Morgana the Fair
She was a very small girl
when one of them first approached her
and none of the dark glamour of the Abyss
hung on him, that she could remember,
she could not call him a visitant
and he did no tricks, no jugglery.
She was on the toilet, and he was there
gazing at her steadfastly, before
jumping up behind her to whisper in her ear
you see, princess, in such a lovely dress
but under it the same as the rest and do
what peasants do, or pigs.
It was an intriguing thought, and made
everything possible. So she went on dressing, and they
building, ever higher walls, ever more magnificent
and laws and statutes, aspirations and dreams,
a heavenly superstructure, all of it. And always
at the foundation the worm gnawed.
And so when Camelot foundered and the Dark Age
came roaring back in, she would often sit
musingly, an old lady tracing her fingers
along the old erogenous trails, and say
at least I never got up myself, at least no-one
can say of me I set impossible targets.
She had had many lovers in her later years
young men she loved to see reduced
to pitiful whining for respite, while her own
appetite roared on unabated. I’ll show them
she’d chuckle, how much mileage there’s really in
their polished helmets and those little plumes.
Annie’s giving some talks today
on the Seven Sacraments
she’s in some gallery, with a shoal of students
– none of which I see, except with my mind’s eye
I affect a chirpy, lovable
ignorance. When she says Poussin
I say, like in Puss-en-Boots? and when I say
I don’t know what a sacrament is
She says, well Marriage is one
– so the picture that represents it
is Mary and Joseph, in gorgeous colours
getting themselves hitched
God, that’s a tall order, I say
living up to such an icon
could the world afford so many
Jesuses all at once?
And Ordination? that sounds like part
of what I lack when I can’t
keep things together, hence
my occasional rage or rant.
She smiles (she’s very patient)
but says, enough of the rhymes
you’re never serious when you rhyme
whereas what’s here, this thing, this sacrament
It meant something to someone once,
still does, something serious.
So why, I ask, this punctilious
concentration on texture, brushstroke, colour
Things that any dunce
can accomplish, or appreciate for that matter?
I watch them dancing about the polished
floors, as the sacraments unravel
Watch it in my mind’s eye. I’m proud
of her knowledge, her clarity
her irreverent style. I’ll be waiting
when this mind’s eye unravels, for her smile.