in the grave of the Griffin Warrior


A stone in the grave of the Griffin Warrior.
Lowly agate (rough
exterior).  What
unknown soldier, pebble on the shore

flung from what Cretan Argo-prow
lay crypted here?
His name’s no more.
Near-sighted magnifying glasses show

how microscopic serpent-threads
wound round the pommel
of a vanquished blade – whorl-
vortex of a maze from Hell (where heads

will roll).  The Minotaur is in
will see you now.  He’s you.
A stone makes hearty stew,
you know (a wilderness of sin).

The kilty boys are losers here,
for once – the codpiece wins,
his dagger thrusting in... so
war defines its atmosphere.

The agate labyrinth congeals,
like threads of matiรจre
Bretagne.  Lodged somewhere
in the brain – with royal seals

& white election... Hamlet’s pause
(like Abraham’s)... the sword
held back by muttered word
to brand an emerald chimp’s impasse


with emblems of a lost accord.
‘Tis way of the world, alas –
each fence a sacrifice
for peace (a chain-link, scored

for Queequeg scar).  That little cap
of Mithras-happiness...
that victor’s haughty prance
over the bleeding bull (himself, mayhap)...

As if an intricate expensive ship
– Mayflower? Monitor? –
long-sunk to Black Sea floor
drifted to shore.  The salty lip

of Ocean whispered her afloat again.
The Norway of the year
gave way to Danish cheer
when Hamlet’s amulet (against the grain)

pressed echoes of a gentle man
into the oaken captain’s
table (so that crimson
icon sped a providential plan).

Ah, Psyche, lift your agate lamp!
& Ariadne, thread
my path... open the dead
tomb for your spider-tramp!

There is an agon for the soul
of man – relinquish force
or buy it with remorse.
You choose.  Sweep, safety net; seas, roll.


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