The funeral of Ophelia 


part 1


The nymphs came out
From the bulrush groves
To spin her a wreath
The nymphs came out

“Lay her under a tree. We know her name.
Sabrina the blind witch foresaw her fate and suffered with her.
Send word to the spiders
To record her obituary in their subtle golden webs.”

Hamlets cruelty
Was sung down the river
Past the floating debris
Of a million stories
Hamlets name
And the innocent girl
Down past the embankment
Carried by the nymphs
In their silver boats

“The victims pile up
With every life
Washed up on the shores
To be mourned by us
Who know their names
Carry the guilty
Carry the innocent
Sad Desdemona
In the wedding veil
Fierce Clytemnesetera
We knew your crime
And mourned you too
With the other victims
The other debris
Of the never-ending
Tide of life”

“But today we mourn
An innocent
Whose mind went adrift
Steering haphazard
On a tide of grief
Caught up in a current
She couldn’t control
“To be or not to be”
Was not her question
Adrift among the flowers
She was past asking questions

Off they sail
Past the busy houses
Singing unheard
In their silver boats
Adrift on the tide
The pale nymphs
Mourning the drowned
In their silver boats.

 Part 2

Of Sabrina the drowned Witch


She sits underwater

The white-eyed woman

Pale as grief

The one-and-three

“The Roman knew me. The Celts made offerings. Here ate the border, they threw their knives in. “

Under the water

The greenish sky

Before the mirror

Blind as a false love

Sits Sabrina

“I know you, people. Things repeat. As the river repeats. Always the same. Always different. The swirls return.

Never the same

But so predictable

You sorry people

Your stories are not


But you live, love, kill

In the same pattern

I cry for you

Your tragedy

Is worse for being


If I have advice

It is only this

The advice of one

Who floated, so silent

Under the surface

“Those are pearls that were her eyes”

I see the flashes

Of sunlight,

The handsome Kingfisher

And the pensive Fisher-king

Who takes his pleasure

In the true riches

The Trouts pearl underside

The silver armour

Of the innocent creatures

Take pleasure in these:

In the passing moment

In the flash of sunlight

Through leaves

In the golden Dragonfly.”


She floats underwater

Pale, pale,

Those are pearls that were her eyes

The fish glide around her, she looks in the mirror,

“Oh Humanity

I suffer with you

I have no choice

You threw your knives

Into my waters

You offered your weapons

And your tears

In exchange for me

My love, help, mercy.

The tears of the river

I carry your prayers.”

In the world of soft green

The silver fish

Carry her off

She floats away

The fearsome Pike

Escort her

She floats away.

 My love, come build a nest

My love,  come build a nest with me;

we will choose the highest treetop, and the old snake will climb up but never a chick will perish.

The birds are flying to Babylon, dragging the sky behind them. The green sky is aflame with their singing.

They will alight on the copper domes. They will peck the sunlight off and feed it to the nestlings.

The nestlings-the bright-eyed nestlings- the little nestlings.


I am the word that awaits the moment

of speech

penned between lips that wait


happily poised

in anticipation of usage.

I am the mouth that would kiss, my purpose stalled

attending to the order of time and place.

I am the forgotten instrument,

stilled in a dark place,

nonexistent unless noticed,

an unused code.

Between desire and action

between conception and usage

between separate and whole

For thine is the kingdom.

For thine is-



Between reception and response

between rebellion and result

Between feeling and action

For thine-

For thine is-


The Mechanism, or Study of hands by Da Vinci

Flickering through the web of neurons, the image stood sharp, conducted to a metal stylus, and a sheet of paper, to be made corporeal, black tarnished metal in the candlelight.

Beauty. he saw it as so and so do we. A web of lines, swirls, slender hands caressed by light, flexible, fragile. A thing of God. Of elegance.

Strange. This picture concocted within a shell of bone, in an old mans brain, flickeringly carried by primal energy, through a web of nerves, down the infinitesimal distance of the arm. Dream. Spirit.

Who knows what the artist thought as he stared at the image,

So fragile, only he to give it shape,

No bone or muscle tone, no threadlike nerves,

But the fragile lines on the paper.

And who knows what God felt, as he watched his artist,

Looking in turn at the picture he had drawn?



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