The King’s Return

Cool air stirs the moments
As I gaze upon my kingdom,
These twisted bits of flesh
And bone and promise.
How many have I failed
With these worthless thumbs
And fingers, misapplied in
Grinding out trinkets?
That I might earn a smile?
Or a pat on the back?
And a few well-placed nuggets
Of careful praised?
Yet even in my despair
I slip closer to the fire,
Hopeful that this time
It’s really me they want,
Not the tortured words
Or infrequent melodies
That I often exchange
For a little human dignity.
Not the ancient images
That I cling to at night,
Hiding from the glare
Of hateful self-awareness,
Fearful of discovery,
This gnawing, aching void,
Where they may uncover
That it’s really only me.
There’s no grand thinker.
No spinner of sweet melodies.
No singer of grand tales
Of misadventure.
No artist full of images
Or hot, naked ambition,
But a man… an aging man,
Even closer to the end.
What I would give to be
The man they often see
When they view scribbled
Words and wayward rhythms,
That I might lift up
My chalice of doubt,
And for a moment, truly,
BE the grand man.
Even now the words fail.
And my old joints ache.
I bemoan today and I
Will tomorrow, for
Nowhere in the breezes
Do I find the young lion
The once roared at the
World his defiance.
So I will recede, and,
Go back to being human,
Even as they wait
For the king’s…
Triumphant return.

February 3, 2008
Saint Petersburg, FL

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