(After a rerun of The Mummy at the Odeon Luxe.)
Accidently mistaking our Oxfam Book of the Dead, for Mary Berry’s Baking Bible,
seeking a recipe for sandwich cake, I woke everything,
created Hamunaptra here in my little cul-de-sac.
Perhaps foolishly I had fixed new handles to the kitchen cupboards,
a job lot from TK Maax, that bazaar of delights.
Long screws, double washers and nuts. A bargain.
But those handles are golden scarabs from Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen,
king of kitsch, keeper of the book of high fashion, a warning I ignored;
these clockwork confections have started scuttling.
I attach one to the breadbin and instantly regret.
It has taken possession and no crumb is safe;
it must roll its ball of dung, its roll of wholemeal sliced.
It was the usual passion at the local Odeon, Art Deco Egyptian picture palace,
pith helmets and jodhpurs, fez and fern, curse and coca cola,
Imhotep laid screaming in a coffin; sacred scarabs poured over him.
Imhotep mummified alive for defiling the concubine’s oiled back;
‘Anck-su-namun,’ he breathed as he caressed her, behind a veil of silk,
the runes trickling up and down her painted body, daring him to smear them.
Think of that when you are reaching for the vinegar
or hoping to make a cheese sandwich at midnight.
Each scarab head an arc, six rays,
beautiful jaws designed to dig and shape
vestigial claw-like structures, gnawing Imhotep to the bone.
After the unsuccessful attempt to lull them with interpretive dance and a packet of dates
left over from Christmas, Gordon succumbs happily to a skeletal existence.
Imhotep, regenerated nicely on human flesh, knows how to wear a loincloth;
wooed me with Weetos on the patio, built me a small pyramid by the garden shed.
The scarabs have set up base in an old sand pit by the palm tree,
Gordon found the sarcophagus of Anck-su-namun at the local museum;
they are happy together translating hieroglyphs and plotting mutual tissue growth.
Our dog has the eyes of Anubis and is high priest of all kitchen cabinets,
munches on scarabs to keep them down. They worship him as a god.
The Mummy was a movie made in 1999 starring Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep and Patricia Velasqez as Anck-su-namun
Hamunaptra was a fictional Egyptian city
Imhotep was a high priest