Alone is his pyjamas
After the sycophants
Are all in their beds
The dictator, silent
Examines his image
Wrinkles and lines
And soft-joweled planes
Surrounded by wealth
In the marbled rooms
Of a haunted palace
He did not inherit
But strives to display
To best advantage
For diplomatic reasons
Dreaming of leaner,
Before he became
A political prisoner
Trapped and tamed
By the violent success
Of his own actions
Magic and mystery, people do say
Cannot be ‘stood in a year and a day
For reason is hardly a weapon that’s fit
To dig a deep hole – reach the bottom of it.
So first you must study some musty old tomes,
Learn spells without cause, try to rattle the bones.
A sortilege-seeker next you will become
With the bang of a gong and a meditate-hum.
You’ll start to see spirits, and hear things at night.
Some voices bring comfort, yet others, a fright.
But never again will you fancy yourself
To be home all alone with the books on the shelf.
And if it’s a mastery that you would seek,
Hear ye this now, heed the warning I speak!
For Pandora, though ever a curious piece
Once open’d, found never again would know peace.
Her conjuror’s box, though enticing at first
Then took on the weight of a burden, a curse.
But knowledge is power, I hear you declaim,
Please listen, sit down while I try to explain.
Once started upon the path you would rush down
It will not be possible to turn around
So be very sure that you’ve made up your mind
Or you may not enjoy what it is that you find.