The Tanist (On a painting by Nick Simington)

Deputizing for yourself
The figures are not dangerously active.
Can never play the stock-market;
Hunt for lost treasures or race motor cars.
They are examined by negative surroundings
Their strength the customs of destiny,
Whose attendance is the colour of earth.
They work their own fate
Damaged by your hands
Into uniforms of being.
Who will buy inflections?
Some weary Hero of the Arts tired of the gloss?
A Mendicant stalling for time?
Or cynical investors, who will cover this apparition
                        with speculations and cloth?

undated