A Rider

All I can say about this poem is that I am fascinated by deep history, and especially Greek and Roman history. I do believe that many mediate the distant past through myth and allegory, and of course our personal narratives. But human nature never changed, and never will.

 

A Rider

How willing are the many

who run races they cannot win, to peer

in fashioned sin to sear a rival? How joyfully

to greet a friend, send enemies to unknown fates?

How early must we really be in order never, ever,

to be late?

Who will tell the fool to pack it in, say:

“Leave it, leave it now” as the gathering crowd

grows restless, or grim,

and disorder gathers its harvest in?

 

A bay and horseman stand against a lowering sky

as dusk approaches, and the silent peregrines fly.

 

We fail by degree, inadvertence a passing phase

when age asserts its creeping dominion

and the strong grow weak, as warm beds grow cold.

 

In a Roman forum centurians sweat and swear,

and catch their breath while younger men

dance the swords of death;

heads cast low, the aged warriors pause,

let their creased eyes drown in ancient scars:

fortune now a fighter's game but far, too far, from home.

 

In the marketplace a rider walks a blood bay

as traders glance, then trembling look away,

all fighting the urge to flee;

“What the hell,”one murmers, “another sign,

another turn of the key.”

 

Chris Hubbard

Louth, England

2016

  

bayfightersRomans

◄ Sailing an Inland Sea

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