Ave Atque Vale
Moments remain, the sculpted, painted, drawn
Split second millennia long,
Current word silenced, ambered into song
Where nothing can change, no bee molest these petals
Which, met, undo me, leave me unborn or dead,
Unable to compare,
Let hand, make memory meddle.
Momentous did they seem? Not now, so still.
They are, are, are, are, are the things I see
And will be when they’re lost, obliterated,
The model passed away.
On this old empty vase glazed patterns dance,
Above it fixed wings beat, the migrants’ flight
Good morning, present, absent ones, good night.
from Wild and Wounded (Anvil Press Poetry, 2004), copyright © Michael Hamburger 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher.