Lanthanum 9.10


The earth, a flaking Roman ampitheatre,
doddering old ham... waiting (by that river
in Vienne) to cradle One who comes, deliver
Him - Emanu-el, the One-with-us (now, here) –

while amid Mayan ruins of Piedras Negras
students pencilling their scribble-diaries
mimic the very pliant sediment they prize
from plaza, limestone crypt, acropolis –

intent on disinterment : one petrified root
of the Archaic One. That buried king, or
child – lurker in the villages, oppressed
oppressor – fatherless, beneath the boot

of evil-doing thugs. Tacit one, who waits &
waits there, in the dump... that groundsman-
gardener (asleep or dead) upon whom Magdalen
trains her indomitable emerald eye (understand

what Iris lurks beneath such blurred-out Violet).
O mudpie innocents, ephebe-gravediggers, I
would join you in your soggy trenches – misery
of the world is quenched in labor so inviolate –

& in the spousal sarabande of Mayan time
inch toward an ur-outcrop of waterfalls :
grave yet lightweight pumice-composite (all’s
figures, Horatio
) streaked with lanthanum-

streams of limestone. Where a bass-chorus
swims in droning schools : a fluent solidarity
of Wills (Roger, Blackstone)... & nostra pace
e’en la sua voluntade. IN RI
, chanted... for us.


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