The Emperor, Incomplete

November 2, 2014

So he began his journey to the clouds.
On a day for kite flying, he flew his kite.
On a day for whistling wind, he whistled.
His life was to be like an island in a storm-less sea,
Protected by the clay warriors buried in the sand,
He was to live a life of fragile inquiry. .
The Emperor could call out from anywhere
And expect a servant to know the answer to his questions.
How could he know the land would turn to mud?
How could know his eyes must remain in situ?
Snakes and lizards, frogs, mosquitoes, snails—
They were nothing but names to the Emperor right now.
All he wanted was to fly with the thunder clouds,
Among their lightning, their haloes, their hail.

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3 Responses to “The Emperor, Incomplete”

  1. John Looker Says:

    Hello Jim. I don’t know whether you will see this comment, but I’ve revisited your blog to reread — again — this particular poem. It is beautiful. Poignant too. One to be treasured. Warmest wishes to you, John.

  2. Anna Mark Says:

    I haven’t commented here in some time, but just wanted to say how intriguing it is to find ponds and toads, frogs in many of your poems, bees and gardens. And here is the storm-less sea, and the ground turning to mud far from those free flying clouds. I enjoyed this poem. Most powerful image for me: the eyes in situ.

  3. John Stevens Says:

    Glorious lines Jim! I find them simply thrilling. Best wishes from Singapore — John.


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