Bits for a Hot and Cold July

Chocolate
All the chocolate in my father’s shop
Melted that Irish heat-wave week into
Small-scale magmatic floods the window
Pelted with heat in unrelenting drop
Drop by softening drop they unformed all
Into ruination and my father pelted
Windowless-wrappered bars into the small
Shop fridge to be newly unmelted

Remains
The ice desires to flow and be
Water again (the cold remains);
It’s frozen still, though almost in
That shape it had when lately free

On Reading the Classics

I read Homer and have a thought
Perhaps that Plato also had,
Marvel at Horatian odes
That Marvell loved centuries ago,
Admire a line as did Augustus,
Thinking Virgil did him justice,
Esteem some sentiment in Ovid
Which that same Caesar lamented,
Laugh at Shakespeare like the rabble
In Elizabethan taverns,
Smile at Sappho like a slave
Who hears her singing from a grove,
Commune with minds famous and lost,
And add my echo to the host.

words

              words
echo with the ghosts
of almost wholly-lost
              worlds
                            but for them
                            nothing remains
                                         at all—nothing
              words hold
though only airily
              the fragile bones
of yesterday
                           loose as breath
                           but holding yet
                                          and tightening

a swan skein breaks the water

a swan skein breaks the water spanish arch
cloudy corrib like the dog’s tail sweeping
our legs paddle the air in idle arcs
dangling from the edge above foam leaping
foam spitting white at feathers’ dirty-white
slipping like dream-thoughts back into the mass
the cloudy corrib falling like the night
toward the bay the ocean into gas
gas rising sun-pulled into day and cloud
cloud trembling gas into soft mists or hail
once cloudy corrib whispering or loud
speckling earth water feather leg and tail
soaking and sinking in each upturned face
restlessly resting in each passing place