Hazarded Majesty

They think You are more potent
than the seal of Solomon.
They think You are the life force
within the body of the universe.


But what they did not know
is that you knew first what
slows the pulse when what one
wants more than anything

else grows the way tumours
do in mouths and lungs no
matter how much good one
promises every

heart but never does. Those
rumours die into love,
fly on swift wings throughout
life’s familiar rooms, come

to conclusions, and show
no remorse once breath’s gone.


An angel spills tales of
hazarded majesty,
empties treasuries, fills
the space of hours with air

until what is revealed
sounds nearer to what thoughts
you never could conceal.
Heaven witnesses prayer

burn before being loved
by being heard, returned
to earth as dust, ashes
dark enough to distil

those tears you risk to drops
of ink against your will.

1Rumi, “[Quatrain] 558”, [Lines 2–3], in “[Chapter] 1[.] Rubaiyat: [Translated by] Kabir and Camille Helminski with Lida Saedlan” of The Pocket Rumi: Edited by Kabir Helminski, published at Boulder by Shambhala in 2008; page 9.