18 March 2007

not the wine-dark sea

you see no other islands from these heights
no sails triangular against the looming sun
this is not the web that weak arachne spun
these are not the odorous levantine nights
what you can see are not the ancient sights
the shadow there is not suleiman's gun
the colours do not mean the tunny's run
no sphinx waits here to give us all the frights
that's clearly the case and yet what we desire
is that this sea give us those blessed signs
that indicate that their tale's truly well told
but we don't hear the sound of homer's lyre
those are not grapes that hang from the vines
while winter comes we cannot call it cold
the people here know well that they were sold
from a far land where rises new the fire
to labour in horrid fields and dank mines
not to the ranks of elysium do they aspire
a better place they see and other lines
they'd see the heroes as too rash and bold
yet they have a story well worth the telling
about far more than mere buying and selling

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