Empty Roads

These are the empty roads with barren fields
on either side. The fence is well maintained
but forms no barrier. To cross it yields
no bounty. No-one goes where nothing's gained.

Here was a vineyard, planted with Grenache.
Deep-rooted vines, they were the last to die.
A painter caught them, green against the ash
but lived to see them wither, by and by.

Where no trees shade the ancient burial mound
the winds that gleaned the topsoil from the stones
whistle their idiot tunes, round and around,
as if to call to dance the nameless bones.

The days of grief, of mourning, all are done:
how shall a sigh be heard, where none draws breath?
The last war on mortality is won,
for we are done with life, and done with death.

We sojourned long as creatures of the soil,
endured eternal rounds of death and birth,
to end as gods, rewarded for our toil.
Look! We have built the Moon upon the Earth.

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