Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rose Pink Flamingo Flurries Over Africa

[on Nikolai Gumilev, a brief cadenza-]

Rose pink flamingo flurries over Africa
he might have seen, if he had lived
a son grown taller, deeper, not displaced-
still not following Anna anyway perhaps
at times repeating what he said before
oh, you should take up the ballet

returning later to find fresh fairytale scraps
bound up in no ribbons, scattered on the floor
and changeling, the tawny glints in cloisonne
jeweled combs that weren't there before o

trist bisque doll with the books all sold
and very little left; in a ragged shawl she might
have been, still adorned with red roses fading into
old silk but

she's no longer home, the one he left in worn down
slippers floated  a queen slightly foreign to him
a girl who wept flowers and stars
at the least provocation.

Africa, he sighed and was off again.
how would her verse have altered-
if he had lived- with so much absence,
so much more, filling up with snows
and Mandelstam, the same-

still haunted, haunting the pavements where
they used to roam watching the Neva in the cold
fill up with raspberry lights, little clouds and poems
commemorating in advance
the later lamentations

unaccountable joy

mary angela douglas 26 January 2014