The Thinking Poet

 

Here Lie the Golden Dead

The wood’s breath is rank with death.

December’s sun, north-wind scoured,

Silhouettes the trees,

And showers my sight with molten-metal lights,

Bright enough to burn my room-dulled eyes.

 

Shadows of the sinewy beech

Like tomb-stones, row-on row,

Fall across their progeny

The fallen dead.

 

I tread a carpet, bronzed, deep piled,

To read their epitaph.

I know it well, this burial-place,

I know these words by heart;

“Here lie the golden dead

Dear to April’s mind.

Bud, cuckoo, solstice, fall,

All but silence, fled.”

 

And in this cemetery peace,

Memory weaves from mind-stuff all that was and is to be;

As the trees’ breath,

Touched by a shuttered sun,

Rises like a wraith from where the wood first sprang, chanting;

“Requiescence,

Resurrection,

Endless song.”

 

9.12.82.