Night Flight among the Pleiades

Antigone’s Vow – (c) Terry S. Amstutz

Sheet sails for rusted dreams:
Known dead walk among
cars submerged in muddy streams.
We’re lost in an unknown town;

sign clocks stopped on the banks
where old checks lie uncashed.
Vizored skulls rest in cages;
lead lined safes, their locks bashed,

stand open, boxes now empty.
Courthouse, its Greek pillars
overgrown with grey ivy–
gavels dropped, silent forever,

rooted lost causes remain.
Full moving truck sways,
cardboard boxes pave
long abandoned roadways.

Purses in the gutters
lipsticks clatter on tin cans
characters chucked in clutter;
pickups drip tears in oil pans.

Steam trains whistle fears
that haunt traveling children
bound for a land of no years,
a place called Apollonian.

As they careen the rails
they hear outlandish tales
of an outrageous place where
bears and dogs wear no fur,

cats go about on stilts.
All the window panes are cracked;
fences sunk in sand drifts
obscure any trace of tracks.

Then the earth seems draped
in tinted pastel clouds,
obscuring all hard shapes.
As faces emerge from fog,

familiar masks rearranged,
now answer to older names.
Whispers blown on an empty range
ask if things will ever be the same.

The answer’s sung in chorus
as the children harmonize:
“we’re changing places
in fearful changing times”.

I arrive in now and you’re
distant, vague, a memory.
That place, I’m almost sure
resides a blinking star away.

Title from this quote by the Greek poet Hesiod:

“And if longing seizes you for sailing the stormy seas,
when the Pleiades flee mighty Orion
and plunge into the misty deep

and all the gusty winds are raging,
then do not keep your ship on the wine-dark sea.”

© Gay Reiser Cannon * November 26, 2012* All Rights Reserved
Meant to have been written for Claudia’s Poetics on 11/17/2012
Posted for #openlinknight on 11/27/2012 “better late, etc.”