Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Wandering Kings

The King of Tabuk went on like this,
praising Imra'u 'l-Qays, and talking theology
and philosophy. Imra'u 'l-Qays kept silent.
Then suddenly he leaned and whispered something
in the second king's ear, and that second
that second king became a wanderer too.
They walked out of town hand in hand.
No royal belts, no thrones.
This is what love does and continues to do.

It tastes like honey to adults and milk to children.
Love is the last thirty-pound bale.
When you load it on, the boat tips over.

So they wandered around China like birds pecking
at bits of grain. They rarely spoke because
of the dangerous seriousness of the secret they knew.

That love-secret spoken pleasantly, or in irritation,
severs a hundred thousand heads in one swing.

A love-lion grazes in the soul's pasture,
while the scimitar of this secret approaches.
It is a killing better than any living.
All that world-power wants, really, is this weakness.