With half shut eyes, Michael meditates,
Slouched in his couch, his knees aspread;
Crème de Menthe, its green mellow glow, veils
Awareness of the attendant dead.
They trade their sundry viewpoints, like children
Marbles, bubble-gum cards and postage stamps;
Hold hot dispute on sacred mysteries.
Michael’s eyes burn like vehicle lamps.
Each takes his stand, assumes his position
Though the posit proves quite contrary;
Through spectres of whirling tobacco smoke
Michael expounds his latest theory.
The lyric sweet is silent and demure
While the disputed question rages;
Fragrant song, its keenest sensibility,
Competes with cant for space on time’s blank pages.
The most exalted beauty of the pen,
The painter’s highest aspiration
Are sealed in scriptures, fixed in light, and smeared
With the jam of profane conversation.
One there lingers in the silent shadows
While the debate takes its torturous turn,
Preserves his wit for the meet occasion,
Perambulates while baleful fires burn.
He has a dame whose utterance echoes
His cherished thought in one perception;
In her utterance she always agrees,
A source of great consternation.
She gets a fright at the sight of geckoes
And when from the sky rain falls in torrents;
At forty five and forty three
They sail a fortuitous, hopeful sea,
And rising prows cleave contrary currents.