David Lewis Paget
From A Blue Cloud - Poem by David Lewis Paget
From a blue cloud at the two o’clock
And out of the rain,
With a long step and a swift nod
The master came.
Swinging behind him a painted box
In an old and tattered bag,
He watched my eye on the mystery box
And sat on a damson rag.
Under the pleat of his purple cloak
Was the Queen of petty spades,
‘We’re off to the end of the rainbow, Jack
To the long, black end of days.’
Ducking the light of the morning star
We hid in a tulip bed,
But caught the beam in a bottle-jar
To light the way ahead.
The master took some tinsel foil
To shake on the fairy phlox,
He said: ‘You can have the Queen of Spades
Or the painted mystery box.’
I chose the Queen, who dredged a pit
To place the box within,
He tipped his hat with a weary nod,
‘I’m on my way again.’
Now often I notice the Queen of Spades
Look long and long at me,
With a sad smile, she whispers on:
‘Oh what, and what might we? ’
While I still watch for the blue cloud
And the two o’clock bus,
In hopes that he and the mystery box….
He never does!
12 September 1983
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