Her Light Is Not Her Own Nor Is Her Path
Her light is not her own, nor is her path,
Yet she bears witness to a crimson will.
Her brother's a solitary blaze, she a lamp
Directing tides though mortal stone.
He by flame illumines earthen ages.
She by timeless spirit time apportions,
Translates his shafts to high geometry.
Though cold she hides the hunted, lights their way.
He shines the same on all indifferently,
His radiance warming though he be unseen.
Moved among stars she surveys the bowers.
He, an unmoved mover, never strays,
Intending, releasing his limbs by fiery showers.
Seen she remains a mystery.
He speaks not of her though she clocks his hours
Bathed in pale humility,
Appearing night and day, he day alone.
Yet his empire reaches toward infinity
Like fire itself or thought or Rome,
Streaming outward far beyond his throne,
Her moving midpoint and dominion Earth alone.
If both celestials prophesy,
He flawless light outpouring, she dark
Like the non-being of mind,
He a center, she circumference,
He far, she near, he a giant, she slim and spare,
Whence the hermeneutic of the sky?
For he, the source of light and life down here,
Deflects attention from the world above.
Who looks too long at him sees naught.
Who moves too close he'll scorch and slay.
She, recalling an ethereal height,
By gossamer attire entices sight,
By thought number, and dares to remind
That she ever nurtures mind's desire;
Who aims too high through him goes blind.
Yet he carries God within his beams
As Francis says, and even plants acknowledge
When they pray, turning to him with silent,
Unknown love, such as mortals' healed of daily pains
By his medicinal, muscular rays,
The seat and fountain of all that is.
Bespeaking double rule they point to One,
Not hers, not his. Near opposites
They seem to bid us seek beyond semblance
Why to human eyes they look the same
In size, in distance, in skies traversed, in light,
The one commanding day, the other night.
© 2008 by Sam Gold