Now as the internet
Trickles through your fingers
You are written as you write   –
All desires known?
Between instinct and design
The web will weave your web

Meanwhile the notebook of Marcus
Aurelius lent to a friend who lent it
To a friend who lent it forward…
To a publishers’ promotional campaign
Who aggrandized all its jottings with the title   –
‘Meditations’   –
They were following a fad
Which eventually ‘went viral’

The original inscription reads:
‘How Do I Get Out of This Mess?’  
Written by a man on manoeuvres   –
One who turns from sight of blood
Inclined to pardon enemies
Generous to friends
Who turn and sabotage his reputation

Who sits in the Senate taken for granted   –
In two thousand years
A decadent Empire now in need
Hails him as an ‘overnight sensation’

If you find this book
Please do not return it to the Forum
Instead   –   and in accordance with his duties   –

A flooded rat-infested trench in Gaul
A bivouac beside Germanic Danube
A carpet under canvas in Sahara




Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer






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