Feathers of the Eagle Painted Crimson


The second century’s rise, Caesar’s guileful apex,

Begins to formulate saga into romance,

Absolving a hundred-years trial left behind,

Affirming deified Augustus’s marble plans.


A tawny wolf cub sprawled upon black Dacian cliffs

Awaits commands from the plotting senile senate.

Distant rural waterways befogged by brisk sharp winds,

The whitened bones buried near the wine-stained tents.


Ascending wily eagles scour the shield-strewn scene,

Five-time consul, declared tribuniciae potestatis,

Vetoes the stubborn magistrates’ bitter resolve

While centurions pluck the grime from battered crests.


Bride Plotina, nubile symbol of modesty,

She weaves the scarlet cloth for her staid Aeneas.

The stone column placates the fractious populace,

Reminding Rome of demagogue Decebalus.


Nephew Pliny, domestic consultant, governs

And oversees the outworking of publicus legal,

His pious Umbrian inspector bestows favor

As Pontifex and blesses the golden eagles.


-published in Ceremony, The Taylor Trust, and All Aboard the Timesphere