GOLD OR GLORY

Me once: slumped in a deckchair out the back,
Reading a wholesome Reader’s Digest book
Which told the story of Heinrich Schliemann
Gazing upon the face of Agamemnon –
Only, he hadn’t; his discovery
Went further back than that.
                                                         My own history
Had its funeral mask – hardly gold, rather
The skin over the cheekbones of my father,
Not that his death was openly acknowledged:
Even a truth that’s glaring can be dodged.
My dig for it, careful and conscientious
(Unlike old Heinrich’s) unearthed only dross.

A snooze in the sun, by dint of alchemy,
Has made it shine, at least. A moment’s glory.



David Cameron is a Scottish poet, living in Ireland. In 2014 he received the Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry. His poems are collected in The Bright Tethers: Poems 1988-2016 (Rune Press). His published work also includes three books of fiction and the critical study, Samuel Beckett: The Middle and Later Years.


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