Empty Roads

These are the empty roads with barren fields

on either side. The fence is well maintained

but forms no barrier. To cross it yields

no bounty. No-one goes where nothing's gained.

Here was a vineyard, planted with Grenache.

Deep-rooted vines, they were the last to die.

A painter caught them, green against the ash

but lived to see them wither, by and by.

Where no trees shade the ancient burial mound

the winds that gleaned the topsoil from the stones

whistle their idiot tunes, round and around,

as if to call to dance the nameless bones.

The days of grief, of mourning, all are done:

how shall a sigh be heard, where none draws breath?

The last war on mortality is won,

for we are done with life, and done with death.

We sojourned long as creatures of the soil,

endured eternal rounds of death and birth,

emerged as gods, rewarded for our toil.

Look! We have built the Moon upon the Earth.


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