Ergon: Greek / American Arts and Letters (19 Sept. 2018).
WEATHER ON NAXOS
The god, his humors petrified as veins
in roughhewn marble, was going down
feet first from the quarry, down to the port
where there is now a whitewashed village—from there
to the other side of the sea,
which moves in front of the tables,
the wobbly blue and white taverna,
only enough to glisten. I climbed
until I had the whole of him at my feet.
I had as well as a wedge of spinach pie
a plastic half-liter of Naxian red.
It came to me to stream a swallow down
on that colossal archaic rockhead,
effaced though he had been by wind and rain—
as also sprang to mind this god
as a fidgety infant snug in the crook of an arm,
his older brother jangling grapes
to disenthrall the spirited boy
from who knows what is making him fuss, while I’d
inspirit a lull, would rouse the weather
inveined in coolheaded marble. Up
the mountainside, the flight of slippery
marble slabs, into the quarry
schoolchildren surged, to scramble up
the unfinished god, to scurry over him,
between the stubs of reaching arms to plop,
from bearded chin to feet (a pedestal
this column never stood on, much less danced
as Dionysus) to heel-walk slide—
a revel of wind and rain in the vineyards.