Beside me
on this balcony

- before that diva Luna bursts
with arias of tawdry glow -

come take your place
let's attend
an opera ancient
more than Greece
than Aeschylus had ever dreamt

come quickly
it's started now

or rather began long ago
when time walked slower than itself
and could not sing of hours yet

so gone ago when day was night
thence nighttide dayspring

(ere Eve deceives)

and in this way enters our play:

ten constellations
- nameless then

before befores
when when none asked -

this evening like a time machine
calls back all yawning yesteryears

(bid space return)

and so these lights


that I shalt dub thee Cygnus
or Capricornus
Orion (hunter!)
Ursa my -

my angel, did we fall asleep?

under such a darkly sky?

that mattress of most restless depths?

Why Draco has not breathed a flame!
Look Lyra has not plucked a note
and Taurus just inhaled to snort
and Leo's yet to turn and roar!

Astronomy, wherefore thy lures
if nothing else to whet dry shores
where minds pry seashells from their beach
while cosmic secrets hang in reach

- but pluck just one
that tree

green Edenleaves snagged in your hair

forbidden fruit (whisper a prayer)

(midnight sugar-glazed perfumes)
(each galaxy a lotus blooms)

Go gorge until you've wakened eyes

go know thy garden


this precious petalled paradise
petitions immense sacrifice.

Will ewe wander?
Turn away?

Will ye wonder?

Paradisalight © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

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249 words. James Joyce inspiration quote ("heaventree of stars...") challenge prompt (number five) - link:
Submitted: May 11, 2020