The Cup

By Daniel Wilcox

Lidded mugs have spared rich carpet
And kept the heat in from the worldly winter,
Unless left long, like church tradition;

Then the reeking stew of liquid
Has-been unleases a pandoric
Maldor from her fuming stein
For thirty years of warred chaos
And a third of Germany bleeds.

Still the mugs of history — those
Faces of the Cross, the Tree, and the Way —
Move us to drink from that oldest of Grails,

Rather than from the modern beaker
Of negation, this goblet of hemlock
Where meaningless Chance is drunk,
And self-will brigands forth wafted up
From our instinctive shotglasses,
Millions turned to red like dried wine;

Lost is the 'night's' quest except to reduce
All to a brain-celled data cup or chip;
Don't swig, don't guzzle this modern
'Ail' from the plastic Laughlin tumbler

But imbibe the wined spirits of the living
Watered chalice so joyously overflowing.