Bardic Blues

A feasting hall bereft of hale and hearty revelers

A firepit whose cold gray stones stretch the space of unwelcoming

An aged harp whose oft-strummed strings stay still

Standing shadows

Silent sentries surround

This stubborn heart that deigns to beat

A witness

To the decaying trees

To hamlets leveled by disease

Somersaulting through the age

This stubborn, throbbing piece of meat

 

I pluck my hangnails now instead of strings

—Prepare yourselves for this vicissitude—

As I stand upon street corners and shout things

The hordes of foreign tourists deem me rude

 

Physicians say my reason is unglued

And fain they would keep me in sterile hall

I laugh and curse and spit and stomp and spew

For I do wield the power to enthrall

 

Awakened from my rest by harsh crow’s call

I spy the contours of a spacious valley

With staff and sack in hand, possessions all,

Towards that gleaming place I now do sally

 

My tears flow freely watching fair maids dally

 

A feasting hall ablaze with Good Folks’ cheer

A roaring pit with sizzling shanks to eat

My fingers deftly plucking notes from supple strings

While golden-voiced I sing of mysteries

Across the seas

 

Entire nations felled by disease

Polluted air from loss of trees

The whirling souls around us cry for rest

So says the stubborn heart within my breast

 

The doctors shake their heads and order tests

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