“SIX SONNETS FROM A 15-SONNET CYCLE”
The gold is divine, the life is your own
Salt is food for the dead or the living, toasted or melted for mushrooms and cabbage, the threat for looking back at a village where your gold hides in a hole under the floor, where the flower vase on the window gleams and glimmers in the morning sun. O poor victim of love’s sick entanglement whose sting pushes men to war and great defining schemes, belief is a matter of conviction not of fear, whose end reposes in this— the unsteady hand, the unfocused vision toward the brownish hill to spell out ‘bliss.’
So what if you crumble into softest bone— the gold is divine, the life is your own
The gold is divine, the life is your own despite days of trembling with pricks of spell, you’ll harvest the thunder whose bolts you have sown and gather salt and God’s mercy as well.
And if on your legs the white particle grows then fairness works—the village will not know— slumbering after threshing the common grains— that unspoken faith gives strength through the night, or angels conspire to shape what remains of human longing into passion and spite.
Tell the dog, the bird, the cow, the waterwheel the plain unspoken facts that cannot conceal secretive houses carved in old fearing of tribal decline, of floods fast nearing.
Of tribal decline, of floods fast nearing the mind catches the hint, a lookout on the tower scanning the vale and the breeze,
and in the square a few people sit, hearing a dirge as it climbs over the wallside, rolls over the fields to a meadow where trees stand in straight somberness: many here have died protecting sheep and crops, the shrubs about the grass a trampled witness to blood and shame, yours and mine, mine in my dream, in the name your parents want of clarity, clarity, though clarity is not an issue of the throne, and that redundant flower, charity, blooms last in corners where the dust has blown. What blooms last in corners where the dust has blown may spark a kindness that will put to a test the fruition of grapes in the changing valley, speak, for the red trips the pragmatic and the best, and yellow plucks the vine from what is known as tillage of the soil. We marry and fill the porch with toys and running feet, we fall and we regroup, we bury our dead in holes in the ground, we say what must be said to comfort us more than them, in pain we meet in their remembrance but not too long and not in quietude. Perhaps a song about mansions to warm their journey but not a speech for what can be mercy.
Not a speech for what can be mercy.
But today the talk around the table, with boiled potato and fig and wine, examines a supposed conspiracy to raise the value-added tax on swine hauled in from the hinterlands. This we call abuse of office, we’ll put up a blockade and drive them back. No need to start up wrong, hide the lamp in the bush, suffer what belongs to us to stay with us, paid or unpaid, of sex and the meadow, bear as best as you can the load of fickle fate like a faithful man. How can they know as they sing in drunken tune of a slaughter to come with a darkened moon?