Ae­neas in the Twenty-First Cen­tury

Prairie Fire - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

In early dark or morn­ing light

those prayers the an­cients of­fered

might seem true: how like sun­set

the burn­ing of a hog’s en­trails

in dark­ness. Spilt blood in bowls,

those rich ver­mil­lion rays

that bless us from the East.

And us:

sup­pos­edly su­pe­rior to this

in our anal­y­sis, we still

stand be­mused, shields lax

by our sides, be­fore the threat

of night or a fresh day. We still

long for rhyme and rhythm

though we fear their cer­tainty, those

songs that echo down the cen­turies.

Ours a hell the prophets could not ut­ter,

not apothenin th­elo but ev­ery­thing

bathed in the false light of fig­ures—

not know­ing, just learn­ing and al­ways

mis­un­der­stand­ing.

Watch them pass

through those onyx and ivory gates,

the ages meld­ing as they cross

to a world where sign and sym­bol

are the same, na­ture un­tamed

and fab­u­lous, un­re­strained

by the ru­inous tick of clock or chip.

Tonight we sail for Elysium: ready the ships.

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