Boardwalk Fortune Teller
Borne up by priestly hands beyond the dark
The clean oblation of the harvest moon
Draws no heart to it. Here the brute is stark,
Full-rationed on the rich, barbaric tune
Of jangling carousels, cheap bawdy shows,
Horrors in waxwork, snuffling furtive lust
Along the darkened sands. Yet still he knows
Enduring hunger, and a stronger thrust:
This child, this frightened huddler by the fire,
This prattler in the sun, this fool who mars
The beauty he may never understand,
Stirred by an old, implacable desire,
Traces a destiny in the lonely stars.
And fortune on the parchment of his hand.
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“Walk circumspectly, and redeem the time
Because the days are evil,” said Saint Paul.
Many of Vanauken’s poems are reminiscent of Browning, Donne, the early Charles Williams, and others, in style, tone, and theme.
The chain that’s fixed to the throne of Jove,
One link dissolved, the whole creation…