The Palace, Burning

1.
I came to the Palace.

One of the force
who run the Palace
stepped to me, asked me
to halt.

One of the lackeys 
who haunt the Palace
stepped to me, asked me
to dance.

One of the underlings
who manage the Palace
stepped to me, asked me
to cuddle.

One of the bureaucrats
who finance the Palace
stepped to me, asked me
to pay.

One of the royals
who decorate the Palace
stepped to me, asked me
my name.

The monarch
for whom they built the Palace
stepped to me, asked me
for a light,

then tossed the match into
the debris on the floor of the Palace,
stepped away from the instant blaze, asked me
to cheer as it burned.

2.
I am in flames, as is the Palace, each of us
burning unremarked like a stick
being held in a campfire
by a child who doesn’t know 
the potential disasters hidden
under the red cherry of its flaming tip.

I am here, I cry out, I am here
and burning and the Palace 
roars in time with me as it burns;
no one’s coming, we look up
to the sky-God we’ve both believed in
to drown the heat and are left wanting.

3.
In the flames I think I see the Palace
struggle to rise to its full height
from its knees.

4.
Does this Palace truly labor to breathe,
as my hope and eyes labor to convince me,
or is that slothful thinking?
Is the Palace human at heart or 
merely a structure of human heart
that keeps moving 
merely to battle inertia
or in fact does it not move at all
and all the hope I have
for it rising from its ashes
is misplaced?

5.
Someone who helped to build the Palace
steps to me and asks me
to stand aside
as it burns.

Someone whose land was taken for the Palace
steps to me and asks me 
to stand aside
as it burns.

Someone who was never allowed into the Palace
steps to me and asks me
to stand outside

and let it burn.

6.
In the distance,
the Palace is burning.
Those of us
who burned with it once
but escaped
sit in the dark

and watch it go.

It was just a thing we built once
upon a time.

Let it burn.
Let us burn as well if we must.
We can always build another thing,

or our children can
if we find we can never stop
smoldering.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: