Act Two

Scene Eleven:

Have You Seen Osiris?

LIGHTS up on the Nile riverbank as ISIS goes downriver, following OSIRIS. As Have You Seen Osiris? music plays on oboe, cello and crystal bowl in F#, NEPHTHYS speaks. ISIS dances several times in and out of the Light and the Space, her face becoming more haggard, her clothes more torn and disheveled, her dance more exhausted each time she appears. NEPHTHYS KHU appears. ENSEMBLE gradually enter, as CITIZENS of Egypt.

NEPHTHYS:

Isis walked along the river alone, with no litter or escort that would mark her as the Goddess or the Queen. In each place she asked when the people had last seen Osiris. The more she walked, the more her beauty faded.

ISIS (Sings):

Have You Seen Osiris?

(To hear this song, click here.)

 

Have you seen Osiris?

Have you welcomed the King?

Has his beauty so touched you

That you wanted to sing?

Have you flared at his fragrance

And longed for his eye?

Has he loved you to wonder and taught you

The arts of things most high?

NEPHTHYS:

Some of the people took pity on her, gave her food and drink, and cared for her. Some did not. Set had been busy in the land.

NEPHTHYS KHU disappears. NEPHTHYS enters, at a distance from ISIS, unseen by her.

CITIZEN 1:

And what are we supposed to do? Wait until Osiris comes back from the dead (Laughter), and brings the land back to life? My brother Rakhti was out there, where the Black Land meets the desert.

CITIZEN 2:

It's true, what they say. The Red Earth just doesn't stop eating. It's already covered the land that was our new farm a month ago.

CITIZEN 3:

Set's men even ride through our crops, which are dry and yellow anyway from . . .

CITIZEN 1:

All together now. Not! Enough! Water!

CITIZENS' clamor abates but continues as ISIS re-enters, singing.

ISIS (Sings):

(To hear song, click here.)

 Have You Seen Osiris? (Continued):

Have You Seen Osiris?

Have you noticed his gait?

Has his clothing surprised you?

Have you asked if his mate

Were lonely to agony

And scanning the earth,

Numb to the universe,

Indifferent to life, or pain, or birth.

CITIZEN 1:

Oh, grand. Not only is the rain not coming and the crops not growing, and Osiris is dead and a dog boy is on the throne, but now the Queen decides not to have an Explorer Team find Osiris, but to go looking for the Bumble Box herself.

CITIZEN 4:

I respect the King.

CITIZEN 1:

So did I. It used to be easy. Would you have gotten into the box? Or would you have seen you were being set up? (CITIZENS grumble, but don't dispute.) And now we have people walking everywhere and looking for Osiris, and other people who say, I saw Osiris in the purple orchid flowers, I saw Osiris in the street, and if you step this way, my brother has elegant, affordable statues of Osiris.

CITIZEN 4:

(To ISIS:) He went that way.

CITIZEN 1:

(To ISIS:) Would you like one of these? (Offers her a statuette of OSIRIS) Are there any words you'd like to say as a really determined follower?

CITIZEN 4:

Stop it! Do you know who this woman is?

CITIZEN 1:

No, I don't.

FLASH of blue light and chord in A emanate from above ISIS. Some CITIZENS perceive who she is. ISIS looks up, glares. The light and sound fade.

CITIZEN 3:

No harm is done. He went that way.

Crystal water bowls and flutes, F# and A. ISIS dances in background. NEPHTHYS remains. Some CITIZENS follow ISIS, others exit.

CITIZEN 2:

(Aside to CITIZEN 1 as they exit:) Did you see who she was talking to?

CITIZEN 1: She's talking to the air. Her husband is in a box. They run the kingdom.

MA'AT enters from the shadows. During the following, NEPHTHYS and some ENSEMBLE actors engage CELEBRANTS in the mourning procession that follows ISIS.

MA'AT:

(To CELEBRANTS:) You have a chance to be engaged again, if you'd like to move, and join the mourners for Osiris. The journey downriver to find Osiris is very rough on the physical body of Isis. But she's a Neter. She's not going to starve, or forget what she knows, or be confined. Her body kept walking toward the sea, but her heart felt like it was crawling underground, like a mole.

Have You Seen Osiris? melody becomes more rhythmic, with ISIS, NEPHTHYS, and the ENSEMBLE leading CELEBRANTS in the funeral dance steps. At the climax, ISIS moans and runs out, followed by NEPHTHYS.
MA'AT: For weeks she does not eat. Her life is all river: in comes the water, where is Osiris, out go the tears, and more walking. Does she know whether Osiris is really dead inside that box?

How can Osiris possibly still be alive?

 

You can hear how, in Anubis on the Fifth Dimension.

 

Or you can follow the story line, with A Tree Grows in Byblos.

 

Or you can Choose from other Scenes

 

For Background, go to Stories of Thoth and Ma'at

 

Or go to the Playbill 

 

Copyright 2009 Dan Furst

 

 

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