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Rob Dyer

Thoughts On The Roman Palatine

In Apollo’s portico among the empty shelves,
Where nor gods nor poets spoke what emperors demand –
Virgil’s vast shrine to loved Gallus dead,
Ovid’s allegories of empire’s rape –

I sit and watch Cybele’s hippodrome,
Hear the squeal of chariots, the sweating horses,
And cheer them home, the red and white,
A single voice among the roaring past.

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St. Maleu sequence

Saint Maleu Sequence
I.
Once we were all tourists
seeking on foot,
by horse or boat,
by plane and camera,
some other place -
by book, museum, library,
some other time.
But now “Was it Portugal or Ponsonby? ”
we ask. “Is everything on tape? ”

I too once wandered everywhere,
by foot and thought,
in marriage and in war,
searching for other minds
and freedom from my own.
One thing only I have learned,
kneeling inhuman on and on,
hearing the soft lament

[...] Read more

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Rilke's First Duino Elegy, rewritten for Roxana Dyer

The First Duino Elegy of Rilke
Rewritten for Roxana Dyer


Who, if I screamed,
from the ranks of the angels would hear me then?
Even imagine one took me suddenly in his arms:
who I am would be lost in his greater Being.
So beauty was nothing
but the beginning of nightmare, from which we will scarcely awake;
we marvel at beauty, because in the end it has never bothered
to destroy us. Every angel message first brings us terror.

So with strong restraint I choke back the temptation
of agonized sobbing. Oh who then to turn to
in need? Not angels, not people,
and the animals hearing my pulse knew already
that I was not really settled
in this world we have named without knowledge.

[...] Read more

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