Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ghazal of the Beloved

"How often had he walked
Beneath summer and the sky
To receive her shadow in his mind..."

---Wallace Stevens

With what blessing does God grace the Beloved?
By what star's course may we trace the Beloved?

What site--divine sepulchre or holy tomb--
May we honor, call the place of the Beloved?

Voice preserved in the ear, image in the mind...
From memory will Time erase the Beloved?

Who sought her exile from the world,
Banished from mirrors the face of the Beloved?

Her silhouette is seen in the twilight clouds,
Though night arrives to displace the Beloved.

A field of ashes where embers were dying,
Light by which we strove to retrace the Beloved.

Her presence now constitutes the hush
Between stanzas, the sacred space of the Beloved.

The defunct monastery still covets silence,
Where priests saw an Angel embrace the Beloved.

First published in Tiferet (2008)