Siena - Wolf-Town - threefold knot
in the twisted thread of Tuscan roads!
Above ambivalent pools of frescoes
your campanile vaults skyward - shot
from earth, a mason's amaryllis;
image of aspiring civitas (exponential
offshoot of such covenants of mutual
encouragement as We the People is).
A tiny peasant-pilgrim in the painted hills
clambers up through ninefold rings of
steppe, vineyard, wall, alcove... dove-
sprinkled street... piazza-shell,
city hall... radiant mirror-
wall... and there takes a final step
into vertiginous icon-gyroscope -
a spiralling, unfathomable sphere
(an airy labyrinth, a darkling glass,
a dream). Tuscany's free-standing
city-state, ripening so, unknowing
what catastrophe was come to pass :
what reaper traveled up the pilgrim path
to meet them at the apex of their glory.
Black Death, Black Death, memento mori.
All roads lead through Rome (to Golgotha).