Daily Archives: 02/13/2005

The News Carried To Macedonia

On the banks of the
     river they call Indus today
we observe a kind of
bean
     much like the Egyptian bean
     also
crocodiles are reported
upstream & hillsides grown over
     with myrrh & ivy
          He believes
we have located the headwaters
of the River Nile
     we offer
sacrifice
hold games
     for the occassion
There is much rejoicing &
          the men think
     we shall turn back
These elephants their
emissaries offer
     are giant
terrifying beasts yet
     with a grin he yesterday
ran up a ladder onto
          the very top of one
     beast
The men
          cheered him & he
waved & they cheered him
     again
He pointed across the river
     & the men grew silent
The builders
busy themselves with great rafts
     at the water’s edge
          on the morrow
we again set our faces
     to the East
Tonight
          wind     birds
fill the air
     the clacking of their bills
like iron on iron
The wind
          is steady is fragrant
     with jasmine
trail of the country behind us
The wind moves
          through the camp
stirs the tents of
the Hetaeri
     touches each
of the sleeping soldiers
Euoi! Euoi!
     men cry out
in their sleep & the horses
          prick their ears & stand
     shivering
In a few hours
they all shall wake
     with the sun
shall follow the wind
     even further
-Raymond Carver, Fires