when agamemnon was the king women would sit at home
only the men did anything and only they could roam
so while heroes went wandering their wives sat at the loom
like the constant penelope odysseus’ heirloom
men brought their lusty fire to troy and burned hecuba’s keep
and trojan female destiny became “lament and weep”
it’s true cassandra did speak out but nobody would hear
and what good could she do without a single follower
but life in troy and ithica is not as it has been—
penelope and cassandra are proving protean…
so Cassie speaks out yet again—and what? people believe?!
(in another millennium they might even perceive.)
and Penny does not wait on men to dictate what she weaves—
her husband, suitors, and her son blindly war on—she leaves—
So say you had a farm outside Aleppo
Sown with barrel bombs and sarin gas
And overgrown with isis and al nusra
Now would you flee for life or stay for grass?
Well some brave western columnists and bloggers
Are saying that you should have stayed and fought
When they’d have shit their croissant-crusted trousers
And braved neither the butcher nor the boat.
[And with a pseudo-georgic flourish I sound my last post on this blog! And my first in quite a while… Think of it as a postscript of sorts to all the other posts, if you like.
Thank you to my followers, likers, commenters, browsers—all my visitors. Anyone looking for answers can simply consult the good book—Virgil’s Georgics. (Chapter and verse for the browsers: Bk IV, ll. 559–566.)
Ave atque vale!]
—Thus I sang the fields of change, the flocks of self,
While Tsar Trump thundered war across a continent,
Offering walls to willing men, treading the way
To white Olympus. I, Daniel, nursed by soft Hibernia,
Pursued the peaceful paths of poetry, scribbling
While Rome burned with rabid lust for better things
And worse. Now you, patiently listening, won’t you sing
The deep, besieging shade of your own being?
Oh there’ll be no forty maidens,
Cloud-clad angels, sainted bliss:
All your Luthers and Bin Ladens
Are just food for worms—or fish;
So relax my anxious faithful
And pursue some truer myth:
“Afterlife”—the thought’s a tangle!
Life always comes before death.
Nothing happens. Ireland’s
(Her weather still) peaceful.
But times across the waves
The wind comes, the rain comes,
And no rainbow’s yet made
To promise charm even
In chaos. Just chaos,
And its wake is nothing
Again, broken light un-
Broken into clearness.
Covenants make nothing
Happen—and if there were
Only gods to geld us
Into belief? But as
The Irish weather, so.
We will stay changeable.
Night like a sheet lifting,
In thin light we lie still,
Beasts resting on in this
Golden fog of first day;
Warm arms soon vine, sifting
Slack flesh for the supple,
Sudden pleasure, each wish
Fulfilled before it’s made
Written in Rain
Like children’s footsteps, pit-pat on the pane.
Does this rain touch your skin that I cannot?
Cloudy eyes, storm-swaddled planets,
Search the blackwetblurred reflection—
Visages come. Yes, but not the sought one.
One can die from anything, from Werther to the Phaedo—
But if you must insist on life, please do so grazioso!