According to Polybius

The sea route to Byzantium

Was fortunate in ways not clear

When looking at the map.

Across the Bosporus, Cyzicus

Seemed no less favored than its neighbor,

But its port was inaccessible

To boats sailing direct;

Voyagers from the Black Sea

Were swept by currents west and south

Into the harbor of Byzantium

Even when the wind held fair

For passage into Cyzicus.

A sailor from the south

Bound for Cyzicus from Greece

Or Syria was blown off course

By the prevailing winds

Directly to Byzantium.

In those times, one could not

Not sail to Byzantium.

”Lawrence Wieder


Craft Warnings


Gossamer rain enveiling night

(Earth’s latest circuit nearly closed) just might

Mean more than weathermen surmise,

The questing man reasons as he plies

Narrow streets. Christmas being nigh,

Adorning lights fill in for stars on high

And salve the rawness in the air.

“Weather weaves a moody tale,” declares

The questing man, who in his heart compares

The spray of rain with memories grown faint,

Yet dampening the spirit with a plaint

Of longing. “The soul’s the instrument

Records the massive fronts of sentiment

Aroused when skies delight or tempests rage,

Those never forecast on the weather page.”

”Frank Wilson


Evensong


We’ve almost forgotten to sing the sun down:

in candle“lit vespers

where cowled troops turn out

to sing phos hilaron , serious and steady,

or at some evening sacrifice

at the edge of the world where the sea fingers in

all along the tired shore,

or in a cave subterranean

where a deacon serves amber confessionals

and gold penitentials as rock shakes the floor

or out in a clearing

where a campfire holds orbits,

or here at this table, limbs folded, eyes pillowed.

Ignored in the evening the sun may rise dog“faced,

meat teeth lacerating the flesh of all labor

indoors and out.

Put to bed with a song

it returns like the palm of a hand

running rays through the waves of the wind,

soothing the backs of old fields,

jostling new feathery growth that turns up

like a fuzz on the side of a hill.

”Jeffrey Johnson


On Playing a Church Organ


It’s something about the darkness of the place,

when I relax a moment to decide

what makes this work so pleasing; is it the thrill

of lights trained on the tall cross, or perhaps

the colored figures in the glass? But then

the stack of staves upon the stand cries out

for study, and fingers arch again and dance,

though not gracefully at first”more like cautious

children avoiding creaky boards. Yet hidden pipes

still awake and sing”and the dark, cool room

seems full. And then I realize: it is.

”Mark Wyman




Articles by Various

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