Disturb the Eagles’ Nest

 [Poetry], Burning Byzantium  Comments Off on Disturb the Eagles’ Nest
Aug 272011

Blasted rocks and an old warped tree
Lift above a still spot of the sea
As though some vague hand had painted them;
A little back from the verge,
A step or two back from the verge,
And compelled by a strong salt wind,
A clanging ear and troubled eye
A battered head without a tooth,
Rags and crutch and old broken bones---
All that wreck which I call myself,
Having climbed an unaccustomed stair
In a changing state of mind
Or with a bewildered mind,
And revealed to the weather 
On the promontory,
Stood shaken by a vision.

A burning woman and a man
In Quattrocento gesture struck
Above the bed where all began;
Half-risen above the multitudinous sea
Above the tangled branches of the yew,
Their abstract bodies are not mixed
With commoner dirt, nor sullied by a cut
Thought of sin or guilt begot.
Is that sweetest skin, ghostly there,
Half human still or all celestial?
World-engendering Pythagoras
Stalked Heaven and never took a bride.
---O all that golden multitude
Had clarity to unpuzzle it. I,
A skittish old man upon a rock,
With a mouthful of rue
With a slippery crutch on a rock
And reeling backwards in a fright
Am blinded by the unbearable light.

The Parent Tree

 [Poetry], The Cabana at the Equator  Comments Off on The Parent Tree
Aug 262011
It was in singing that he first 
Knew that worsening was not worst.
His father's large disappointed face 
Tickled him inarticulate with terror 
Until he forged, 
Below sharp time, 
Monster suns of images. 

Invented heaven has a charm: litter
Of apostles, magenta trees that dissolve 
As vapor, where golden sparrows sing 
And do not sink. He thought 
One wanted seeming, 
An altered 
Strangled attitude of bird. 

A harsh man's countenance wavered 
In ocean distortions of the moon. 
The kneeling son felt a burning prayer 
At his back, and ran, and ran 
In stark fright 
On broken bones 
Beneath a salt-dead tree.