I've met his sort- the lucky sons
Of the widow. They have lived so much.
They were often cursed in heraldic cradles
By Carabosse. They are chevaliers
In Jacobite orders they formed themselves
In the wee small hours.
Old Gerald's kit
Was as patched as any scamp's could be.
He had served out east and studied his craft
With the Dyaks- so he said- and then
With an old-time coven surviving near Christchurch.
Actually he made it all up
Out of books, as Aidan Kelly has proved,
To validate his taste for flogging.
Kelly calls him an S.A.M.
Or smart-arsed masochist- that's a chap
Who has his mistress beat him up
To a detailed script.
He got that bit
From Com, his governess- see the snap
Of the goblin-child and the moon-faced woman.
But this is how religion gets made,
Out of a culture's crying need
(In this case for the freeing of sex)
When one person is daft enough-
Damaged enough- to cook the books
And make like a prophet.
Ah, what a show-off
He always was. With the lighting right
On his goblin face and his hair on end
He looks like something Austin Spare
Might have conjured up.
He ducked and he dove,
Told frabjous stories and got stitched up
By unsuitable women.
But in the end
He had the vision. It's not what you see
But the way you see it. It could be bread
On a china plate as it was for Chardin,
It could be a tightly buttoned girl
With a switch in her fist as it was for him,
What matter is the fixedness
With which you watch it, the energy
You throw at it and it mirrors back.
By concentration, by contemplation,
By steadfast loving you light the candle
That shows the way to Babylon
Through a night unfriendly to us poor fakers.