Not faced death, not been there, not done with dying
Proven things made salvageable like collage;
Work that takes intelligent patience, but no
Time now for patience.
Nor Cassandra's only but Laocoon's
Bawling struck Troy barely retaining reason;
Stranded dead-pregnant in the ranks of civics'
Any fragment serves for a token fragment.
Fix the new day squaring a cut-price flamen.
Nothing made so clear per amica - EI! - si -
Time and crosswords, both, yield us topless towers.
Much have pondered, even considered saying.
Always some things human demand of us in-
Set up quack's hurdles for ourselves. Does that reft
Oak, at last, gaft something to dying? Tolstoy's
Kind of gnomic questioning affirmation
Like in a long film
That, I think, went on for too long. I woke up
During battles. Tell me a mystery, a
Tale of winter, so I shall love you wisely.
Wisdom is fable.
Geoffrey Hill, Odi Barbare: The Daybooks II, Clutag Press, Thame, Oxford, 2012.