May day, memorious. The old soldier
processing to the podium, a bullet-
wound to remind him. Roosevelt
in Milwaukee, Bull Moose in Madison Square.

Progressive. Rich men and ruffians,
lean-to prophets, kings of snow –
the brittle glory of the Medicine Show,
the Big Tent, windy with quotations...

Stern was the sterling word, stirring
the crowd. The veteran tasted the rust
of blooded lavender. It was a test
for metal filings – it was Vulcan, simmering.

Lines of poplars point past the chateau.
Beyond the mansard and the glinting fields,
there, off in the distance (among some weeds)
an oak tree squirrels her bantering manteau.

A sheltering ripe post. Ancient annuity.
The octave muted in the squire's arpeggio,
the hand's St. Vitus' dance. And it was so.
Silence appends its rest note; the incongruous

miracle-ditty (quarrelsome cowpoke's vine
and trumpet) grew. Hid from fresh alarums
and Goliath gloss - wrapped in films
of a young seal's frozen frame (its spine).

Begin, then, with the perilous retort
of speechless limbs. What marks the man
from the also-ran. The game in Yucatan,
the racing heart – iris of the jungle (smart).


No comments: