Ash Wednesday came soon this year -
not long after St. Bridget's Day,
when surly serpents lurking in iced clay
peer out (green channels in the rusted
drear). Hobo tippling his jug of Ripple
leans into his memories athwart
antitheses - his Hippocrene descant -
gold and silver, Danae and Diana, supple
blood and water, water and oil, oil
for anointed blood... all in a sunny
stream from Mendelssohn (O cheerful
well) where Frisbee hovers over soil
(a wee vain Finn) and a dove dives in
between hostile armies (haughty cavalry
awash up to the crest in hawkish rivalry).
Where'd she come from? Dunno, Jonah.
Weird. Where sheets of magpies laid
in mid-USA are made, unmade under
the rumble of a vagrant iron roadstead -
some dream-horse's mercurial-curial
cascade - fiery bath of negatives
(forsaken, ill-starred refugees
of twenty frigid centuries).
Here is where the serpent lives
(bronze trickle of Gorgon hair)
and rises quivering like early sun
reflected from that glancing song's
(grey-eyed Athenian) strange lyre.