Which Lion Vile

Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
But wonder on, ‘til truth make all things plain.
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V, Scene 1

how many, how much of
life has dissolved while you,
in your Place of Honour, kept
silent, she asked.

Wall said nothing.

is this… no, T H I S, she
pointed, is this the first
moon, the blue one,
the one i told you
Not to Miss.  or is it the
other – the yellow – no – the
tansy one, the tansy one with
its amber faults that will not
rise again for lifetimes upon
lifetimes upon lifetimes.

Still Wall was silent.

she flipped a page
now this one i
Know, this one i
Named.  i named it
before you even
considered Names,
before there was ever
any… … …
what comes before

Before dreams there is colour,
Wall spoke.
Primarily Primary Colour.

she said,
yes, i can see that,
she said.
for there was no
she said.
there was no
she said.
there was no
she said.
before You.
she said.

Now you are grown Maudlin,
whispered Wall with a flake.
Unworthy, Unbecoming.

Yes, she said.  Well – not
that this is an excuse — but
does come from living
with, surrounded and upheld
by, the Alice Blue marble of your
cold, straight back;
does come from languishing
in,  engulfed and entombed
by, the Blanched Almond Bisque of your
unyielding, flint arms.  from living in
arches and holes, branches and water,  with
snake-railed deer and Bradbury mushrooms,
with never a shelter of

Wall said nothing.

do you remember, she asked
after a moment.   do you remember
when first you saw me?

No, answered Wall without
pause.  I do not remember.
I do not remember, because there was
without you in it.

Oh my, she laughed.  sometimes i
forget,  if you can imagine, just how
clever you are.

Wall cracked quietly near the roof.

she said.
i remember.
i was Black and White.
Noir et Blanc.
but i knew enough of
to be afraid, to be truly
afraid, of your mirrored
gaze.  the one that went
through me, all the way to

Warnings were posted, reminded Wall.

yes, she said, pointing.  there first, then
there, and finally There – the Brilliant
Pink one with the Brick Red teeth.

You chose to ignore them, reminded Wall.

and you chose to let me, she nodded.

Wall said nothing, though his chink
a bit.

there was a long pause
then she said,
do you know, that when you
enter, if you enter, a maze,
you should keep your
left hand on the
left wall, on the
Left wall without
ever letting go.
if you do that, you will,
eventually, come to safety.
but only
you never let go

of Me, Wall said.

yes, she sighed.
of you.
which is all green and
good.  if you enjoy a

Wall was silent.  As only
a Mechanical can be.

she turned another
page.  Never let them
say, she said.  Never
let them say there is no
colour in Hell.  Never let
them say, she said.  There is
only Red.  Never let them say,
she said.  There is only heat.
There is Cold in Hell.
There is Cold in Hell.
and it is
of colour.

Wall began to weep, water
seeping from his corners.

all our life, she said,
You have been tired.

and selfish

and determined to
save, determined to
care for, everyone;
but me.

Not true! cried Wall.
Not true, not true, not true…

she blew her nose.
oh well, she said, turning
back from Wall.  there
is also no
within the walls of
Hell; within the beautiful
Harlequin walls of

is there…?

©s rogers 15 january 2012