Hobo, en masque, stumbles through an endless
Mardi Gras – a dizzy sailor, on the last leg
of his last legs. Missing his lass, Peg-
in-a-Hole, by a mile (signalling General
Distress). Shipped aboard the glistening
Argo, as she whispered toward Colchis –
or was it a Byzantine corvette (hiss
of prow of prison-ship) hastening
Maximus to his grave? Displaced here,
like Indians in New Orleans? The squalor
of yesterday's waterlog (history) – the garbled
lore of a Noah (drowning in his cups)? Where?
Yet that live-oak tree, bearded with hanging green...
creaks in the stormwind, mutters (cling to the mast,
cling to me). Climbs from the swamp, everlasting,
evergreen (amid mortified collapsing leanness,
moss). You will set aside the heavy costumes
tomorrow, all these elaborate silken veils.
The jealousy that wrings your heart, impaled
upon its broken mast, will depart (assume
another guise). Lent's emptiness begins.
The rough candelabra of a northern pine
reaches up for starlight, over Blackstone's
house. His loneliness flames there, brightens;
under the shadow of those craggy branches
lovelorn solitude finds passing peace.
High charity folds arms of golden fleece
around his shoulders. Homeward Argo skims.