With foreleg and mandible
a wasp, thread-waisted, daubs
and trowels small globes of mud
on a joist among the rafters till
with a spade’s square edge I chisel
his embryo to clods.
We each in our way emit a cry
or buzz of things accomplished—
but the same primal joy
in what we shape or demolish?
Triumph shines through blemishes
of ethical decay
like a smog-maddered sun or burnish
of an abraded loy.
The qualm sheathed, our victor nests
on a porch, his idle lance
a hymn of peace—how sublime
must be the loss for him to blame
what he’s driven to do? All quests
have their ocelli of reference.