The promise that was in ‘Tomorrows’ is fulfilled tonight.
Your face is the true form of the one eternal light.
I wander in the cool valleys behind your eyelashes,
And along the white beach of your cheek which the night caresses.
I walk through the laden apple orchard of your breath,
And hang on your brow’s precipice between life and death.
Your eyes hide the light that the suns worship without cease;
Your breast is my tumult of waters, and utter peace.
This kiss is the Now of all past and future tendernesses.
The veil in the temple is rent—and your beauty all men blesses.
The wind outside is the voices of lovers in peril—
For their promised ‘Tomorrows’ this night will not fulfil.
The line and hue of your lips is reflected as the dawn.
I died during the night—and now find I am reborn.
Imagery of beauty and peace convey an experience of fulfilment. This is an intimate moment of love with the Beloved.
Francis brings out its uniqueness. In the Bible “tumult of waters” (Jer.51:16) is the voice of thunder, a sign of power and majesty. Here it is swathed in protection and gentleness. The majesty which the suns worship is cloaked by the eyelids of mercy.
In the gospels (Mt 27:51) the rending of the veil of the temple at the moment when Jesus yielded up his spirit, signifying the disappearance of the barrier between God and man, is a time of violence, rocks split, earth shook and graves opened. Here it is a jamali moment of tender blessing. All the beauty of nature is immanent in this embrace.
We are gently reminded as readers that we are still outside facing the winds of time and the peril of the journey. It is a transcendent moment of realisation of the new revelation but is also Francis’ unique experience. As the next poem makes clear it is not to become an object of our desires.