Byron Has Returned

by Joel Van Valin
     But Poets do not write for Poets alone, but for men. 
            - Wordsworth

The narrow footpath is salted
Though ice has not yet taken the shingles to teeth;
O courtesans of the Atlantic, high exalted!
And the New Yorker  I've come to drink to your health.

Out of the sullen anatomies
Of backyard divorces, palatial despair 
Out of obscurely worded dissymmetries
And a half felt bareness of pain, you've gathered here

Where the floorboard's creaky with
Residual silence, and the woodburner
Lends minimal heat; a matted blackberry wreath
Nailed above it ... you huddle in the corner

But I'm not the one you fear
Being a plain man, with no lordly bearing;
And these words are only a simple harbinger
A knock on deadwood, to tell you what I've been hearing:

From the sea you left so far
From these fields or Freudian decay
These victimized fields, comes a ship with a rocky sailor
Whom the masses love  and the masses shall have their way

(As Willie said). And He is bringing
The kiss of beauty, and Bonivard's fiery chain 
O run for your lives! for He'll set the branches singing
And it will be Byron, Byron, Byron, Byron again!

 2001 by Joel Van Valin. All rights reserved.