son of mandala spread on cross, haloed by circle, spun on sunwheel in ecliptic pain, abandoned to mandated exocclusion, three hours dying, veiling and unveiling in the vale of the shade of the death of the son

dying into darkness (amon), graved in underworld (amun), doing nothing by thirds but arising on the first day (amen) a speedy mourning then an easterly ascent into heaven (ra ra ra!)

goldnaturedly doling out the wisdom luck and cancer, sole leonine pharaoh of the fifth house, mane sequence helionhearted millionmile yellowgold dwarf, far distanter than icarus may fly, winged eye melting featherwax and numbing nerve

feeding all, filling all, fuelling all, sustaining all, yet one day mere trillennia hence devouring all, re absorbing all earth’s sunstuff, if never first devoured by dragon monkey wolf serpent or blackholy goddess of galactic night

food of algae, idol of flowers, boss of roosters, sauna of lizards, lamp of lovers, garment of nudists, blight of deserts, torment of vampires, scourge of snowmen, wellspring of moonlight, yoke of oceans, pivot of planets, wheel of seasons, father of pharaoh, aim of archer, mango of monkey, spoil of scarab, dinner of direwolf, eye of heaven, light of vision and vision of light, seen now through dark glasses but one day eye to eye, unblinkingly unblinding

for this light of the world, epitome of glory, sun of heaven blazing with conversion light, the monad, carrion kissing, darkness lightening, nightperil delivering and all sustaining, is a mere lamp to light the way

a type, a symbol, font of wisdom, all seeing icon, sign to lead us, cycling now but soon to dismount, to the axle of all, samsaran wheels halting near vantage point to view the bright empyrion

circling sun and earth, comet and cluster, light and dark matter, stars and humanity, a joy to end soul enmity, the love that moves the son

and day is grey now, light is night now, fire is liar now, shown unknown now yet when dawn comes...

© P and B Purser-Hallard 2008.

www.infinitarian.com created and maintained by Philip Purser-Hallard.
A Quantum of Sol (Rising Sun) images © B Purser-Hallard 2008.
All material © Philip Purser-Hallard 2008 except where otherwise noted, and not to be used without permission.