Entombed in pyramids alongside chariots
& golden scarabs her round brown
seeds can wait a thousand 
years to sprout. Cleopatra bathed
in her petals & Hindus insist Brahma, 
the Creator, was born from her watery
chaos. At shallow riverside her stems
shoot through water & muck
as Lotus ascends, pristine
corolla bursting. Christians reach 
for her light too, praise her strength
for growing eagerly in marshes, ponds
& flood plains – the triumph
of spirit over senses. Did you know
a lotus flower refuses to grow
in pure water? Muck is where
nutrients live & it’s still causing
a fuss, century through century. Lotus
blossoms scattered like christening
water on Ramses’ gleaming coffin, sprouting
from Buddha’s footprints. They say
Cleopatra doused the sails of her royal
ship in Lotus oil so Marc Antony could smell
her as he was approaching the shore.