Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Experiment 6

The Kingdom Of Cards

page 6

The Kingdom Of Cards

I used to build card castles on the floor
and tried all sorts of tricks to make them stand -
by nicking cards minutely at the corner
and bending them concavely in my hand;
but I would shake or, if my nerves were sterner,
some ghost would blow cold breath beneath the door.

The card-folk fell at random in collapse,
some face-upwards, others out of sight,
kings and queens strait-jacketed in ermine
and surely mad - as you could see from such tight
twisted smiles and enigmatic undiscerning
eyes that spied you sideways, cunning, or perhaps

did not see you at all. The fall itself was
no great pity; what really spoilt the game
was how these gracious monarchs never deigned
to come alive whilst I was there, never came
outside to find they had a subject, one enchained
by law for love of them and for their secret cause.