Cento after T. S. Eliot

By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept
at the violet hour
for those who walk in darkness,
swaddled with darkness,
for Boudin, blown to pieces,
where trees flower and springs flow.

Teach us to care.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea.

What is that noise?
Wind under the door.

I have no ghosts pressing lidless eyes and waiting.
I would meet you upon this honestly.
because I do not hope to turn again.

O my people, what have I done unto thee?

To lose beauty in terror,
Lucretia Borgia shall be my bride,
she or the lady in the cape,
arms that are bracleted, white and bare.

There will be time to murder and create,
to be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk.

The goat coughs at night in the field overhead,
What images return, O my daughter,

Memory and desire stirring
in vials of ivory and coloured glass,
running stags around a silver tray,
the wilderness of mirrors.

Weave the wind on the mainland desert
or the rain land

Pray for us now and at the hour of our birth.


#age-and-creativity, #cento-after-t-s-eliot

After T. S. Eliot’s Prelude IV

Worn boot soles
shuffle exhaust, sidewalk
evening, idling cars;
a store-front news screen
flickers mid-east war, and prices at the pump
the hockey score;

A run-on day, one more
smoke and
one more beer
before the drunken sway
to supper
on a TV tray.

the gentle palm nailed and

suffer the little—
and all things
bright and beautiful—

            Wipe your hand across your mouth and laugh

Toy guns fire at City Hall
the world revolves like
child soldiers
cutting throats
inside a mall.