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This is one of a number of similar poems inspired by "The Great Hymn to the Aten", which is attributed to the pharaoh, Akhenaten.



When the sun sets in the evening

by Ken Sanes

When the sun sets in the evening,
the Earth is shrouded in darkness,
and predators emerge from their dens
in a relentless search for living food.
And all of us withdraw into our homes
to the safety of light and a warm hearth,
where we can watch our children play,
laughing and running through the house.
Then, as darkness hovers over the Earth,
we begin to descend into a deep sleep,
and are lost to the private world of dreams.
But only, it seems, for a long moment
because our homes are soon infused with light,
opening the space closed by the night,
and we find ourselves awake in a new day.
And then the sun again bathes the land,
and our children romp through the house,
playfully stealing each otherís shoes,
with a confusion of voices and laughter
as they delay getting ready for school.
And the sunís rays are cascading down
drawing out a world full of living things,
as saplings push up through the rich earth,
and gold sways through fields of wheat
as people head out for a day of work.
And ships travel coasts and inland waters,
or venture further out into the ocean,
carrying spices, clothes and implements
used for building, weaving and farming,
along with ingenious toys for children,
who wait for their arrival with anticipation.
And as the sunís light is cast, we celebrate,
and we see that the road ahead is open.
Waking each morning to its welcoming rays,
we stand, and know what it means to be alive.


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