Tuesday, April 29, 2014


We heard a voice from the shore calling
“Tell them, sailors, when you make landfall
That Pan, Great Pan, is dead!” Strangely,
The first thing I saw on the shore
Helping to moor the ship, was Pan himself
Making fast a rope wound about a post.
I could not be mistaken; I knew
Those pointed ears, those crooked legs
Those eyes, yellow and disquieting.
He recognized me too; not always
Had I been a sailor. Taking my pay --
A fair sum; the trip had been long --
I went with Pan to a wine shop
(Not wise perhaps, but I had become
A follower of unwisdom). Three men
Neither drunk nor sober made space for us
And listened. “Near the Isles of Paxi
The wind suddenly began speaking
Mere babble at first, but then words
Telling us to report the death of Great Pan.”
“A sad thing!” the oldest drinker said
“My wife will give me no peace now
And I will have to turn Christian at last.”
“I will miss him, I think,” said the youngest
“The night is full of gods and the meadows
Are filled with goats but the combination
Was a rare thing.” The one not young or old
Raised his cup. “A toast, then!” cried Pan
“We will drink to my memory.”

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