You found a sheep instead

So stubborn old Stubborn begins to wind its thread-spool toward conclusion - an ending Henry the Hero did not expect.  The elegiac mourning dove (down Dove St., in Fox Point), walks pigeon-toed to her job on Wickenden St. - managing a long-ago little yarn shop called Sheep's Clothing.  Henry the Remorseful Cad takes the measure of his actions.

The closing coda to the following passage is found at the center of Stubborn (part two) - at the mid-point between the 2nd half's four chapters.  In a macrocosmic structural sense - unbeknownst to Henry yet - this little coda is one of the three pivotal turning-points of the whole gigantic work (Forth of July).  In the third book of the trilogy (July), the last broken sentence here - "Thy will" - is united with its other half, in the final (3rd) pivotal passage of the poem : "Be done."


Gray skies this afternoon, waiting. Tensile, 
incipient, bare branches cup their furled scrolls 
in the early wind, waver in its eddying swirls. 
Each maple bud would soon go twirling, sail

into the palm of your hand – where lines 
climb at a fractal slant upstream – below 
the five galactic whorls of fingertips.  Oh 
Henry where is he now?  Where his line begins.

The line that forked away from home, shadowed 
by a scornery Sophie-ship.  So pigeon-toed,
so dovetailed now, mirroring his once-so-proud
titanic liner – merging, pointed now, cup overflowed

and broken down.  Tacking up heavy seas
and married to the mer, he murmured.
Almost permanently pyramidical – immured
(it seemed forever) in a merde of murdered mercies.

Bent above his coughing mug, the shaking cubic 
salt and pepper memo pad, black antlered penther. 
Amara's torn down now?  Breast cancer found her.
Up narrow stairs we were – mid rattling looms, thick

yarn, spooled colors – Irish uruguayan.  Warm
and furred, many-colored curled Klee-coating for some 
earnest lamb's wool Josephine's Egyptian tomb. 
Discern therein any departure?  No man, but a worm.

The gray skies early now, the iron spring, rewounded. 
And until every drop of blood drawn with the lash
shall be paid with another, drawn. . . words mesh for 
Lincoln pacing slowly toward his Jordan (costly ford).

The loom in my heart furls sails.  Henry notes it down, 
follows out the thread, obedient, at least, this once. 
She's walking there down Hope Street once
again.  Round and rounding.  Swoon.

Off the bicycle (a busted vesica), seat on the ground, 
wheels turning in the air, this labor of pared 
hearts.  Offbeat pinewheel covenant, prepared
from the beginning for, your scoundrel

mongrel roundelay, so trageggillegiblemate and regal.
I travel in your curving shadow.  Higher, backward. 
Meanwhile, inside the battlements next door
rosy children in their Sunday best (seagull

tumultuous outside) take up green swords
in reedy palms.  A Holy Rosary parade
of fateful Portuguese.  They read
the bitter gospel bread salted with twisted surds

and knotted ways.  Whiff of bleating sacrifice 
blows through the pages.  Mounted on a colt 
revolver, the religious gunman crowded to a halt
outside the walls of Memphis or Jerusalem – twice,

three times rooster crows – Rome
too revolves around a black sun petrified –
darkness three hours – Henry's mad liner cried 
out crossed-out now redemption – plumb

the mystery – 47 angles wedged there
(and one more won't say)
when a Rosary priest  (like Bluejay
or his sister) dove through the crowd – over here,

Henry! – then flipped his cape and winking 
disappeared again – children singing, 
circulating their remorseless thing – this 
bloody crowning point of no returning

aye, black sheepish limb swirl dreamycat! 
Oh aye, the two-edged sword forked
like a broken spooner across your pate
marked danger – tattoo drifts toward Ararat.

He sheds himself, your humble serpent, bronze. 
Pass over now your own Red Sea, Henry, and see. 
From Shakespeare's Head to Fox Point foot we 
willed it flicker-tongued and Byzantine.  The gongs,

the gong-show!  Icon basilisking marvy griffin!
There's your parade now just for you
they're coming, Henry!  A whole black crew
of twelve thousand gallery slaves with muffins

and white wine!  Sailing!  Toward Sophie herselfl 
Down the Nile! – it's a Biblical epic, I think,
or Shakespeare?  Have another drink
it's Mediterranean, with medium-rare California surf

blurred logistics – cost over 12 million suits–
tighten fishline – holds! Was a love-child, you say? 
You don't say.  Out of a Gypsy come what may 
Romany-passage to India buy some other trivial roots

or so.  And the wind blows, pining.
Handel in the palm-trees, mournful. 
Voices in the distance, fading.  Remorseful. 
Loves what vanishing

still sound.  Echo homo harmonica.
This crown is hearse, hirsute, of hair of hers, 
a black shadow late lightness filters 
through dusk . Steadfast. Eureka,

sighs Henry.  Only sighs, tears. 
Water my David mountain, psalms. 
My broken strings.  Drums,
exeunt, arrears.

You hear the sound of my voice, fading too. 
As in a Marvell grove, the bird sings,
the wheel turns, springs
another year on earth. Moving toward you,

the feet, pigeon-toed, the round one, 
almond-eyed.  Oh my dust, clay of my clay. 
You hear the voice in the distance, another day. 
This is where it rings, unleavened, undone

in the lost steppes, in the nun's grief destiny, 
in the summer shade, in the midnight sun. 
Your bride is calling you–the other one. 
You never knew.  Criminal penury

of sheepish clown.  Fool.
Lift his skull out of the pit now, Hamlet. 
Go back to Elsinore.  Repay your debt.
A frosty cross-rime.  It shall be your school.

Self-drowned off salty Cuba, crowned 
this pelican will feed her own
out of her checkered, Florentine 
checkmated treasure chest. Blackstoned.



Looking for a cat one day, you found a sheep instead. 
Alone on a hillside – where a cool wind blew 
through mournful pines.  It was fresca al fresco
ephebe – all in one day.  Just yellow, blue, and red.

That lamb's wool (black x white) mingled so fine, 
wound so subtly – if it were set adrift at sea
so buoyantly. . . her weft – fore and aft –
bobs up–a clipper ship! – or catamaran!

Beneath diagonals of sanded glass morning 
sunlight swarms.  Warm rows begin to flower.
Shamrocks, in the mirror of a friendly star,
grow.  Primary school, where all the children sing–

even roadside J-rigged bluebells begin to ring.
Past Fox Point, India – fingering sitar –
Gypsy Moth goes glowworm.  Shore to shore
seaworthy, from Cape V dawn (Tahiti in the evening).

You'll find the parallels at the end of the trail road. 
Something about a point of all this traveling?
On the other side of the massive mountains, ding-
dong.  On the other side of the mast.  The light glowed

through the clay wheel, once – a mere pinhole 
magnified in your heart – in the den, in the nest. 
And it wasn't the maelstrom – pinwheel, all the rest. 
It was you, and only you, turning.  Thy will.

Holy Rosary Church, Fox Pt.

Driveway patio, Fox Pt.

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