Bard at Bay is taking a short break, so KING OF THE HILL will be the last poem until online activity resumes in a couple of weeks.
“Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory” Henry Ward Beecher.
KING OF THE HILL
Stone hand upthrown,
he faces west:
Read the inscription at his feet:
A worthy man whose noble deeds
set him among the town’s elite ...
and yet, the epitaph misleads.
A robber-baron in his day,
then changed, by circumstance and luck,
to city elder, feet of clay
well hidden, so no thrown-mud stuck,
he ruled his little fiefdom well
and saw his enemies destroyed
without remorse. Who could foretell
that such a man, one so devoid
of gentleness, with traits like those,
would be immortalised in stone
and, in this hand-hewn granite pose,
transcend mere flesh and blood and bone
to stand now, haughty and austere
upon a lofty plinth that reads
An honest man in every sphere ...
A worthy man whose noble deeds ...
Such sentiments are seldom true:
all’s foolishness, a massive bluff.
Man needs to forge idols anew:
mere gods alone are not enough.