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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 10 page 09

verse

The Tempest — an Elegy

by Kent Theaker

(written after attending a performance of The Tempest)


The world in being is glass-encased
A parcel fine, of lampfires infinite
It holds and frees its inmates — us —
To breast its timbers, yet to be forever
Tethered to its mud-kept pegs.

What is the forever we plight and pray to,
War against, and wait on as indentured slaves?
The price is high: the catalyst to all
Our schemes — the call to seed, contend,
And time our weather to the tides —
Is withering as we reach.

Be this known:
The hour to meet perfection
Is extinguished, tabled, rung its bell.
No mercy, musing, myriads can dispel
What is for several ages dead and gone.
We shall seal this book
Before we cast it to the blind seas.
Unadorned shall our masses be,
Our litanies of scorn to modern life
Postulated to naught.

Forgotten, seated to the table of surrender,
Is the reasonable man
Who, knowing what he is, understands
His place: to dream then die.
But whilst he lives to lift a reverent eye
To the maker of Alchemies.
Magic lost is a knot untied.
You cannot will it otherwise
Or slide between the secret panels
However much your heart impels it so.

The books are sunken, friends.
There is no frigate bound for friendlier climes.
To lose this jail is to lose
The corridor of our deepest hopes,
Yet look on lightshows ere you slip away.
A brace of sunlight and its echo fiery stars
Will print upon your mind, your inner eye,
The map to magic/life half-grasped
Before our rounding and unfathomed sleeps