‘Pavane for a Dead Princess’ ~ Maurice Ravel

Poem and music video.




The hood of night pulled ‘cross my eyes,
Does cloud the day in dark disguise,
And screens events within my lids,
Of images the day forbids.

Bent back against affliction’s crush,
O’er plaintive twisting falls a hush.
As trodden worm, I turn to lumber,
And fall from grace into a slumber,

If mercy come and I awoken,
A quickened spirit, bright, unbroken,
T’was from my eyes removed the potion,
By tender fondling of devotion.

So ringed by those who went before,
I stop to gaze at them once more,
Embedded pearls in weave of night,
The pinpoint limned shafts of light.

But, now I leave this earthly cluster,
All human things have lost their luster.
Released from darkness I do free,
The breath of life that dwelled in me.
J.T. Rodolico


Invidia casts an evil eye,
A look her smile cannot belie,
When punctured in her jealous heart,
And poisoned by the serpent’s dart.

The coils of anguish ‘round her breast,
Devour and strangle without rest.
Suspicion-laden, thus engrossed,
She serves alone as guest and host.

J.T. Rodolico


Fame is not a tender master,
Brings it fortune and disaster;
Beauty molded, hallowed, nursed,
Mixes blessings for the cursed.

Kisses sweet should do no harm
Nor wound the cherished or alarm,
Pricks them love with Eros’ dart;
Wounds the bearer to the heart.

The fairest mantle that it knew,
A frenzied scorpion slashes through,
Her pointed needle bends to sting,
The self that wields it’s poisoning.

Though born of air, earth or foam,
On wing, foot, or sail at home,
In all the heavens it is known,
That earthly beauty is on loan.
J.T. Rodolico


The bright is sure to come again,
But we, dear Elpis, know not when.
Do now appear in flowers wound,
Thou sweetest hope, and last state found.
J.T. Rodolico

Ghost Writer

Cresting waves crash on the shore,
Spray ghostly fountains as they roar.
Plumes spewing from a surging tide,
Protest to cross the realm’s divide.

A phantom bark glides in from sea,
Its grotesque mast lines shape a tree,
She sails well-armed on course transition,
Her skipper pressed to change position.

The shipwrecked widow lies abeam,
Who plays the lover in his dream.
A lonely cypress near the edge,
To love no more, her only pledge.

Travelers tack beyond their world,
For love eternal, sails unfurled,
And heed no contour of the land,
To see a tender coast at hand.

Two castaways as one abide,
One lost to love, the other pride.
Of thawed out passion they imbibe,
One the poet, one the scribe.

The vanished writing from beyond,
Are ghosts of those who are not fond,
Of love’s conventions, laws or rules,
So written for the sake of fools.

What’s behind THIS hand that writes,
Drama, meme or poem that bites?
‘Snatched by grace’ with so much ease,
Seized and bound by small degrees.

Forlorn tales that need be told,
Or crimes confessed and deeds so bold,
Impart what mortals need to know:
That truth extends its hand from woe.

Joseph T. Rodolico, July 6, 2009