Ozymandias in the City
Great blind eyes stare out
From centuries, no, millennia past,
Smooth blank orbs that show
Little or nothing of the man
But everything of the god-king
Who ruled like no-one else.
Full lips that have never opened
And never will, now, nor
Speak the secrets of the ages
Lost now in the sands of time.
A fragment this is, though vast
Enough to crush us all with ease
If toppled from its plinth.
Cracks show, crevices where time
Has not been kind, or, more likely,
Workmen have been careless
And have dropped this colossal thing
That gazes now, implacable,
Over not the shimmering temples
Nor the changeable Nile,
But merely an army of tourists,
The curious and the idle,
Here to get out of the rain.
British Museum September 15th 2017