Die tote Stadt II

In Memory of Erich Wolfgang Korngold


With this just-sustain’d note I announce myself to you,

This gentle call is for you my love, for you.”

From “Sea-Drift,” by Walt Whitman/Frederick Delius


This is the view then,

Of a city thought most beautiful.

I stand with my knapsack,

The center of compass.

Poised on high,

I am the keeper of a sadness from the deep.


Ahead, the terraced hills,

Where no one is seen nor heard.

On every terrace, a jumble of whitish huts,

Their windowpanes like candle flames.

As the sun sinks further into earth,

Each lighthouse flickers, then goes dark.


To the right, the great, darkling bay.

A road leads downwards to a hospital.

At twilight, beneath the bay horizon,

It is a darker shadow in the city-scape.

No moan of suffering escapes its confines.

No one just passes by.


Looking back, the spire of a church’s steeple,

Piercing the violet ether.

Who aspires behind its shuttered door?

Behind the windows soiled with night?

An organist has left off practice,

And the bell in the belfry is still.


To the left, another massive hill–

A mausoleum for the sun.

But closer by, obscuring the monumental,

Branches of a tree transfigure,

Their pink petals fluttering downwards.

They have the eloquence of a promise.


Once again, I shall announce myself to you.

Whether you are headed north or south,

Whether you are lost in the east,

Or you are hiding in the west,

This creature you awakened follows in your wake,

Loving wonder, and willfully still loving you,


Despite the dismissive silence at your back.

If not you, then another shall make me welcome.

I swear it.


March 14 to March 17, 2009

March 21 2009

March 31, 2009

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