A saturnine Pharaoh, by an empty goldfish pond
counted up his losses, mourned the absconded
myth (his darling pride and joy). Wounded
in his nether hoof, he dreamed of Trebizond.
His glances lingered in the pond's recess.
A memory of black, disturbing eyes
that drew him, stumbling (so unwise) to
far perimeters of his domain. A single kiss
from her, his only aim (sweet target
summoning his whole desire). He gazed
into the pool. He seemed to see those eyes
again. He realized : they mocked him yet.
They gleamed there, twinkling, above her smile.
And then, as out of overhanging willow leaves,
a whisper came. Have you forgotten, peevish
prince? Never understood at all? The trial
of love I bid you run - and did you fail?
You loved my image and yourself, not me.
Think how I turned your eyes away - toward
the frescoes of Siena. Ponder that. Farewell.
In a far well of years, in a quiet chamber
high above the rooftops of the town,
those frescoes dwell. Through grinding
poverty and strife and plague, earthquakes
and bickering, still they remain - a single
figure full of figures, gesturing toward civic
hope. Swept along (like some light bark
across time's stream) in Sienese
unperished hearts. What cargo do they bear?
What whispers fidget under spectral
flourishes? It is an image of regal
equality - pluperfect rain. Justice wears
the crown. For in just hearts, each neighbor is
sharecropper of all goodness - goodness
bubbling up like Fontegaia, from a fond recess
where buoyant, sunny Pax sheds every care.
You pointed toward my darkness,
dear one. Where words fail,
perish; where old private travail
merges (pangs of tenderness)
with a round earth's rolling drone.
It's forlorn Hobo's simple moan.
Look toward the southern sky.
Disconsolate Centaur frames a W
where hopeful eyes turned once (to
you). Papa's gonna be home, by n' by.
Out of a glittering, dreaming ocean.
Out of an Indian expanse... the sun.
Where a Frisco angel floats, mid-air
over an emerald catenary span -
a double rainbow-catamaran.
Frisbee's paper hat, still spinning, there.
Driftwood lingered in the fragrant night
beneath cascades of tiny mountain bells
(in laurel leaves). Looked into the wells
of sky, where every river takes its light
spring into gravity. The Milky Way
(a kind of Whitman-suntide) tenderly
revolved - he saw the martyrs (soldierly
Venusians) - saw the Old Man of Clay
with the key to the highway (one
green helicopter-penny) - and then
he saw the mirror of his own
heart, flowering. A moonshine
ring (suspended, circling) where
light melds everything - bends
gently, sturdily - to bear the ends,
& all begins. Sweet bells, ring, ring.
I dreamed I was a prince, once, in Siena.
The damsels flocked to me as damsel flies
to their bright day; through dense mosquito-
swarms, I led an expedition to Moon River
(er, Diana). Almost immediately, all went wrong.
I lost my cosmic robe of gem-bedizened silk;
my proud equine quartet (so incomparably
caparisoned) shrank to one equable donkey
(stubborn old stump; still, serviceable).
My brilliant companions disappeared.
I wandered nowhere, seemingly - weird
circulation! - Paradise a bramble-stumble
now. I leaned against a concrete wall
and looked across an unfamiliar plain -
a stranger to my native town,
it seemed! And then a melody (in laurel
leaves) rippled, lowly, in reply :
You searched for me where I cannot
be found. I'm not in Rome, nor Camelot;
not in Jerusalem, nor under any tree.
I'm in your heart. You are the spring
releasing me; I am your fountain,
you are mine; not nigh nor high, neither
lointain, my friend, but everywhere - wing
of sad weight lent flight experience.
And you will gather up all glancing strokes
in one great wheel of everlasting spokes -
one lofty arc. I woke, and it was Providence.
Gesthemane. The coptic sentries by the sepulchre
plinked somnolent piano keys. It was 11:32 pm.
We slept. A pity. 10, 9... Mozart. Requiem.
Midnight. The ghost is knocking at the door.
So... Fontegaia takes the Big Bend.