June in the jungle, rain upon the ruins,
sweeping across, doubling back. Two lines
of riverbanks, but only a single line
for the racehorses, where the race begins

and ends. A bugle set the broncos off.
Sweet gold upstream whets the appetite;
well-wrought, remote, plucked at night
from piranha beds : a treasure-trove.

A Hawkwood hosted in the King's own house
is the result. Rain falls on the mercenaries,
merciless, on the just, unjust : last
evenings tremble on the lips of stars.

The forest makes a melancholy lithograph,
sandstone and muddy sentences, the river's
drone. A cataract in the center wears
down a blind whorl : each palm's a cenotaph.

Tangled knolls (the gardener's long gone).
A shrouded cloudbank between earth and sky
stippled with fool's gold for the jubilee.
Holy steeps (lightheaded Magdalen).

Between the prudent and the prodigal,
prodigious perspicacity in the minstrel -
in the duck-blind, hunting through hell
with a pilgrim bell (sings well, after all!).

Such were snortings that the jaguar heard.
Sortilege, for some, some summer eve.
Yet the lantern swung in the wind, a sieve
for fireflies; the jungle reckoned every word.

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