The Road That Runs …


Choosing the offered hood today

I kept the occasional company of kings;

Gloucester, Graceland and grey friars.

White boar, white rose, white boy

Singing the back, slap-beat blues.

Lubbock, Leicester, da Vinci, Las Vegas.

I walked candle-honeyed cloisters

Breathed some airs of history’s change.

Memories refreshed this day,

Reputations revisited with care, diligence;

Hindsight’s mirror shows that,

Though we swallowed his habit-hate words,

The spear shaker played it false:

Making his words fit uneasy times,

Making his words dance for pieces of silver,

Building fame on flattery’s lies.

Too keen the unfair challenge,

Too indecent soon the charge,

Too sharp soon the judgement

Too soon the falls the axe;

The Stanley switch, The record sun.

Years later we are keeping the faith

That you defended:

The road that runs, friendless,

Through the desert

Will always end;

But that’s alright,

That’s alright.

The range and catch in the gospel voice,

The lifted shoulder that carried responsibility,

The doctored propaganda-proper image

Of craven limp, contemptuous lip

The scandal breeding, twitching hip.

There are long flakes falling white down the years

Stretching the legs of camp followers,

February streetwalkers, coffee cup outlaws.

The hayride road home,

Verged with Loki-light fields of moonless snow

Along the Spartacus road, is roofed with

Thinking skies that hold no visible stars

As if the gone-by day held sufficient…

But that’s alright,

That’s alright,

Any way you please.