stabant orantes primi transmittere cursum
tendebantque manus ripae ulterioris amore,
navita sed tristis nune hos nunc accipit illos
ast alios longe submotos arcet harena.
Virgil, Aeneid, Book VI, II, 313-316
- and the dead stood praying to be the first to voyage over,
and reached out their hands in longing for the distant shore,
but the woeful boatman, Charon, chooses these and those
and fends off others, forcing them from the sandy strand.
♥ ♠ ♦ ♣
Summer in a Field
The red grey dust penetrates
everything. After a soaking shower
the viscous coat of it separates,
cracking into broken, asymmetric discs.
The sun bakes fields, hills into a thin
glaze of earthy orange, the days so hot
rusty leaves fall from trees, tin
barn roofs blaze white, and wild flowers'
petals waft and drift in the wind
like bits and pieces of confetti tossed
into the air near the woods, flying like winged
slim things dancing in space over the fractured earth.
Peter Weltner is a longtime friend of the Macabre & author of over 16 collections of poetry, including And They Reached Out Their Hands in Longing for the Distant Shore (Marrowstone Books, 2022) which this is drawn from. He has lived in San Francisco CA since 1969 with his husband Atticus.