There’s an imp on my shoulder a child of the beast,
He’s been there for ages six decades at least.
He edges my keyboard, directs what I write,
He’s there every morning and travels my night.
He coaxes my appetites, flatters my pride,
He bends every truth so I never have lied.
Of course he’s a friend a companion of care,
And I know that I’d miss him if he wasn’t there.
We all have or daemons but he’s not quite that,
Though he dogs at my heels and he claws like a cat,
He make’s me feel better when things are askew,
And when I am breaking he’s there as my glue.
Some guardian angel, some seraph or saint,
They might well provide but not nearly as quaint,
It’s not that he’s evil, malign or perverse,
But still he invades every line and each verse.
With a crocodile’s bite and a striped hornets sting,
He gives to my writings their cynical ring,
No bells from a sanctuary tolling for peace,
Just caged angry tigers that roar for release.
When I barb my arrows and poison their tip,
He’s there at my crossbow releasing my grip,
A millstone some might say, but I can’t agree,
In loosing my arrows he’s setting me free.
Like an archer at Agincourt aimed for the heart,
I write words to bind or to sunder apart,
They may be my pleasure and earthly reward,
Or be my garrotte when they tighten the cord.
So what is this imp is he master or slave,
And will I have freedom this side of the grave,
When intellect perishes must he survive,
And is he my lifeblood while I am alive.
They say I’ve a soul for eternities round,
That something ethereal, mystic, profound,
God given and precious, immortal and bright,
And man’s only essence for deaths endless night.
But here is my imp and the essence of me,
Entire and intangible, furious, free,
Imprudent, incautious, irreverent, wise,
My lover, my child and the father of lies.