“The Watchman’s Left”

“The Watchman’s Left”

The watchman’s left his post and change evades

The vaulted marble halls in Washington and London
As rumours author precedents while the pundits fail their orals and
Her Majesty’s final queries, “How, then, are my trusts mislaid?”
White-gloved hands sign towards leaders of the stage,
But where lies the crown, where the sovereign doubt,
The gleaming precedent that comes to mind to put to rout
The monarch’s question, tales of rising veils and Eastern hymns of rage?
The salt has lost its savour, friend, and Onan cedes ceaselessly a certain infamy.
So comes the Western light to warm the will to fire the kneaded clay of things;
Committees rolling, appeasements merely strolling through the circus rings.
With yesterday’s sun at apex, today’s blue moon unfolds a fragile pigmy
Sky of falling fractals of asides and clips and sales in parsimonious comment:
So much depends upon so many waiting mothers, somewhat dazed, perhaps,
Beside the red Potomac while the white-gloved buglers sound their “Taps.”
I saw a shooting star last night, some unnatural nocturnal flaw
To think on and what it means to be me, or someone
Close to me, or yet again for the fleeting moment to come
Between all our yesterdays and tomorrow’s cosmic clause,
The need to see, a momentary lifting, yes, eyes
Fixed heavenward notwithstanding souls so earthbound
That limpid days fly by with nothing more than profit found
So easily as the press between the ever-weighty lies
And all that we hold dear despised and tossed back again, a tread,
A brisk and tightened cord that strangles spun rapidly from this to that
As with cotton candy, pleasures so easily abandoned, actions flat
Against a plan so ill-conceived that pleasure pleases dread
And leads to unrestrained remorse and very close to bored;
And as I paused, I smiled, and hoped for nothing more.

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