Tag Archives: gambler

Down in December

Down in December

Down in December, the ground cold and hard,
alone at the table, the gambler plays his final card,
stands up, looks out the window,
nothing there but a black blur of distant trees.
His hand in his damp pocket, he fiddles for his keys.
Finds them, goes out, drives away in his car.
Only he knows where his home is and how far.

The worst rain he could remember
pelted on his windowpane,
took in the confusion from his newspaper,
the war between the unhinged and the sane.
He watched a documentary
on his upper eyelid screen,
the witness not the director,
had no control over any scene.

If youth is wasted on the young, he thought,
age is wasted on the old.
In all the songs that have been sung
not every truth is told.
He could work in a diamond mine
but not get much pay.
Precious stones may glint and shine
but they are hid away.
No, they are not for you,
he warned his fellows in his mind,
but the owners you never see.
Do not wonder why no one rebels,
you know there is no place to be free.
He had played croquet on summer lawns,
skied down winter slopes.
He never lost interest in the world
but never really learned the ropes.


The Vision of the Peacock

The Vision of the Peacock

The gambler in the aviary
watched a peacock spread its tail.
If he tried to paint such colours,
he knew that he would fail.

Later, he opened his wardrobe,
to find all his coats were frayed,
but was pleased with what he had won
with the last card he had played.

On Mississippi river boats,
in casinos late at night,
he had silently let all other players
think the laws of chance and luck
they had precariously got right,
until in the final moment,
he had made his secret move,
and for the first time he was noticed,
a winner with nothing left to prove.
He was still searching for that clock
that told another time,
and he knew everything would change
when he heard it chime.
And it would be for the better,
and not for the worse,
for those who won through treachery
would find things happen in reverse.

And the vision of the peacock,
the beauty of the colours in its tail,
told him that though his aim was high,
there was a chance he would not fail.

And he knew it all depended
on the hand that spun the wheel,
and the cards that he was given,
and what he wanted to make real.

The peacock in the aviary
taught him with its tail,
though high beauty had its mystery
towards it he could sail.