Ibn al Haytham - The First Scientist - Alhazen - Ibn al Haitham - Alhacen  


Alone with his pursuer,
he trots the length of the polished rectangle,
stops beside the painted half-circle,
and glances at the iron ring
that hovers in space.

Immortal in those skimpy clothes,
he just stands there, the inflated hide
tapping the floor beneath his hand
as time consumes every opportunity
but the one he reserves for himself.

He waits, waits, waits, waits. Finally,
when it seems no time remains
for even the briefest of actions, he accelerates
forward two steps then halts again, leaping
upward and a little back.

Bare hands raise the perfect sphere
and propel it in a shallow arc
toward the center of the circle.

A ripple of loose string.

And the voice of the multitude gathered in one room
unites to congratulate the slender figure
who disappears into the bounding mob
as we turn to embrace one another.

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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens

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