Alone in a field of reeds,
within a chamber of blackless walls,
encumbered by mayflies of my own design…

Silver ink had long ago been swallowed,
and miles far the long hand has travelled
since the pines destroyed the sky.
But now, alas, it seems the world stands still in spite –
oh, the sun is barred to set.

For I am a godless man –
for we are godless men.
Yet rounded bits of old sacred tree
still rush along our fingers in outcry.
And in conversation with yet locked buds 
beneath the tattered arc, we would sigh,
as they shake their heads in pity.
And from across our ocean vast
we behold our pleas in the fiery shades,
assured that we were fooled.

Where could Beatrice be chas(t)e(d),
in this world that, for a lifetime,
we proclaimed our own?
They dress us in black when we are sent
across the river to beseech the nacre gates,
in hopes –
for black is the purest of colours;
no longer can it be defiled.
And black is the panther’s colour,
crouched in the underbrush
beneath leaves that cast
a missing cloud’s shade.

Alone in our field we stand as gleaners,
watching our mayflies die.



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