it was the way you danced that tragic day
hell falling on Pompeii as we choked down
lungfuls of brimstone inspiration hot
as Pluto’s lust for Persephone and
just as corrupt. we watched the townsfolk run
hither and yon for shelter, our mockery
chasing them like demons of falling stone
though powerless to move any but ourselves
to laughter. cool water of our tears running
to muck the ash our faces would become.
what joy to know the day of one’s death! we
danced against the dying of the music,
exultant ironic in the knowledge
ash would preserve our art forevermore.
David M Pitchford
20 September 2012