Orpheus in the Aegean

Head slipped, slung, spun like a top in a dervish dance;
a torso twisted, twirling in the truculent surf, the heart,
with its concomitant ache, washed clean by Aegean water.
A pure consciousness is one’s only alternative,
a singularity in this chemical universe, anonymous, unknowable.
We are all the ingredients of that concoction, stirred for the occasion:
a variety of spices, tart, like a lemon, tang that may be pepper,
a blend by the laws of uncertainty.
Temples rise, fall;
Statues, noseless, shattered beyond recognition,
are tossed in the river. In the afterworld
we have constructed you must swim, until land fades to forgetfulness:
tears are a froth; eyes lurch with nystagmus.
So there! you’ve had it: vertigo that cannot be attenuated
with medication; only the most savage surgery is intendant.
If the sea-salt blinds, then live with it. Learn. Be like Oedipus.
On a Greek horizon there is always
a Lesbos, inevitable, waiting, wailing like fate,
like a blade that swings up swings down again
with urgent necessity.
As fragile as each separate part
his disjointed thoughts bobbed and bounced,
tumbling amongst small waves,
much to the wonderment of the natives.