another blast from the Oak of Phenoque


The poem might be a superconductor,
its topology so homespun,
threadbare, cold & thin –
a 1-dimensional egg-beater

jamming a needle’s eye in Denmark,
or Verona.  The capstan
spools the whole yawning
span – the wheel is made of holm oak,

evergreen & ancient, holy.
Argo is her name;
a million eyes flame
round her oaken rim, & Ariadne

anchors her from Ocean floor –
her catenary line
loops gracefully, from spine
of cedar mast to dark-green shore.

The old exotic matter of Bretagne
sleeps in her sybil’s leaves;
the lovelorn wind that grieves
through Dante’s cedars in Ravenna

carry G’ma’s freighter Gospel, too –
from Cape Ann out to Frisco
through the Gulf of Mexico.
Jessie, Ophelia... tarragon, rue...

her sleepy spells rise from the clay
& spin toward constellations
full of Okie calibrations –
a rain of acorns hits the hay


where long-abandoned train stations
sink back into the prairie
& a grey turtle (airy,
airiest) flew fluting through the nation’s

backwaters.  The love that moves
the Son & the moth-stars
goes raying through a potter’s
helm, the way an LP grooves

(Columbia).  Her ire will not last
forever – no, Iona
&/or Iowa have shown a
willingness to rise from lead ballast;

Do-Well, Do-Better & Do-Best
have joined hands in a wing –
a simple pleasant wedding,
thistle-burred (give red & blue a rest).

A century ago, the Meuse-Argonne
became a charnel house.
Grandpa Edward S.
was there, & shipped home (lucky one)...

– are Guillem’s muses all gone now?
An airplane lifts from Eiffel
to New York – the spell
takes hold – Liberty lifts her crow-

bar torch – ignites like acorn
from galactic hearth...
summons magnetic North...
O steadfast keel, O evergreen horn!


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