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The Thing About Mysteries
[Portage, August 16, 2009]

I come to Shakespeare not as a scholar
Or doctor of letters seeking spotlights,
But as an aging scrivener nearing
Sixty six, two thirds of the devil’s sum,
Having read jarring allegations
Of the dead bard’s authorship yay or nay
My locus standi irrelevant here,
Sir, I come with serious interest
And my own two cents to offer, stated
Now: He wrote, I write, hereby claiming the
Clan kinship of the quill, we mark-makers,
Ink scratchers on vellum or yellow dog,
Re-fabricators of stories olden,
Curious over such pregnant silence
When Shags-per died slow at fifty two,
Alleged king of stage and queen, country
Lowborn and high, poet for a nation,
Said dead in Stratford with not one obit,
No word of his passing put to paper,
As if Stephen King died now and no one
Said a word, or Spielberg bought his last farm,
Following loudly anon not a word
Uttered even by his admirers.
How does the greatest of any age die
So unnoticed when lesser poets
Of the time were praised in prose and rhyme?
It seems a cone of silence descended
On the bed where our dearest Will lay dead,
His greatness and demise unremarked
Till a folio publishes many years
After he was interred in churchyard dirt
With a will leaving his suffering wife
Nothing more than his second-best bedstead,
Leaving us to gawp at some parallels
Surrounding Jesus and the mysteries
From his life’s many unknown youthful years,
Essentially unchronicled
While he lived and barely noted when
He died convicted by roman courts,
Both men, Jesus and Will, alive today
By superstitions alone
With evidence and no memories
Writ for half a century afterwards,
Both left in the state of tabula rasa
A clean slate in our lingo, letting us
Stipulate what we dare on facts or faith,
Plenty of room for fictions in both.

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