'In Brueghel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster...'
—W.H. Auden, from *Musée des Beaux Arts*
(New Derry, Westmoreland County, PA)
Grandfather Lawrence, whom I never knew,
I wonder what appeasing light, if any,
This God-gifted dawn,
dawn of brilliant leaves
and dew-dampened clover—
No, this is not a station in the metro,
this is an open cage outside of Pisa.
Ezra Pound now sits inside of it,
his beard a burning bush of grief made new.
(Ekaterinburg, Russia,17 July 1918)
His mouth agape, as though still asking questions,
the Tsar lies at the end of his long reign.
To wake again like dew upon the blades
of the green meadow, like a gust of wind
pushing the clouds above the forest glades,
at last free from desire, no longer pinned
In garret lofts poor artists have quite often
painted women bathing, combing hair
inside a nearby mirror ... Your eyes soften,
and, pale as blossoms or flesh from a pear,
How many beasts
had roamed the soil
before man's feasts
began to spoil
It was once thought that swallows
wintered on the moon,
or morphed into field mice
beneath the autumn swoon