Moon and Sphinx: An Eternal Observance

If, or what, I am guarding is forgotten

by people long gone,

spells of their old priests born by winds

to nevermore.

Now I'm left to wait nights for what is older than me,

kinder than the sun.

My meditations are troubled by the sun's burning eye,

though the ancients who built me pointed my face

to its dawn in worship.

The sun, these high pyramids, Grandeur

is a king brash and boastful. Mystery

is my queen, the moon of night, subtle and alluring,

she matches my mood perfectly.

Humans look at us and see such idols of silence

and obscurity, weave us into their mythologies.

They are nothing to us, we survive them all.

Over the eons we see only each other.

Even the stars sometimes burn out, fall

from their asterisms, but the moon

returns over me forever, never falls from the sky

only grows and shrinks.

It is the heartbeat of our so long witness.

Tonight, my stone-blind eyes see not the dhows

as they sail over her glittering train on the distant ribbon

of Nile.

They are nothing, their world of fleeting lives.

Only she and I are eternal.

And though she is ever above me, shaped by higher hands,

in my stone dream my mistress metaflowers, expands

in the sky as she descends to me.

Yeats, from an island of stone circles, should have known

stone cannot move itself, yet in my dream

I move my lion's foot as she settles down

between my carved paws – even as my sedimentary heart

knows this can never be.

Steven Croft's latest chapbook is At Home with the Dreamlike Earth (The Poetry Box, 2023). His work has appeared in Willawaw Journal, 3rd Wednesday, So It Goes, Anti-Heroin Chic, The New Verse News, and other places, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.