Duchess Songs

 

In the Amber Grove


Her Lydian wrist,
   Dappled rose and brown,
   Fraught with flaxen hairs
That catch the sunrays,
      Reaches out to touch
      The golden bough’s leaf.

Duchess enkindled,
   Closed eyes and sighing.

 

 

Duchess in Tempera


Speak of her heritage: she sat serene
Upon daybed, surrounded by suitors
That she entertained, painted tempera
Upon a canvasse by portrait-maker;

A near-woman with a presence-shimmer:
All stepped into her fulgence: one-sided.
To carry her name into future-world:
Duchess painted in a golden dream.

 

όραμα


Resting
terra verde:        ἁγνεία dreams,
Sylvan,        vision of sacrificial embers,
Aeternal duchess      of the amber grove,
Everydying yet  preserved she slumbers.

 

 

A Match of Squares


The duchess smiles: elliptic,
                  A coy fortune:
                  Liquid reticence. 

 

 

A Vain Shadow


In prone and fitful moon’s tide, I visit
Her German palace: wander empty halls
Where her silence falls, complete echo’s lack;
Gracing the walls, holding silver chalice,
Her likeness stares back; but yet my duchess
Is absent: desolate are the ribbed vaults.
In the night, wind cries from the firmament,
The creaking boughs despair; and I can find
No consolate sight of my beauty’s host,
Nor her voice; nor her breath; nor her ghost.

 

 

She Turns to Say Farewell


Morning’s blurry haze
      Brought day’s sight afore
      Nemi’s mirrored banks;
            Diana’s statue
            Gazed on from the trees
            At the lake’s yawning edge:

      Duchess wets her clothes,
      Which start to glitter
      Sanguine rose and gold;

            She turns back to look—
            Her amber eyes hold
            A single, fated tear.

 

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