Alter Ego

Young and poppy-headed with ambition
He has drowsed among the murmurings of books;
On inward walls he hangs his exhibitions
In deep galleries where no-one ever looks.

There is a colour missing from his spectrum
Between the static of infrequent speech,
A narrow tell-tale band of dark absorption,
A pigment that the sun could never bleach.


His birth and death seem all that time's concerned with,
His life forever stopping to reflect
That virtue in decision is a learned myth
For every cause has causes indirect.

He knows he can do neither harm nor good.
All doing rises out of something done.
The sentient self, the falcon, wears a hood.
The fist of death has hurled him at the sun.


Subscriptions for the membership of shadows
Fall overdue upon the first of May;
Now stones are warming in the river shallows,
The lea grass greening faster by the day.

Come, leave him in the darkness where you found him
For only in cool darkness can he see.
He would be lost if summer sun should blind him -
Hush, not a whisper, come away with me.