The BOOKPRESS November 1999

Epicurean: after Horace

Paul Kane


O Wheeler Creek, clear as ice-cubes in a glass,
you are worth all the pretty flowers and fruits
    that grow nearby for all the watery sounds
        you make here on the garden’s verge

at day’s end—in mid-summer—amid life’s hurry.
In the morning feral cats and at dusk the raccoon
    drink by your streaming edge, but we
        would never drink your waters

for the farms above have fertilized you beyond
human delectation. Elegant horses in paddocks,
    cows in common pastures, do not appreciate
        you more than we, who only admire

your good looks and voice—like Lynda, that blonde
Parisian soap-star from Perth, whose perfections
    were as sweet as Sauternes at evening
        by your side, O Wheeler Creek.

Paul Kane, a teacher at Vassar College, is a recent recipient of a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
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