Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winter morning

Black winter mornings are cruel.
They distort words. I inhabit

Vales of silence. Even echoes
Are respectful here. Time is

Measured in the calm between
Gales. They laid out your

Death. I devoured with my eyes.
I did not know that

I would be so starved
For the vision of you.

Now the cold winds anger
The architecture called space. I

Walk here in my fields
Of desert between drops of

Stubborn rain. Sorrow is ductile.
Watch the changing souls of

This dark light dissolve. Inferno
Assimilates. You walked in sheaths

Of glass. Now I glare
At the angry sun. The

Time for burial is come.
Earth grows barren with grief.

Hades has removed dear Persephone.

Winter scene

“Bring wine,” Alcaeus demanded, “Wine and truth.”

Here is a poem by him from an encyclopaedia I plundered from my mom’s school library.


“Zeus rains upon us, and from the sky comes down
enormous winter. Rivers have turned to ice….

Dash down the winter. Throw a log on the fire
And mix the flattering wine (do not water it
Too much) and bind on round our foreheads
Soft ceremonial wreaths of spun fleece.

We must not let our spirits give way to grief.
By being sorry we get no further on,
My bukchis. Best of all defences
Is to mix plenty of wine, and drink it.”


Alcaeus loved Sappho. She refused his love. They have vanished in the cold sea of indifference that sweeps everything, but, some of their poetry did reach the shores. It has endured. I recall Franny’s gorgeous letter, her devotion to Sappho and to think that I did not even know about her before Franny.