Et in Arcadia Ego
On the Way to Cy Twombly
Go. murderous dream, to the fast Achaean ships
Homer, Iliad, Book Two
Seek me in the salty air, in the concupiscent glade
where ripe pudenda open out on bending stems
into a seed-choked breeze, into a pandemonium
of panting satyrs, languid dryads, sun-drunk bees
and fragrant beds of fleshy brash anemones.
Cast your shining filament, drop your bright brass key
into the glaucous waters here, into this Tyrian tide.
Fish me from the swirling ocean floor, the waving beds
of priapic polyp, kelp and Sea-Cucumber, here beneath
the lethal ruffled petticoats of the arc-rigged Man o’ War.
Find me huddled in the telluric dark, in the limestone’s
endless echoing drip, among the smudge-pots casting
feeble light on all the quarried Aurochs, musk-deer, horse
and bison grazing on the ochred, palm-stained wall,
this palimpsest where spirits rise to ruminate again.
Behold me in the graphite’s grit, the reluctant chalk,
the impasto’s haptic heaps, the flake of ancient bronze,
here beneath the pentimenti of our vanished worlds,
the god-bedeviled Cyclades, the coiling osprey’s lofty
Mimbres dream, this always auguring wandering line.
And take me to some high hill where we might see
ten thousand triremes launched into the brutal deep,
and seem to hear the dark armadas slashing outward
through the bloodred waves, the brutal coiling rhythm
of their serried oars: the stroke, the lift, the flash,
their lift, flash, grunt and thrusting stroke again.
DB Jonas is an orchardist living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. His work has appeared in Tar River, Whistling Shade, Neologism, Consilience Journal, Poetica Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Deronda Review, The Jewish Literary Journal and The Amethyst Review.
The Ekphrastic Review
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