Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Make us a watchman ii

   Picture a yacht
   Canting at speed
   Over ripple-ribbed sand.
     Change its mast to a man,
     Change its boom to a bow,
     Change its sail to a shield:

   Notice Merionez
   Breasting the whalebacks to          picket the corpse of Patroclus.

                An ostentatiously new Administration
                is fouling its grave with every as-
                signation that splits it wide open,
                every lifting of every previous mask.
                Its headlong leaps into catastrophe
                fly beyond diverting, to arresting.
                Panic and its chaos are foretold.

                It isn't how wrong we were at Troy.
                It's how we inherit its precedents.
                The ink isn't dry on the country's
                divorce from reality and already a
                pall of burning waste engulfs her,
                our tinpot czar of trash entertain-
                ing Putin's Bonaparte on a raft of
                tweets from Tilsit. 

Christopher Logue
War Music
  An Account of Books 1-4
  and 16-19 of Homer's Iliad
The Noonday Press
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997©

Simon Sebag Montefiore
The Romanovs
  1613 - 1918
  Scene 6: The Duel
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2016©

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