Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Poems by Santiago del Dardano Turann


Orion lay upon his side
Beneath a sheet of urban light
Whose fuzzy electricity hides
His form in layers of lazurite.

The secret forms of stars are query
He hunts across the endless plains
With windy arrows whistling mutely
Across the bending cloudy grain.

He rises through the blooming spheres
In nighttime’s gardens velvet petals
Ungnawed by the corrupting years’
Hard unforgiving worms of metal.

But through a lifetime’s many nights
Mankind is dulled by regularity,
And walks on with his narrowed sight
Unconscious to life’s mystery.


The Roman camp in the Teutoberg Forest , German frontier
September 8, 9 AD

Our eagle glitters in the pasty gloom
From gleaning patches of the moon’s dead light
Within this forest icy as a tomb
In realms of Orcus, land of ghost stalactites.

Our fires seem to suffocate in fog
No cloth or metal guards us from the moisture
Exhaled by yet another nearby bog
Whose spirit looks upon us with his anger.

My centuria, who are all in fellowship with Mars,
In their rough way will only joke with fear
But whisper prayers to gods and family lars
In voices they would rather that none hear.

Even to me, who’s just a raw centurion
Who cannot chirp in Greek or quote a poet
That German’s clearly leading us deeper on;
Yet Varus does not seem to see the threat

Nor heed the warnings of that old Cheruscan
That we are chasing wind in these deep woods.
He said, “Arminius is a Roman equestrian
And can be trusted. Leave off your private feuds.”

Yet I was told by Priscus that he saw
Arminius and others going from the camp;
Trickling away like water in a spring thaw
Before the dribbling brings down icy clumps.

But do not worry, we all make up three legions
With six cohorts and six alae of cavalry
And we’ll sort out these blue-painted barbarians
Then I’ll be home to greet your new born baby.

Cassius Charrea
Legio XIX, Capricorni

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