“The Man Who Taught Blake Painting in His Dreams”
is still around somewhere. Survived the smoke
and fires, the footsteps melting into stone,
the city dark within its haze of time.
Endured, somehow, that face both epicene
and bold with innocence, though now withdrawn,
diminished, paled like some further star
to sit behind a stall near London Bridge.
Yet lasted, since for painting lessons Blake
in turn taught him to sing, and in those dreams
they labored over angels, burning tigers,
bade their host prophetic spears cast down
and joyously to praise the Lamb—
themselves still dreaming, charmed outside their dream.
Blake sailed away, for on each cobblestone
or casement glimmered visions of that realm,
and madly through the streets he danced and sang.
The man who taught him painting in his dreams
was left alone.
Around him coiled the smoke
he watches through today, from park bench, pub,
or moving bus: listening for that strain
alone empowered to dream him back again.