Sundial gnomon, or stick in the ground,
reveals its longest shadow to me today.
The sun has drifted south to set.
Now, it will move steadily northward again,
returning for spring to the celestial equator.
Waking in a feverish afternoon and thinking,
“It’s much too early to get up.”
Realizing the sun is somehow now misplaced,
rising in the west, I weakly stand.
I’m a sundial gnomon. My shadow warped.
stealing her white light from the Sun,
lighting its cool, pale fire to hearts
on Earth and attracting emotions like waves
breaking at our feet and distant shores.
This bewitched light that shows your nakedness.
[Allusions here to Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens:
“The sun ’s a thief, and with his great attraction / Robs the vast sea; the moon ’s an arrant thief / And her pale fire she snatches from the sun…”]
In these last Dog Days of summer,
two sun dogs at sunset suddenly appear.
Phantom suns, as if this were another
planet where they guarded Helios passing down
through ice crystals on this hot day.
A new term to me – “Sun dogs” are an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a pair of bright spots on either horizontal side on the Sun, often co-occurring with a luminous halo. more about sundogs