Cicadas now sing me to sleep
with a blanket of late morning heat
as I on the cool grass am laid;
my memories they carry away.
The ceiling, a pale turquoise blue,
my pillow a tuft by a root,
the clouds in their friendship now hide
the blazing and blazon of light.
My attention now flickers and fades
into sleep at the nooning of day.
Rome is Dead
Rome is dead; its pillars fall,
they crumble down to blowing dust.
The rabbits bound in ruined hall,
a shell, a long-degraded husk.
A lonely pier upon the seas
is stretching boatless, unremarked.
Upon the hills the careless breeze
ignores things buried by the park.
The temple formed for sacred rite
by gawking tourist's heedless tread
is unrevered, its holy might
a souvenir; yes, Rome is dead.
But heart is stirred by Latin word,
the hand inspired by Roman deed.
The names we have in splendor heard;
from press of time they have been freed.
This temple stands, a church now made,
and Christ now rules, a greater king,
where once to Jupiter they prayed
or to Minerva hymns would sing.
All things recall; that power still
constrains the world like earth and sky.
Where Rome has stood, it ever will:
if Rome is dead, it does not die.
some cat has jumped
onto the poetry books
jumbling the words
cutting lines and verses
the rhymes are all displaced
the metaphors are all
tissue paper shreds
when i catch
the crazy feline
who stole the capitals
the punctuation marks
i will say