Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Friday, 16 September 2016

ON A PEDESTAL

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:
sharp-browed, stern-eyed,
tall, statuesque.

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.
 











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