Still Imperial His Laughter

A poem I wrote some 30 years ago, put aside and forgot. Remembered last night in a dream.
#555
The river runs — a stillness
with the city around her
runs
through the city
a stillness at its heart
of trees stripped
lifting
shadows from the bank

Here and there a leaf rides clear
water through the branching thicket

A blazing gust
blinds windily — wakes
A presence in the
deeper tempers of this November noon.

A weighted glint of cold
a flashing
eye
an understanding, silent mock

A laughter not of water stalks
across the surface of the stream, chills
the vestal air

Winter, soon.

And near, high
around its dark mass — The Colossus
strides on iron feet
ferric dust, red flakes rusting red
over red leaves everywhere he walks
the laughter goes

withering over the coming snow, spreading
his fine red rust over the white crust of snow
falling…

because he is not forest
or the wild hills
neither is he City
— built of love but broken — broken
leveler

of forest and the city’s siege, his coronets
crying over midnight seas

Still Imperial, impaler
of the singer and the song
falling

like red snow
everywhere

he goes

is Death

 

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