Kingdom Come And Go - Poem by Adam Holmes
Soothsayer says we are doomed. The gold, the greed, the disease warrant our ruin. Step lightly on snail shells, futures are just as fragile. It came to him in a dream.
Blacksmith pounds on the anvil. Fifteen hours pay buys a loaf of bread. The girl looks up to the blacksmith, but father, my belly wants for more. The blacksmith turns his head, sheds a tear. Don’t fear darling, one day the sun will start shining, your hunger will pass, soil will no longer stain your dress, and you will run and play in the grass.
The peasant wanders the streets, searching for scraps in the gutter. His walking cane pitters and patters on cobblestones. The plague took his leg, pity took his pride, but he has mastered the craft of existence. He lies in the alley, staring at stars burning not quite as bright. Never thinking, just starring.
The knight is sent to battle in the sands, miles away from his wife and child. What is he fighting for? Freedom? No. He has forgotten freedom. He fights for a crown. Day in day out, he wears his armor to battle. His arms are strong, but his heart is weak. He dreams for his home.
The king sits at the banquet feast. He is unsatisfied. The throne hurts his back, his wine is good but it’s not great, his crown’s lost its shine. “I will raise taxes”, He shouts to his noblemen. We are losing the war. We must send more knights. As for the soothsayer, he will be silenced at dawn. This kingdom has no place for daydreamers and cynics.
The townspeople gather round the courtyard. The guards walk the soothsayer to the gallows. His face is long, but his soul is smiling. Guard puts the rope around his neck. The king asks for last words. Soothsayer shuts his eyes, opens his mouth, the floor falls out.
Years pass by. The blacksmith collapsed in fatigue. His girl died of disease, and never got her pretty new dress. The knight was slain on red sand. The king died fat in his castle. The townspeople took back their gold and jewels. Greed soon killed them all too.
The peasant sits on the throne, all alone. A ruler of nothing, but a ruler nonetheless. His grin grows as the sun peeks through the window. Never thinking, just grinning. This kingdom has no place for daydreamers, thinkers, fighters, and schemers……… All hail the king.
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