The Mad King Returns

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

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