TWELVE STONE LITHOGRAPHS TO
(1982 - 1984)
But do not entrust your sayings to the leaves, lest, distorted, they disappear
in the play of the rapid winds
Show me the way and open the sacred doors.
You cruel one. Why still try to terrify me,
now that my son is torm away?
That was your only way to ruin me, for I am
not afraid of death and do not care for any god.
The vanquished have this one escape,
to hope for none.
This is not the time to stare at exhibitions.
There are twin gates of Sleep: one, they say
is made of horn, by which true Shades gain easy exit; the other, unblemished, is wrought with glistening ivory, but through this gate the Shades send false visions to the world above.
Then the queen of gods, descended from the heavens,
forced with her own hands the sluggish doors and as the hinges turned, Saturn’s daughter burst the iron-bound gates of war.
And after all, is death so sad?
Just as in dreams by night when languid sleep has closed our eyes, in vain we seem to want to forge our anxious path, but halfway along, discouraged, we falter; our tongues are now helpless our bodies have lost their reliable strength, neither voice nor word can follow.
Euryalus, have the gods sparked this fire into our hearts, or does each man's relentness longing create a god within?
O father must one believe then, that souls go up to heaven only to return once more to inhabit these cumbersome bodies?
Why this wretched longing for light?
Weeping and wailing, he feeds his soul on what is, after all, an empty picture.
The book has an essay by W.R Johnson about the Aeneid series entitled: Thoughts on Picturae Cassae.