The fire kissed it lovingly
all the seven woods of wisdom
every branch a twisted crown,
a carefully crafted barge, glory bound.
They called down mercy,
named every victim, scratched runes
into the wooded surfaces,
paid the coin, treasure from
a thousand pillaged monasteries
thrown under the weight of his hammer.
And as the tide washed out
the heavy pull of Ceres
her perfumed ravens loitering
on the floating bier,
doubts were entertained –
there Hamlet pressed his father’s ghost
on the steep North Sea banks,
no thoughts of revenge, hope of assurance.