the canals of Mars

lowellcanals

 

I sail imaginary waters
On this other world,
Map your mind only,
and the avenues of western allegory,
But my craft is narrow, my way is clear,
And I am committed,
I believe in the artless unfolding of my journey,
Its logic, its unraveling, unerring purpose,
Of the richer, wiser man it’ll make me.

First Tharsis, the twin,
As good as any for departure
Ophyr, rock-strewn and stumbling,
Meninonia, lovely in remembrance.
Duedalia, twice Indian queen,
Icaria, bride of the fallen
Thaumania felix, oh happy, happy land,
The ignorant in bliss.

Argyre, the hungry, hopeful outcast,
Ophyr, beautiful-voiced,
Angelic choruser of otherworlds
Churse, the blissful unarrived,
Judas, cursed always.

Eden.
Paradigm of paradise,
Arabia
Acria
Hellas,
Long echoes of arcadia,
Ausonia
Eridania
Electris,
The ancient cast
shuffling past
the invalided clowns of
the masked unknown.
Thyle
Phaetontis
Memnonia,
The passion and the Furies
Hubris and Nemesis
The forgiven and forgotten.

Amazonia
Zephyria
Aeolis,
Clean winds over
green expanses.

Aethiopis
Hesperia
Amenthes,
And my cedar bow
bruises the banks of
Elysium.

Elysium:
The restless spirit’s
Journeys end,
Back where I began
prostrate with joy and tiredness
In the mind-straight highways
and the eyes emphatic deception,
returned at last
to lay at ease
by these,
imaginary waters.

enchanted

satyr-family
I should like to sail
with cargo of the dark-wreathed muses art
and come to that tree-shaded home
of sainted men…

– Simonides

You are my enchanted isle
my prospect of the southern sea,
light springs from you
like laughter from sweet water,
you feed me from dishes
of peerless vintage
among lustrous vines
in and out of season.
You call me in a voice like
swallows sailing in a summer sky
and make a place for me
among cool rocks for shelter
when the days eye burns,
when the night storms rage.
Your blooms open
in the ever-perfumed night
they will never pass away.