The King and the Clown

This time, the King bowed to the crowd
And told them stories of fictional heroes
Of battles fought with the gods
The glorious fictions were beautiful
The horses were flying! No—the men were flying horses!
The exploits of ancient warrior-centaurs gripped the crowd
Then tiny fairies winged their infinitesimal paths
Fixing what the horsemen destroyed
Before the destruction was tallied, it vanished!
As if no battle was fought
As if gods and centaurs never grappled hugely
The King framed his tales in beauty
Standing onstage and seen by young and old
Barking some words powerfully, whispering others softly
Becoming a cast of characters
One moment the handsome hero
The next a filthy beggar
Rapt, the children followed his movements
And the women leaned closer every time he praised them
In those moments, the King spun beautiful words his Kingdom wanted to hear
But then it was over
The man’s creation ended
The curtains closed
Backstage, the King took off his crown
And dressed as a clown and went forth again
When he and his monkeys performed playful tricks
The crowd regathered
Among them, only one child noticed
The king had only been a clown

(written by me, Dec 2009)