Three Odes and a Lament

By Phillip Blank

“View of Toledo” by El Greco, 1599-1600

I – Ode To The Wind 
Look how her golden curls are tossed like salad leaves
In the evening breeze,
How those thick folds flutter and dance
To smells from bakery and lake. 
The tree tops rustle kind-lily,
Bushy heads twittering to easy hush;
Welcomed in the heat of summer’s day. 
Airless rooms thrown open with the window’s latch,
To catch the sound of cooler air from westward
Tickling arms discriminate. 
The concord of communion sealed
In delicate gusts from distant ceilings,
Which bring together the mystic unity —
The deserts of our soul. 

II – Ode To The Times 
Time occupied and Invaded with the force of arms
En-sleeved in golden hours,
Fists frozen rigid
Bending the rusted pipe.
Sewage blocked with ‘bergs,
Accidental obstacles to Even Flow
Matted with the unexpected. 
Agents sent for handsome daily rates
To clear the clogs
With light —
With a pressure greater than the weighted heaviness
Attacking those stormy still-stopped grates. 
These timely interventions hiss
With bubbles rising from fabric nicked,
Moments undermined
And carried headless to the pounding surf. 
Scheduled epochs,
Eras calendared in grey
By wrists of pearl and glass
Which tame the earth to heel. 

III – Ode To The Rain 
Behind the rain the solemn loudness rings,
Of dust and dirt co-mingled in the spacious floor,
Of birds’ rest interrupted by pealing bell. 
Within the rain the cooler breathing pants,
By cloud and wind transported to its rightful bed
Through sky electric charged —
Partitioned in mythic metres. 
Before this all the heavy silence,
Blanketed on upturned heads,
Remarking on cancelled plans,
Umbrellas and awning’d ledges. 
But once the fabled downpour now arrives
Mossy growth will be attacked with towels,
And windows carry drunken scents to upstairs rooms
Carpeted in Persian rugs and olive skin,
To black hair which glistening shines,
Heavy against the thunderous heavens. 

Would that they could speak, my love,
To each other,
And play were ever comedy —
Rich material folded soft
In quisitive hands.
If spit could talk to spit,
And in their mingling find a richer vein of fancy,
A silver mine all treasured,
To whip the meaning into peaks of thought.
Could it be that when the oily waters sat awhile,
And in their vacant state they dried to form a stranger substance still?
And in that ooze all laws would fall away,
Like ancient leaves upon the wintry bough?
Could it be?
It could but likely will never be,
The enemy of fantasy Fell Likelihood
Sets numbered scales against our eyes
And directs energies to Death in airless cold,
Black, in the empty void.