Hail the Prince: Coronation Day, January 20, 2021

In the light of the dawn of a bright new day,
Comes the elderly prince (an ex-privy councillor).
He can just barely lift his sword halfway,
Though he’s hailed as if he’s the Savior.

Cheers from the burghers, shopmasters, nobility:
His men slew the dragon, braved its orange fire.
Everyone now expects peace and plenty.
They say God has smiled on kingdom and shire.

Yet starvlings wander the roads and the forest;
At night they sleep fitfully in the icy cold.
The barons evict and the sheriffs arrest,
Driving the peasants from frozen fields.

A plague stalks the land, the dead piled in carts.
The nuns and monks nurse the sick in hostels;
There are too few medicinals, too little straw for pallets;
They drop from exhaustion and disease themselves.

The imperial armies cast tents everywhere:
They are always at siege, at war, and at plunder;
Their cruelties are legend (though this prince never cared);
With the dragon now slain, they will tear Earth asunder.

The wizened prince smiles. He waves his thin hand.
He stands on a sunny, bannered parapet.
We beg him, “Please hear us, see us, understand!”
Very soon we will learn he won’t do even that.

Roger Stoll lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has published articles, book reviews and political poetry in Black Agenda Report, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Internationalist 360, Jewschool, Marxism-Leninism Today, MintPress News, MRonline, New Verse News, Orinoco Tribune, Popular Resistance, Resumen Latinoamericano, San Francisco Examiner, and ZNet. Read other articles by Roger.