The Mantid Waits

by Philip Quinlan

As patient as a sinner
and as green as I need be,
it is a cock-eyed sleep I sleep,
it is a sleep that speaks no tell—

I, all in all, do very well.

As mythical as magic,
with mathematical desires,
I interleave the age and instant,
and I weave my little spell—

and I believe I weave it well.

And, if my prayers are answered,
all the world will come to me,
and twitch and wriggle for a while
as each one wonders what befell—

I, in this one way, do quite well.

For I am taut and I am tuned
to the vibrations of the world,
I am the manticore made truth,
I am the toller of the bell—

and, on the whole, I toll it well.

Visit Philip Quinlan’s website at