Wednesday, 24 February 2016

TWO POEMS BY MICHAEL SAJAK


Jupiter’s Descent


"They may have played together as boys, and, as young men, they

traveled the length and breadth of Virginia together and found
wives on the same plantation near Williamsburg. For over fifty
years their lives were bound together by law, for one man, Jupiter,
was the property of the other, Thomas Jefferson."
                                      ~the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.

In the muddy creek, in the hidden congress
Of frogs, and their dusky song,
It is the two of them there, together both
Trousers rolled up to their knees.

It is getting late, and they would do better to leave
Soon before dark so to see the way home.
One night they stayed til after dark, and had to hold
Hands treading softly back to the house.

You catch one? the one asks the other.
No, marstuh he replies, his broad, calloused hand
Patting the horse’s side, she been fed all right.
It’s torchlight. He is given map, directions that night.

Unsung Jupiter! and where art thou now?
You see the other’s face on the odd two-­dollar
In a hat, say, or in the streets, or the damp
Empty playground where, if you look close enough,
You may find a hoofprint dried in the mud.


For While I Held My Tongue


They’d called it the Blurred Crusade, or so
They say. Some of them are gentle giants,
Some are castrati; little old children
And predatory beasts come together
In this magical world. They say, let the one
Who is able to receive this receive it.
King Rat conspires in wait for the maker.
An electric eye in the poppy night sky
Looks towards Bethlehem to prick its sights.


 

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