This Moment

For this moment my sons sleep
sleeping as men do
driving down, greedily,
into their dreams.

For this moment
they have survived a day of life.
I know the oldest will have wrapped one leg with twisted sheets
and his …

When Weeping is Under Everything

When weeping is under everything
pasture grass is new, like healing skin:
the barn roof gives,
the weather vane turns and turns.
The obedience of the cornfield is
as touching as a sad child.
The cows are dream-struck,
A fine …


Aniseed has a sinful taste;
at your elbow a woman’s voice
like I imagine the voice of ghosts,
demanding food. She has no grace

but, diseased and blind of an eye
and heavy with habitual dolour
listlessly finds you and …


Christodoulos moves, and shakes
his seven chins. He is that freak
a successful alchemist, and makes
God knows how much a week.

Out of Christodoulosʼ attic,
full of smoke and smells, emerge
soldiers like ants, with antsʼ erratic
gestures seek …

Branch Given to Water

Dusk deepens the blue heron
stemmed shallows as souls
are ferried to riverbank.

Cairns sky-brushed white
wax blue-gray. Autumn colors
and shapes sink, taken by the current.

Scraps of names tugged from war debris
swirl inside a clutch of leaves…

High Wood

Ladies and gentlemen, this is High Wood,
Called by the French, Bois des Fourneaux,
The famous spot which in Nineteen-Sixteen,
July, August and September was the scene
Of long and bitterly contested strife,
By reason of its High commanding site.…

Theodosian Walls

Cowering before Achilles and his bronze-breasted Greeks,
Troy’s sacred towers are not so sacred now,
ground down to the mud of Hissarlik.

The walls of Byzantium stand more or less intact,
decorous yellow masonry decorated
with courses of red brick, …


In the Kabul terminal an Italian banker
of Egyptian background is on his way home
from foreign affairs in Afghanistan

over tea, he talks to me about the caves
many manmade, they are not mysterious caves
but have been lived …

American Charm

Whitman, tell us if today you would sit in a café
and applaud as Allied troops race north.
Crane, lend a myth for the Towers’ destruction.

Walt, sing the use of nuclear weapons.
Speak of Truman as you did of …