A Rite of Spring

(The Burial of Igor Stravinski, April 1971)
Artifax, Vol. 1.2 (1971)

Rose Shade

They bore my body in a gondola
Of gilt and black in Renaissance procession
Across the liquid grace of Venice,
A gold-caped archimandrite and boy crucifer

Standing in the gondola before,
A flotilla following, water rippling to
Vibrations of my late-sung Requiem
From the dark basilica where the doges lie.

Sky spun with stars, strange birds of fire,
As oars swirled muddy water counterpoint,
And in a circle on a bridge, cat-eyes glittered
In the darkness watching.  And I remembered

The red wines of Venice.  But violins
Abuzz seemed to beckon from the cypressed island,
A magic garden, where in that grave
Beside the ivy-covered wall might be the key

To break the spell.  And Diaghilev
Not fifty yards away, with what new
Rite of springtime to encourage.


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