Twigs — K. Hunt

From what Stygian camp did come this
Operative of doom
Beheld thricely: first by ear; second by eye; third
By trembling pump of fear

Into Lost, where set and dusted, a twelve-jeweled
Beckons with hospitable promises, a place comforting
For rank and rear
For which, fairly placed and settled there, Calliope
Has brought with quill and rag, paper and song
Pensive tone and book of law, tales inspired, if believed
From shadowed beginnings of empires strong
A page or two scatched by drooling Cerberus
Growling, apprehending, settling to partake of board
And host, Milton

Who with gilded cushion, thick with penon, is held thus
In one hand at imagined height of jaw to the east, the other
Outstretched, palm up in welcome

To rest, to repose the dissembling invitee regarded from the floor
The artificer poised, his bowstring taught as lust, be now induced to howl

In hope the “verduous wall of paradise upsprung” (IV.143) be
Not so high to foil the eye
Confound the bowel

Beyond where will be planted sapling spit
For wont of roasting unborn sin
That most, to Brave Phoebus’ charm
Carve entrails getting out from in
Thrust seven times to get in again

In survey of firmament solid
The Devil went down to Eden
Where he launched locusts at smiling Cloris
Set Phoebus’ amber soul to dry wood in plot
Of site for contemplation and
The feasting away of indefatigueable hiatus
Brewing fear’s liqueur in offering to refresh an innocent rose

Twigs, descibes the Muse
With robin-egg blue behind them
A dusting of orange above the trees
Rare, streaking, darkbottomed clouds
Above it