The Duke


My titular duty is to myself;

I am the State of Mind; love of oneself

Is foundational and vocational

And found with books on every man’s shelf.


I am seeking an artwork so damned great

That its splendour will enthrall all I hate;

A Raphael or Michelangelo

Will suffice in the place of some hot bait.


A prisoner of my Grace, I need help

To overcome my vanity; a yelp

Pleading for such has been my vocation

And, I am huge into artful self-help.


At the salon we looked at each other

Followed by her sweet words as den mother,

Then she begged me to visit her for tea

And her voice was art enough to smother.


We go way back, she and I; we once caught

Haddock together at sea and we got

Caught sneaking bites of it fried one warm night;

She taught me to kiss and to own my spot.


’Tis nobler to have hungered with great care

Than to make and dine on a gilded prayer,

And, I am hungry; I wish to feast now

With panthers and to know their slanted stare.