A Sun at Midnight

These astronomical matters fade.
Another intimacy happens,

a sun at midnight,
with no east, no night or day.

Love opens my chest and
thought seeks comfort it will never find.

A sun at midnight climbing the walls
of a fortress painted

like a paper sky arrows puncture,
giving eyes to blackness,

torches arriving like
planets whose rolling, turning along

an unseen axis, burns
into vapour the smoke of their toil.

I see only after
the fact the effect its work has, soars,

patching closed peepholes on
the other side of which this vastest

passion explodes into
nude galaxies the icicle cries

of my splintered scars cover and clothe
in new stars. Another

shot at fugitive love
will make either a bleeding martyr

or a constellation
of me, but, oh, who can say they have

ever had enough? This
mad ascent, with its many pitfalls,

convalescent stumbles uplifting
cripples, enlightens me.

Even every stinging defeat
feels, really, so much more

like a victory in
this battle the mind and the heart wage

over freeing the soul
of its throne, this king’s body which, for

too long, with far too much beauty, has
held too closely, and in

the false hope that its golden flesh was
true majesty. A fool

not knowing love crowns the formerly
lonely with a wealth which

outlasts eternity,
a warmth which burns internally, skin

blushing, lit like an alabaster
lamp from within always.

Inextinguishable confidence
burning off, and brushing

away, every worry.
This is food for thought and the journey.

1Rumi, “Sheba’s Gifts to Solomon”, [Stanzas 8–9, Lines 27–30], in “[Chapter] 17. Solomon Poems: The Far Mosque” of The Essential Rumi: New Expanded Edition: Translated by Coleman Barks: with Reynold Nicholson, A. J. Arberry, John Moyne, published at New York by HarperOne in 2004; page 187.