In aerial latitudes
and the silent margins
of heat and cold,
day and clairvoyant dusk,
the mirage shimmers
above our wilderness,
evoking plangent echoes
of something lost and longed for.
Risk the serpentine defiles,
the jackal's jaws and searing sand,
risk the rugged rocks for miles
to gain a purchase on the land
rendered in such high relief
There we shall slake our dusty frame!
The image pales and comes to grief
All and nothing is the same.
So where to turn and how contrive
the lineaments of real estate
To dream, to sow, to dig, to strive,
to build, to spend, to save, to wait,
though noble empires wax and wane,
high thought and politics our pitch,
an out-of-line design's our bane
Exchequers fail to make us rich.
A temptress is illusion's muse
her laurels bringing frail content
ironic humour bucks the ruse
the stage, the screen, the game, were sent
to occupy the vision's see
If only this, if only that
had shaped our path, we should be free
by now to revel in delight.
The mind's eye is the heart's big screen
beguiling fictions into facts
daydreams breathe lustre on the scene
our footprints follow in its tracks
Away the promised land foursquare
whose substance sinks in shadow's maw!
But, mind! The mirage memory
reflects a true celestial shore!
Art - David Roberts