Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Hedgehog in the Garden

The old man in his velvet gown
   At work upon his ‘Life’
Denies the writing in the dust,
   The sorrow and the strife;
But though he challenge with a frown
The pricking of his pointless lust,
The misplaced love, the misused trust,
   The truth begins to harden,
The moon behind a cloud to pall:
   The hedgehog in the garden
   Comes late or not at all.

The politician late at night,
   His aides long gone to bed,
Prepares his speech to vilify
   The actions of the dead.
He moves his chair towards the light,
His ears still burning with the cry
Of one he banished with a lie
   But will not ask for pardon;
Somewhere a night-owl makes his call:
   The hedgehog in the garden
   Comes late or not at all.

The subtle seeker after truth
   At windows after dark
Exhorts the stars as wise men do
   And listens to their talk.
A fakir in a fairground booth
Had told him truths which were not true;
He left Plotinus and the few
   Beneath their fleshly burden
And lodged within the mage’s hall:
   The hedgehog in the garden
   Comes late or not at all.

The savage cat in self-amaze
   Patrols his night-domain,
His lordly eyes ignited in
   The succulence of pain;
The creatures cry within his gaze;
He does not care where things begin
Nor ponders on the fact of sin,
   His actions and their guerdon;
The lonely stone sings of its fall:
   The hedgehog in the garden
   Comes late or not at all.

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© July 1980

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