in former volumes gleaming, all the antique mays
destined for extinction in a trending haze
since poetry must be made to pay, or what's it for.
ah, wavered the flowers by the country door, half presciently
and the garden paths with fearful pebbles strewn.
they will come in gloom, the future poets
on some distant afternoon
no longer able to recount
the stereoscopic view of the
sunset cathedrals in the clouds.
and speak in overloud voices
every single gripe on earth and name this, Song-
and so become a root and branch of Wrong.
but we who heard them once, in ancient schoolrooms,
with the lilacs blowing by the windows,
the honeysuckle tunes
o! the troubadours remember, remember now to say:
to you, and you, half turning away
pragmatic to your fingertip's shadow
that once. the moonlight came to stay,
gardenias opening like stars
and we find it hard
to live this way
with the ghosts of the Romantics trampled
under the highways,
much harder than we can say
mary angela douglas 5 february 2017