The Sleeping Gypsy

The Sleeping Gypsy


Some say my full face makes men mad,

I say bad men need no excuse to be bad.

It is my inconstancy that some mistrust

But I can’t be blamed, I just

Continue to wax and wane and watch by night

To see what goes on by my light.

For example, I wonder what is happening here

It all seems rather queer

A strange striped person sleeps on the desert sand

A curtain round her head a walking stick in her hand

And on the ground a mandolin and an empty vase;

And one more thing under the six lonely stars

A curious lion sniffing round her head

Is she asleep or just ‘playing dead’?



You may be wondering why

I am lying on the ground

Under a desert moon

With a mad-eyed lion standing over me,

Well so am I.

The evening started so well

All in jovial mood

The drink flowing freely, too freely;

The last thing I remember was something about a walking stick.

They say if you lie still and ‘play dead’

It’ll go away.

Or perhaps I’m just dreaming

And I’ll wake up in my own bed

And …. what the hell am I doing with a mandolin

And an empty vase?



King of the beasts!

I look more like a demonic sheep.

Look at my mane

It’s growing the wrong way   

It looks like I’ve stuck my head through a bale of hay.

And my tail never sticks out like this

With something odd growing on the end of it.

But worse than this indignity

There’s a weirdo asleep in front of me

And what’s with the mandolin and the vase?

They should be looking at me, I’m the star.

It’s an absolute nightmare, please let it be

That one of us is dreaming; the moon, the gypsy

or me.