King in Disguise

Ancient Light, cont.  Another meditation on Royalty.  The King in Disguise as Homeless Man from Ireland.  With a side glance toward a majestic building in Providence.  Just about around the corner from the Ladd Observatory (keep your eyes on Orion).

(I was a busker briefly in London back in 1975, playing con geat in the Tube while I awaited my chance to interview with the Stones.)

from Ancient Light

       He lay in the tube tunnel just off Hyde Park, 
       not far from Mayfair, the American Embassy. 
       Under a pyramid of cardboard was he,
       his Irish accent – Belfast maybe? – larking
       everything abowt Lundun. Face invisible, 
       only his arm waved – giving directions 
       to a tribe of booty'd Scandinavians. 
       Your king in disguise – a buskin' Sybil.
       Back in the hometown, down Morris Avenue, 
       above the serene and perfect golden sphere
       of Temple Emmanuel, echoed in the atmosphere,
       the planets – lined up for an evening view,
       one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. . .
       I could see them, bright against the azure; 
       a heavenly anomaly, that would endure 
       no more than a dusk or two. Orion,
       keep your eye on those British loins; 
       even the King of Cats is still a Pushkin, 
       ready to vaporize in the wink of a sun. 
       London's eccentric orbit's like a loon's –
       now you here, him echo over there;
       her echo.  And if you bend over too fast,
       like Raleigh over a puddle, you won't last; 
       you'll get distortions coming up for air,
       like the groan of that doubledeckering by, 
       overloaded with oversize Van der Weyden portraits 
       – I mean average overage Renaissance pates –
       (each one different) under the Flemish snowsky.
       You want to look at yourself in the mirror
       again, Henry? Before you step outside
       and lose yourself in a Bruegel snowslide –
       where bent kids are chalking the proverbial Bronx cheer. . .

Temple Emanu-El, Providence

Ladd Observatory

No comments:

Post a Comment