Scene Five:

In the Flowers with Osiris

 

LIGHTS UP as before on OSIRIS, seated above on his terrace, able to look up and see the FULL MOON rising in front of him; and NEPHTHYS at her window, from which she can see OSIRIS. She holds up her crystal ball, in which appears the image of OSIRIS on his terrace. Her lines and the King's cascade in what comes next, as OSIRIS picks up a picture of ISIS:

OSIRIS:

Love. And more love. We must live in love.

NEPHTHYS:

. . . love, and more love.

BOTH:

(Simultaneous:) And how long, love, before you are here?

NEPHTHYS:

My lord, I will sing for you, and send such perfume as wakes even Min before dawn. (She prepares to leave, anointing herself with Jasmine.)

OSIRIS:

The scent of the trees is dull while you are gone. The birds are faint, and nurse their songs. When will our son come? And when will we get to work on him again? Ah. The divine tree rises at the root. (Rolls up scrolls, blows out candles.) The stars are cooler. The Moon is singing.

OSIRIS walks out toward the stairway. The spring sky appears: Gemini, Procyon and Capella in the west, Arcturus in the east. NEPHTHYS dances into the garden as "It is He" MUSIC begins. She resembles ISIS. Her perfume fills the garden. Nightingales sing, joined by flutes and strings. NEPHTHYS crosses to a stone bench in the shape of a papyrus boat, and sits. When OSIRIS notices her, he weaves a garland from the melilot tree, then crosses to her.

OSIRIS:

Ohh. It is she. I don't know how you can be here and in Coptos too. Who knows? For you, my love, the melilot, the petals of pati fire.

It is He!

NEPHTHYS:

The Lord Osiris is perfection,

He walks in beauty, and sees all things

With the eyes of the horse and the dove.

His arms, like wings, enfold me.

His breath is the wind of spring.

In his hair is the Moon and magic.

In his laugh the shama sings.

My heart, his heart, join beating,

And I feel eternity.

It is he!

OSIRIS:

It is she!

NEPHTHYS:

When the lotus rises from him

And he plants his light in me.

OSIRIS:

She enfolds me in her passion

And I feel the voice of the sea.

It is she!

BOTH:

It is He/She!

He/She is perfection.

He/She is grace.

He/She is the pulse.

Perfection! Delight! The mystery!

They embrace. Space fades to BLACKOUT as MUSIC grows stronger, then fades. Lights come up enough that we can see NEPHTHYS as she gets up from the garden and returns home. Melilot petals fall from her as she dances back toward her bedchamber. Lights move toward dawn and OSIRIS wakes.

OSIRIS:

Ah. My dear. Where are you? Hiding again. I will find you before the sun does!

He enters his palace. We now see KHU images of NEPHTHYS' DREAM. Music continues. In her sleep, NEPHTHYS sings pieces of "It is He". The DREAM: waves of grain growing full and golden, then cut down and made into bread eaten by humans who grow old until bodies of light rise up from their physical bodies, which dissolve into a flood that covers the land, then recedes, leaving dark brown silt and new green reeds that multiply until the entire space is filled with rich green light. MUSIC on crystal bowls in D, F# and B. MUSIC beguns to shift toward soft, then sharper brass as SET KHU appears, scattering much of the green light with angry red light.

NEPHTHYS:

(Sings:) It is He . . .

SET (KHU):

It is who?

NEPHTHYS:

It is -- (Wakes, startled.)

 KHU vanishes. SET enters, placing his bow on the bed. OSIRIS enters to his garden, begins walking, inhaling deeply as the scent takes him toward SET's house. He stops, sees and hears SET's wrath.

SET:

Why do you smell like myrrh? What are these (Picks up melilot flowers) doing in our bed? And why is it so hot? (Pause.) There is only one place where these grow. Not only does Osiris shrink my land and cross my will and mock me with his smiles, now he comes to scatter flowers in my bed, he blunders into my wife, and she has had a very good time.

NEPHTHYS:

How do you know he just blu--

SET:

He hasn't got the concentration to plan a seduction and carry it through. You had to go get him. I'm not the only hunter in the house. (Sniffs bed.) At least you didn't do it here.

 OSIRIS understands, walks back toward his garden as ISIS enters.

If you'd like to continue:

You can go to Sometimes the Nose Doesn't Know

 

Or you can Choose from other Scenes

 

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

 

Or glance at the Playbill 

 

Copyright 2002 Dan Furst

 

 

Next Page                 When It Rained Main Page                  Emerald Tablet