I walk and I walk
A destination I cannot see;
I look and I search
A remnant does not exist.
I breathe in and then exhale
But the moments merely colour black;
I swat at the fragments of a redness
I don’t recognise my hand.
I wait and I wait
For the return of the king;
I recall the cheerful safety
Of what this place once beheld.
An empire so mad,
It was rules by the senses;
And blood so white
Silver painted pavements.
An empty throne awaits red cloth
But a ruler there is not;
Merely drunken and awakened songs
Melodies to adorn the air.
Perhaps permanent, maybe expendable
Footprints on sand,
Hooves on metal;
And the sound of a thousand drums
Welcoming the phantom.
Neither people would there be,
Nor sacrifices to be made
A lonesome king awaits the return.
It is not safe around here anymore
Only crimson paints the sand;
Yet sentencing a battlefield
To eventually come undone.
Unravelled in some madness
And stitching up a buttoned couple eyes;
A stare so fiery
It wouldn’t melt the ice.
And what a kingdom unrecognisable,
Merely ruins are all that is left;
An autumn flashes by
Bringing in a memory refreshed.
But all is covered dusty,
No finger will brush the paint
Coating the books of remembrance,
There will be no heir.
But may there be a ruler now sensible,
Not to lead divided armies?
Yet an unmaddened king would not seize this home
Merely clear-minded would care to hope.
The snow now is quiet,
Uniform getting wet;
From white or red
None would understand.
Metal armour will now rattle
Bewilderment at the cold ahead;
Empty are the threats now.
And after a winter or two
And a couple dozens of moon’s replaces
The soggy redness of a cloth
Returns to seize the chair.
But a throne is all that is left,
No soul to decorate the entrance;
None of victims welcome back
The maddened king at sight.
Every statue is now shattered,
Only shadows to befriend
And even the whitest of a blouse
Will not find them high.
What a kingdom there is now
Ruled by the clawing hand of sanity;
Not a civilian to be found
Looking for a tragedy.
But tragedy is not tradition
And a grave to a thousand in a castle;
Not a muscle to show affliction
Yet hope to suspend a gamble.
A home merely to a few
And some hundreds of troubled fates
Sealed and shut and promised
To be cut by thy three mistresses.
And will faith be enough,
Seeking the return of golden dust?
And a marvellous sight of heart
Awaits the king’s return.
A broken and beaten master,
Damaged beyond repair
A red cloth swings at shallows
Merely whispers to the air.
A mad king returns
To fix a new of thrones;
May the kingdom pay their pardons
To the whiter clock upstairs.
And a couple dozens of centuries of moons
Merely ashes will remain;
But may the red cloth adorn the sky
He promised us no pain.
The Mad King Returns © Michal Rotko