In folly's masquerade, they go —
I heave them high, to lay them low,
And break them on the merry wheel
Where they may pirouette and reel
On painted ponies, gray and brown;
I jerk them up, to cast them down.
Proud saddlers of humanity,
They raise a glass of vanity
In mirrors that extend the feast
Into the entrails of the Beast,
And only scent the brassy ring
To choke in chains, on cash and bling.
Wild pipes regale the carnival
On prairie fields, whose golden pall
Is staked to raise the crimson tent
Of chaos, where the veil is rent
By music like a knife of steam —
Calliope's last rigid scream.
I make them caper, leap and bound
To fury's screech, in envy's round,
And each baguette grabbed in the race
Wins them their own forked tail to chase
In darkness — though the hollow heart
Knows it will finish at the start.
My mercy oils the lamp of lands
Who neither soil nor strain their hands,
But bear the rat and magpie's creed —
A burden light as cattail seed —
Like lint into a furnace, blown
Where it may warm my frigid throne;
Like corn into a furnace, hurled
Where it may kindle all the world.
© 2008 by Ellin Anderson. All
rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied or used
in any way without written permission from the author.