Monday, June 11, 2007

Fragment from the buried city



A sparrow on the terracotta wall
Picks listlessly at stone fruit,
Waiting for the black sky to fall.

A child curled tightly in a ball,
Lovers entwined mute,
Beneath a sparrow on the terracotta wall.

Deaf to the strident warning call,
Insensitive to the subtle scent of soot,
Not knowing how the black sky would fall,

They found oblivion, when they thought they had it all,
That inner wealth beyond dispute,
The painted sparrow on the terracotta wall.

Now ashes form their funeral pall.
They lie amid abandoned loot
Lost at the moment the black sky began to fall.

No matter how sweet the song of the flute,
When you smell burning, face the truth
Or share the fate of the sparrow on the terracotta wall
Lost in time when the black sky began to fall.

First post for a while. The picture is from a fresco at the Villa Oplontis, near Pompeii.

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