And are the islands fair
and are they what the soul (remember it?) is seeking?
The question was beautiful
and the answer, though given in silence
was also a truth to hold and set the boat by.

No I cannot speak of Venice
without speaking of Greece.
This bowl of fruit reminds me of them
peaches and pears and grapes which I have added
combine to say
this is, in its fashion, a legacy.


Texts of shadows, alphabets of air-
what can I listen and sing to?
And the qualities of the rose
so different and the same
how can I choose between them?

So I walked by the quay
and counted the boats
and collected their names in a journal.
Nightly I read the names
and gave them destinations to return to--
Athens, Jerusalem, Ithaca,
where else but these?
Where else but these even in a fractured time
when each city
becomes The City
and all fade and merge into a ravenous whole

Let the boatman tell you of that
let the self confirm it
then riddle me if it is a burden of a blessing
as the fruit ripens and rots and is replaced
and the whole business starts up all over again!

Twilight of evening
twilight of the world--
is this my burden or blessing?

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