The Latin Stone By Alex Goble
The cat paced by in a hurry to somewhere,
and I noticed the stone sitting there alone,
and I thought of those who have passed here before.
Yearning to diverge, I stopped to listen.
Remembering that in October I leaned over that pile
of broken marble, spreading out in white waves
with pink shards swimming under the foaming crests.
A Hellenic battle at sea, a contest to be discovered.
Searching meticulously, I found one
that I knew to be the most beautiful.
I took it home and housed it in my bedroom,
as if it was better than other stones.
Now it sits here among the rocks in the yard,
a white whale among a sea of brown ennui
speaking of sculpture and poetry to those who pass
but never stop to hear its classical calls.
So forgive me today
as I bow over this marble,
and forgive me tomorrow,
there is nothing more I need.
Give me the lonely marble any day,
with its dead language,
give me epics that stretch splendidly any time,
give me Horace, or maybe Virgil and a bit of Ovid.
Nobody knows this little piece of marble,
but oh, how I thought I knew,
looking down to a solitary and nameless stone
so very many years in the making.