Byzantium or high Armenia


Light snow cascades into December dusk.
Each flake a brief memento
of infinity.  Drifting so
far... from a distant world.  Ask

& it shall be given unto you,
intones the snowy-mantled
priest (Byzantium,
or high Armenia).  So the seed grew

amid its granary of full, deep faith.
Here in Minneapolis,
first snow is ceremonious.
A sanctification for the dying earth,

a last light blessing to the forehead
of a fading year.  I think
of Roger, leaning at the brink
of the Terrace... one hand lifted

floating over Providence spread out below
& miming his canoe’s prow –
an equilibrium of high & low,
of holy & mundane (Jonah-Hobo).

& Henry, tilting on the pivot-point
of Berryman’s rail (Washington)
is rescued from oblivion
by a mustard seed of restoration... faint

hexagon of gold sky-fire, transfiguring
the babble of his broken tongue
to chaste vision – sprung
rite from Ravenna (almond wing).


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