July 28th, 2016


A friend was talking about Keats on FB and this just came


By its persistence water carved that name
He thought would be forgotten. Drops as slow
As time when you are dying. When you know
One of the gasping breaths that seem the same

Is different because it is the last
Then you are gone and there is not one word
Left in your mouth. The bedside watcher heard
Silence and your death was in the past.

He thought his work forgotten. He was wrong.
Ironic time has used our loving tears
Refute his epitaph. So many years.
Among the English poets I'll belong

He also said. He went into the night
Not knowing which his hope his fear was right

A picture poem

ISLE OF THE DEAD after Bocklin

Ruins so old that cypresses a grove
have grown. The island was not always there
the water rose around it. Stone scoured bare
of signs and busy windows. Some force stove
and sheared the sides away. A city stood
this is the last. One day it will be gone
under the cloud sea. Somewhere there is sun
but it does not shine here. Dark in the wood
some shrine in which veils serve the last faint god
but hardly worship. Hope's gone. Millions trod
streets hundred feet below. The bad the good
dust sea-dissolved in foam. It's here the last boat rowed
last coffin corpse. We reaped the death we owed.