Etruscans at Monterchi

After centuries, still the sifting
of afternoon, the homing swallows
circling, shape-shifting,
immersed in what they sense,

and still this moment,
my shadow on the ground, I’m watching
what has never changed,
what seem random curves of flight,

yet their fixed points we’ll never see
above the olive grove, each skull aloft
ever since swallows first
emerged in Tuscany, and nearly always

there has been a moment waiting:
its creature watching shadows rise
from earth – and around me
crickets begin their chants overlapping.

At St. John the Divine, Thinking of Melville

Past the tympanum’s bronze doors
under the rose window,
as many times years ago,
on late afternoons, I hear
only my steps on the marble floor.

Under the height of granite
and all things still,
I sit on a folding chair
at the end of a Hundred and Twelfth
and Amsterdam, the end of an aisle

far from the altar –
no detail seen at the ceiling,
a perpetual dark – faint, stained glass
more luminous as I stare.

Out in the garden “the unstained
light of open day” –
…………………………cherry blossoms
shadowing crooked trunks
……………………………………….provide
for the bees, humming, just
here, off the sidewalk – late