Like a Prince Hal of the Iron Age,
surrounded by a full staff
of devices (every gaffe
in the book) Henry took a page
from Stealing Drums in Trinidad
as they slubbered through the murk
of a flood plain, like turkeys
in a hurricane. It was that bad.
Had to go, blind fool, from Addis Ababa
to Babylon – from Lake Tana
to Concrete Cavern (ah,
Bull-Dance of Hummy Blah-Blah!)
& recapitulate his fancy
infancy – in a shed
built of old dry blood
& scarecrow straw, with Nancy
the Cow & Her Yodeling Shepherds
making rustic hay.
He lived a year & a day
on all fours – eating grass, curds
& whey, locusts, honey, in a swamp
by the Jordan, in Judea...
It’s all there, Maria –
in Miriam’s mandorla (under the lamp).
Henry wandered thus through drowsy realm
one silver star over dark green pine,
one cirque of gold at the Argo helm.