Orion Dead

The cornel-trees
uplift from the furrows;
the roots at their bases
strike lower through the barley-sprays

So arise and face me
I am poisoned with rage of song
I once pierced the flesh
of the wild deer,
now I am afraid to touch
the blue and the gold-veined hyacinths

I will tear the full flowers
and the little heads
of the grape-hyacinths;
I will strip the life from the bulb
until the ivory layers
lie like narcissus petals
on the black earth

lest I bend an ash-tree
into a taut bow,
and slay — and tear
all the roots from the earth

The cornel-wood blazes
and strikes through the barley-sprays
but I have lost heart for this.

I break a staff
I break the tough branch.
I know no light in the woods
I have lost pace with the wind.
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