The Harp and the Mulberry Tree

Come here, see the harp and the mulberry tree
reflected above the Tyrrhenian Sea;
such mirages would be quite common enough
if only the universe weren’t so rough.

Those millions of suns with their planets in tow
are calmly awaiting their chances to show
a radiant glimpse of the courses they trace
while cruising in deafening silence through space.

The harp and the mulberry tree do not care,
they’re waiting for angels with straw in their hair;
one dreams of sweet music, the other of shade,
and no one can tell when their fortune is made.

This township is set on a road that may lead
to perilous ventures and riots of mead;
fair angels will perch on the ledges and seats
and noiselessly prowl the Decembering streets.

They have such a style as may all else surpass,
they’re dancing like strobe lights through amber-stained glass
the colour of sand in the clear moonlit bay:
necessity sharpens the wit, so they say.

The harp and the mulberry tree take their time,
meandering, weaving, and testing each rhyme;
and once their wild verses have rolled onto shore,
we shall have no care in this world any more.

A stone mill is nestled in swishing sea-grass
where logic exceeded its critical mass;
and so we must quest through life’s shady bazaar:
reality’s victims, is that what we are?

Beneath the blue ocean, by night and by day,
the millstone is busily grinding away,
while high up above the Tyrrhenian sea
we’re watching the harp and the mulberry tree.

Jane Røken

If you have any comments on this poem, Jane Røken would be pleased to hear them.