Sleeping Heroes

A cave like bone, bowed stone under brittle stone,
Hides behind a labyrinth of vines,
With slow sleepers lapped in a promise of design.
The names change with the sun’s shadow,
Arthur, Ogier, Charlemagne, all heroes
Waiting to reclaim presence, retouch legend.
But the suffering peasant never offers enough:
Muffles the morning bell, fumbles the unheard horn,
Forgets the sword to cut time’s web of beard.
The sleepers stir into summer, their hunters’
Eyes blind from blood’s bright lust; then,
Their solemn slumber clutches them again.
So sleep grows thicker with sweet autumn colors;
Piled white with winters as the glacier passes,
The ice is all that in their hearts still marches,
While a last star’s glitter spatters frozen faces
And darkness flows out from their secret places.