Reminiscences of 1865


Today we recall the tall gaunt pioneer
with Peruvian cheekbones.
His fifth scene atones
for all that blood shed in anger

at the righting of wrongs; his brief turn
by the Gettysburg graveyard
consumes, with a perfect word,
our kindled rage in bright compassion.

The creaking panorama of all wars
since Cain killed Abel, here
slows, crawls... Ford Theatre –
whose British farce on Yankee manners

stumbles from play to traitor’s hour.
Dusky similitudes...
old King of the Woods
hung from an oak (in Raven’s power)...

the tragic pattern rotates on a string.
Tyro, dangling puppets
tangled on parapets,
shuffles the script – the play’s the thing.

Your clear-eyed servant laughs his last,
cries, Come to my Thanksgiving
feast!  An overlay of evening
wash soaks its river of papyrus bast

in crimson, indigo, & brown.
Still life.  Peto.
Reminiscences on Yew.
Grey feather you must make your own.


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