Chameleon (Only So Much You Can Do Before You Die)
Poem By Andrew Fincham
The Chameleon blinked as he entered the stage
(A popular act for an insecure age)
They applauded him on from the roof to the floor
(a recent review had been almost a page) .
He stood in the spotlight, a dignified green
The colour god made him – or so it would seem
The audience hushed for they knew what’s in store:
The master of image – the changeling supreme.
He smiled at the gallery, bowed to the stalls
Took in with a grin those that stood by the wall
He managed a wink for the girl by the door
It was not the first time that he’d played in this hall.
The silence was growing – the time was now right
For some fireworks (in colour) to light up the night
They needed some action – their lives were a bore
They’d paid just to sit there and drink in the sight.
The Chameleon stood there - he just didn’t move.
Always before there’d been something to prove
He suddenly didn’t know what it was for:
The crowd and its power, and forgetting to love.
They started to fidget, they started to shout
Throwing things of all colours that landed about
They hurled him abuse when they’d once called out ‘more! ’
And some in the cheap seats began to go out.
He felt for them, slightly. He’d not thought he’d dare
He’d hoped that they might not be quite so unfair
His heart knew he just wouldn’t do it no more
But somehow he’d hoped that some of them would care.
* * *
The chameleon looked at them straight in the eye
And turned into a butterfly.