23 (a Masque)
The dogwood colors gradually, blushing
plum and russet, slowly reddening
to holly scarlet, then fading... til
each leaf, like kiln-fired clay, goes drifting
along the ground. So many stray horses,
lost in an autumn wood, all flames!
And the chill in the air - the seraphim!
Terrific echoes from the future race
- boomerang into the past - the chariots
of Israel and her horsemen! Elijah
leans near the gleaming throne, a grail-
ship in his hand - Lord, suspended - floats!
The dark drops quickly now, a silvery
wrinkle of late-summer crickets (curtain
of homely sound). Soon my labyrinthine
morris dancer will emerge (memory
a buried well). Fleet companion,
lightfoot arborist... whose brook
slips past a forest door - dark book
of frittery wings (dried myrmidons).
Fontegaia... today's draught.