The Imperfect Knight


I am a knight with a name in the air,
with arms that bear image of eagle
and comet, whose motto is cold as steel.

My weapons are obscure as moondust,
my lands are on the horizon of my skull.
In the palm of my hand I seek the grail.

I am of the order whose silence breathes
witchcraft unblemished in its own quiet.
My eyes are space, empty within my helmet.

I am the champion who combats in green mist
who cannot enter into tower or court
without feeling closed walls break me.

I am of the sash whose place is left vacant
at the last table, whose couch is unslept-on
whose voice is napped off by the receiver.

I am the shadow at the corner of the eye
and the distorted word. I cannot ask
a question because the answers barb too deep.

I am the knight everyone knows in passing
and keeps at a distance; too close I am blurred
because I am everyone bewitched by the mirror.

from 100 poems (Phoenix Press, 1992), © John Fairfax 1992, from a private recording, used by permission of the author's Estate.

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