Thursday, July 21, 2011

Speak to us of death

May we ask the poets to speak of death,
as clearly as Francesco Petrarca
once spoke to us "In Morte Laura,"
while we lie, waiting, to draw final breath.

Skillfully using his words to wreathe-
"una bel morir tutta una vita onora,"
(translated beautifully by Anna)
- his life's love in her funereal sheathe:

"A beautiful death gives credit to one's whole life,"
Anna's coda to serve all in death's grip -
unless surpassed by this blast from the past:

San Francisco graffiti artist's strife,
circa '68: "death is the greatest trip
of all,  that's why they save it 'til last."

in deference to Robinson Jeffers's “vision of the self-hanged god”

whither one god,
from many gods,
came the god of time

hanging, chained, from the world's tree...

whose disciples preach
living in the moment:
not then, not when

to stop time,
make it stand still,
and last forever: