A burnout, a banker, day-weary dogwalker,
grimhanded pub bouncer, baleful postgraduate,
carefree café lurker, smirker, steeled street worker,
withering parliamentarian, yeoman farmer,
blessed photographer, basement dwelling denizen.
These but guises, thieves’ dull garb
skins on skins to hide us scarce shed unless
to change, to age, trade in for a shroud.
But the crowd calls, wants your title,
a label to frame you, a name for your being.
Your bone-house hobbies scarce compare,
This flesh-form withers, whether rich or poor,
the dust will eat you; will you dare
think beyond the masque, the maudlin theatre,
pride, piety, and pity perish with your fads.
What shall last then, beyond the crumbling skin?
What will you leave when all is ruin
Where be your trophies, where is the glory,
What brave fairy-story shall outlast you,
what dawns the day you rise no more?
An epitaph charade is a poor resolution.