nocturne of the couriers

wearied by their
labours on parched land
(the sun like an evil heart)

with dry hands on
brass grips

they have carried
in freshcut pine
cargoes to the burying fields –

and at night
in their lowslung abode
(its timbers cracking as it cools)

have intoned a dirge,
quietly to begin with,
but rising in a
crescendo of reverence –

becoming a nocturne,
swelling –

their robes shimmering,
feet drumming the floor to rough dust

then flinging their heads
in an ecstasy of living, of existence, eros