and smeared indigo mountaintops onto the lips of goddesses.
In the fern brush of valleys, the watermarks on eternity gathered
to speculate on felony and fraternity, on chiffon and on silk.
The opals spilt out of quarries to draw out the water
as the dim light of a hazy evening tumbled easily
into the carafes left blinking in the olive-marred hillsides.
The freefalling gossamer of elms and silver birches
knotted into a gauze gazebo to catch the raining fireflies.
The gods steamed their robes in yesterday's white wine.
Oh, and to what epicurean sense does this draught
of perfumed earth appeal? scorned the mourners.
Does Venus, with her talons, scour love in your throats?
Are your own spit roasted livers scorched on the edge of your retinas?
The myriad gods, slender and winged like champagne flutes,
and the goddesses, bough-anklets shimmering and as ready as wildcats,
addressed one another as "scavenger darling" and admired
their celestial discoveries: reckless Prometheus with embers beneath his nails;
Orpheus in a cupboard, entwined with Eurydice, turning sex into song;
and Cupid, cherub-boy, not quite ready to deliver his rose-soft arrows…
Below, creepers blossomed into jade cotton puffs and druids delayed
the winter. For whilst your barley thrives, the sopranos scratched,
and corn husks plucked in the lisping of autumn days
cleanse your aureate skin to the quintessence of health,
we must plough your gifts of phosphorus clusters and beans.
But when the Baileys was gone and the wings had been shed
and discarded togas breezed debauchedly across rose quartz statues,
a desire to repent surged through the mortals' pious dreams:
oh, marble gods and milkstone goddesses –
we forgot the colour of your dresses.