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my mirror now reflects the sky

in sunlight it’s a dancing dazzle


formerly it looked on walls inside my room

a still life stiflingly domestic

focussed claustrophobically


I probed the nature of my mirror

holding a smaller mirror up to it

I hoped to penetrate its secret depths


it revealed only the little mirror & myself

echoed & echoed

down a vista of diminishing reflections

regressing infinitely inwards

as far as a I could see

my original mirror was empty of all

but everything that happened to meet its eye


it must have had a surfeit of my face

day in day out I questioned it

who is the fairest


expressing no opinion on the matter

incapable of telling lies

my mirror stayed silently non-committal

closed-circuit T.V. with the sound turned off

it merely mimed my moving lips

raised an eyebrow just like mine

or presented the well-known profile for inspection


too drily deadpan for a Hall of Mirrors

its portraits weren’t caricatures

its duty not to distort the truth


it was perfect at impersonating

everyone it scrutinized

a versatile master of disguises

a veritable Proteus


but most of all it specialised in me

it held the phases of my face

briefly in its oval frame

evolving instant likenesses

never twice the same


sometimes I felt flattered

but it couldn’t hide the facts from me


I watched it watching me grow older

sketching in lines on the face that it faced

a gloomy prospect

which had I been a mirror

would have caused me to reflect

on the transience of phenomena

the metamorphosis of form

& underlying emptiness behind appearance


even my mirror was showing signs of strain

it had lost that playful gleam in its eye

got dustier daily

lacked lustre

it looked as if it needed a good cry

left any longer it might have cracked up


that’s why I decided to move my mirror

it deserved a change of scene


now I’ve polished it

it sparkles

its silvered surface is a joy to look at


I imagine my mirror is much happier

with such an open view in front of it

the outside world beyond the window

offers it new images over & over

birds fly past & soar & swoop

& loop the loop to entertain it

it follows developments in the weather

the colourful procession of the seasons


yet despite these fresh distractions

still it finds time to return my gaze

as faithfully as ever now & then

I think it must be sick of the sight of me


it’s like the pool Narcissus went to drink at

I’m vain like him but half the time I hate myself

I am jealous of my mirror’s promiscuity

it’s seeing others


it never sleeps or shuts its eye

it’s greedy for visual stimuli


it takes things in from every angle

& generously gives back as much

one couldn’t ask more of a mirror


the way I talk about it

my mirror seems anthropomorphic

a real personality

it’s all in the mind apparently

I think a lot of my mirror


I know it’s quit inanimate

a passive object

made by a man to reflect his image


& of course it’s not conscious of being a mirror

thought would cloud it’s clarity

self-reflection leave less room for observation


thinking I–reflect-therefore-I-am

isn’t in my mirror’s scope

I’m sure it doesn’t doubt itself

nor need to prove its own existence

it has no reason to


it’s simply an ordinary mirror

doesn’t feel any self-importance

has no ambitions to be other than it is

my mirror doesn’t have to try to mirror me

by mirroring it manifests itself


I’d probably be better off if I were mirror-like

reflecting sky et cetera

in sunshine I would scintillate

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"like a mirror that distorts....."

(Some) Modern Art

Song of Myself

Snow White

Grim Fairy Tale

Golden Mirror


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