Two Poems by Robert Heard

Caravaggio, Narcissus, credit Wikipedia

Two Poems by Robert Heard

I

Echo and the Narcissists

Deep in her cave,
Is Echo, distracted,
Helplessly watching
Narcissists in flower;

Who toward her are stalking,
In her direction are pointing
Up the bright road,
Where are voices in caves;

By herself unheard,
But always answered,
Drowned in the test
Of who loudest can shout.

II

Deaf Orpheus

Orpheus is deaf; he has no ear
For music fallen from a broken Sphere;

Which was, of Spheres, only one of many,
And for its music, least of any;

But was kept spinning, and in tune,
Imperfectly, by Sol and Lune.

But now He’s deaf to every prayer;
Music has petrified the air.

Lies asleep in a running stream
Of music pitched to an eagle’s scream

A god might hear, bound to a rock,
His side torn open, left in shock.

Deaf and mute with all the birds;
Senseless, not attempting words;

Silent now the voice that bade
Creatures sing when they were made;

Like the stars, could they tell
Music from the noise of hell.

Robert Heard lives in Toront0. He worked in the Toronto Public Library, the largest library system in North America

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