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Lynn Strongin





Rubicana Rusticana

I am the sun shining over the Rubicon
lighting flat bronze    to a glow
illuming the occasional peak    a wave  like a brass napkin
like a wizard’s hate    the wave breaks
Corn crakes to the south brown, blacken wheat blanches under the moon
but I am the sun flaming above the Rubicon.

Folk are crossing, hands to foreheads as though willing themselves blind:
wailing, charred, children are draped like wet linen, limp in their parent’s arms
beyond tears
lover are weeping
mothers keening
I am the one & only light above
this ribbon where the affliction is beyond
       eclipse between this world & the next: point of no return,
Northern Italy, yet having changed so many times it is impossible to
determine the point of my origin.


I am the riverbed under the Rubicon
I never sleep. Alea iacta est (“The die is cast”)
The pilot out of fuel   cannot return   no other point to land
my soil will not receive him    Beyond my hearing ring the bells of
ecclesiastical celebration.
There’s no surprise in rainbut a torrent!
And a gray sluggish dawn.
“I don’t think of you as disabledbur trapped”
I am the nightingale whose throat is pierced by the song
I sing:
dirges of those crossing, pleas to get to the sky reflected thru water
that many
shields from me: Covered mirrors, no radiance. A veil of bleak black.

Yet I am not shielded
I cry. My mother wept, my father became an insomniac when I was
stricken with this affliction beyond prayer, un-recanting       bed
beneath world's most sorrowful river.

Where will old churches go when they die?
Re-entry        the cruel century       silver hinges slamming it seven
years ago.
Where will brick go?  bells? In the graveyard of boots?
where shoe trees darken cast foot forms spill over, mossy, porcelain tubs rust:”
old platforms
pulpits  choir lofts.
Where will old dryers go when they die with the sinks into immortality
or decay?
Pearl boys I see in sodium orange lamplight:
       I read maps of child poverty as I go down to sleep
where zinc darkens:
Thirst, Rust, Frost. My miner’s lamp of keepsake kerosene splutters:
               The old-time enclosed buggy for delivering mail arrives.
When love is on the rocks       sky tears teal
fašade peels    layer-by-layer word-for-word,  embraces are piecemeal   old atina is scraped off with pocket knife and lodestone file shavings seal night:

This my life            rose steel.



In the graveyard of shoehorns translucent, see-thru:
ram’s shell yellow as parchment,
we lay awake            checking the clock with iridescent dial every
two hours
Mahler’s music had zoned us out before bed. This was the dawn of rising young executive though you are 60: rising russet with the rooster. Crow!

Silver & red fox
                       larkchild is sombre
Blowup                  with Sweetheart
Were the banjo player’s eyes the rapist’s”
kept haunting
angering your girlchild:
boring holes. And they were not thorns with roses, nor wild.
Snow advisory in effect, you go out to the wide, wide world
inform, enrich, inspire:
I stay home in circle of the lamp zeroing in like halo:
red as blood, as clowns,. Pictures which fly in the face of legal,
historic precedent:
are painted with a brush, paid by hand, lavished by  green eyes”
Part mine.



Every now & then a woman is born        with a voice ever gentle soft & low:
like a dark animal running thru a forest        in snowfall
indigo silk rippling thru tapestry      background tree-lace    ;
twice the depth of most European coal beds. The season is a searing
MAGNIFICAT. Under sodium light, orangely sing pearl boys.

One can sing too low
can run too deep
this is the festival of lights. Leap
season of mirth. Estonian & Mennonite soulfully unite:
       Christmas & Good Friday are a deep connection: Thornhill
                       the color of bark, of leather runs up to heaven:
                               is the Marian connecton:Ours by the
right of the worshipful election.





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