The Last Post (A Georgic Blog Epilogue)

[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?

Bucolic III

Gentle, the fields, slowly, eating the bones,
Blood drinking, men upon them, new, compete,
Goat bone, sheep blood too, gently now and slow.

The fields fill, the tillers bring up again
Buried air, new, with old blood in them, veins,
Slowgentle the flow, new, on old scars, skin.

Applemouthed dogs as like, or heifers
Fleshcudding, as new, on inherited
Tongues, songs—war still, war, allwar, ungently

And swift, leaching through those old tales, leeching,
History, for new, like unfastened old
Rivers, twists, through the fields, and turns, bloodcropped.

Bucolic II

the wand of sage Wergilius
turns many a magic trick
and given tongues the streams and woods
would surely speak of it
but Herculean though it stands
as proud as elm in leaf
without simple Alexis’ hands
it could but wave itself

The Death of Virgil

[A meagre offering in honour of the birth of Publius Vergilius Maro on this day in 70 BCE.]

Phoebus descends on Megara, beats down
the crops with his coming, anxious so
to see the poet shaping in song
the trip from Troy to Rome;
but the healer in his eagerness falls
in weight too great even for this
mortal of immortal fame, who pales
beneath the gaze of needy gods.

Now from Andes to the Andes Virgil’s dancing
lines, lightfoot and firebright,
sound, but no more the slow voice speaks
fleet Latin, spells the mouth out incantation;
still, folding its bones, from Bangalore, from Beijing
to Brindisi, the sea holds benthic
peacefulness, and all is quietly
full of the sound of surrounding water: heavy
in its depth and gravity, light as light
saturating sky, inseparable, like wind
in air, or woven in sea like the smoky foam
wringing the waving wash; still life
beats on, numbers’ and nature’s forces soaking
the sponge of brain, of skin, of eye, of ear, of lung,
of gill; and still from distant rooftops
twists the smoke—welcome
or war. See them!—
By campfire, farm–fire, hill–fire, men–
at–arms, at ploughs, at pipes,
warming to song.

Bucolic I

Tityrus lounges in the shade,
Bees lullaby the sleepy glade,
The reed sings soft, soft as the grass—
Then Meliboeus comes to pass,
Sour Meliboeus and his goats,
Their grumblings putting ends to oats.
         Thus always when one feels pastoral
         Comes some exile with his quarrel.

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.

An Ode on Facebook

[Just Poems has just joined Twitter! To celebrate I post this poem about that other well-known social media site.]

You who enjoy the famed pastoral form
Might like this ode on Facebook, blue and warm.

Swift-dawning springtime field! Webpage, wake up!
Ads open in the screenlight, banners drop
Their soothing symbols onto thirsty eyes,
The keyboard chirps its song, the keen mouse flies.
All through the logged-in woodland bees of code
Buzz, hum and bumble with their data-load
And links like pixelated pollen spread,
Filling the air with stories to be read;
And fertile flocks of updates too take flight
On wings of whimsy, singing of delight
In this online demesne, ambrosia-sweet,
Where victory’s not diluted with defeat.

Sing, Site. What’s new? Achilles brave checks in:
“In Troy with Ares #forthewin”;
Crafty Odysseus, wand’ring near and far,
Stops for a craft beer at a hipster bar;
The urban muses raise their photo-herds—
A thousand pictures paint a million words;
Orpheus shares some blogger’s quote profound,
A cropped snapshot of nature the background;
This nymph you worked with once, but don’t know well,
Is pregnant and is showing off the swell.

Ah friends are they not grand, these selfie-ish feeds
That crown with glory’s garland sheepish deeds?
And can’t pitch-perfect profiles spurn the shade
And pipe forever on where no flowers fade?
Or are the cows for crueler climates meant?
What is it haunts this forest, Harvard-sent?
Do doubt, barbarian of foreign breed,
And thought, that exiled, poking, choking weed,
Rob us of depth as buckets drain a well
When they discard fair fashion like a shell?
Are storms foretold in CPU-fan wind?
What does the freezing of the page portend?
Ah stream of duck-loud nonsense, honey-thick,
Is it that life is ended in a click?

Old death goes viral in remotest glade
And cares not for nor spares your proud parade.