vigna dei poeti

the wine of the poets is love,
pure and deep and strong,
it rises from the streets below,
through the shuttered windows
of the antique city
and overthrows the mind,
intoxicates it
with its wild bravura,
with the drug of culture
and the fierce bonfire
in the human soul.

the love of the poets is wine,
flowing from the land,
the terroir,
the murderous mother
of the vine
who raises
her prodigal children up
with love,
lifts them up
with dreams and visions
of heaven,
writes them large
in the book of poets
and angels,
and devils,
before dashing them down
and erasing them
forever.

the hookah
in the florentine/turkish
open-air kebab joint,
bleeds perfume into the night,
the old river slow and surly
passes by in darkness,
and beyond the glittering facades,
the night drifts away.

lights are dancing,
like the hallucination,
of an illusion,
of a dream.
the night breeze blows
through the armed guard
outside the american embassy,
and unapprehended
it passes.

over the bones
of bruneleschi,
the great duomo rises,
st pauls, st marks,
the sacre coeure,
sacred brothers, sisters all,
giant houses waiting
for a giant god to walk in
through the triumphal arch
of the great west door,
but he never does,
only down the centuries,
giants of men
have come on fire,
in love,
on ivory horses,
stamping and prancing
and making
holy proclamations
of most unholy war.
then later
they come,
in the triumph
of the little people,
leisure-rich americans
talking easy,
easy in their skins,
easy in their world,
taking it all
so damned easy.
enigmatic japanese girls,
flitting like ghosts,
calm, impassive,
dissolving in silence,
as evening comes,
all come to walk
in the marble halls
of the long adorned
corridors of history,
the audacious,
brilliant,
gold and tempera visions
of humanity,
and the eternal
hearts of men.

listen:
the great oz speaks:

SHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

silencio

SHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh

silencio

and the cathedral quietens
to the hush of candles
of prayers in the walls
silencio
and evening gathers
over the portico.
the wine of the poets is love
let me drink deep of it once more.

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