The ashes in the hydria
Contained an almond-shaped
Gold leaf inscribed with nonsense signs
Such as GAPEDON upside down.
The person who became the ash
Or that person's conspecifics,
At least, were clinging to belief
That belief might yet save the day.
Somebody had been to Egypt,
Seen the bodies wrapped up with prayers,
Instructions for the motionless
Moving to invisible worlds
Invented for narrative's sake
So that stories could continue
And fade with distance without end.
The cults of hermetic wisdom
(Only the clever get past death,
Whispering secrets to themselves
That amount to do this, say that,
Another game within life's game)
Started sticking incantations
On the tongues of the dead, in urns
With their ashes, oddly telling
The deceased what was to be said,
Not speaking on the ghost's behalf,
Ninety generations ago.
Still sounds good to me. GAPEDON.