as the Moon rose and the hour grew late
the day help on a Coconut estate
raked up the dry leaves that fell dead from the Trees
which they burned in a pile by the lake
the Beetle King summoned his men,
and from the top of a Rhododendron stem:
'calling all volunteers!
who can carry back here
the Great Mystery that's lit once again?'
one Beetle emerged from the crowd
in a fashionable abdomen shroud:
'I'm a Professor, you see, that's no mystery to me...
I'll be back soon, successful and proud'
but when the Beetle Professor returned
he crawled on all six, as his wings had been burned
and described to the finest detail all he'd learned
but there was neither a light nor a heat in his words
the deeply dissatisfied King
climbed the same stem to announce the same thing
but his second appeal sought to sweeten the deal
with a silver Padparadscha ring
the Lieutenant stepped out from the line
as he lassoed his thorax with twine, thinking
'I'm stronger and braver,
I'll earn the Kin's favor, and
One day all he has will be mine!'
but for all the Lieutenant's conceit
he, too, returned singed and admitting defeat:
'I had no choice, please believe, but retreat...
it was as bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat!
it cracked like the thunder and bloodshot my eyes,
thought smothered with sticks it advanced undeterred
as it carelessly cast an ash cloud to the sky,
my Lord, like a flock of
d a r k, v a n i s h i n g b i r d s.'
the Beetle King slammed down his fist:
'why, your flowery description
is no better than his!
we sent for the Great Light and you bring us this??
we didn't ask what it seems like,
we asked what it IS!
O, His Majesty's hour at last has drawn nigh!'
the elegant Queen took her leave from his side and,
without understanding but without asking why
gathered their Kids to come bid their goodbyes
the father explained:
'you've been somewhat deceived...
you've all called me your dad,
but your True Dad's not me
no, I lay next to your mom
and your forms were conceived
but your Father is the Life within all that you see
He fills up the ponds as he empties the clouds,
holds without hands and speaks without sounds,
provides us with the Cow's waste and coconuts to eat
giving one that nice salt-taste and the other a sweet,
sends the black carriage the day Death shows its face
thinning our numbers with Kindness and Grace
and just as a Flower and its Fragrance are one
so must each of you and this Father become
now distribute my scepter, my crown and my throne
and all we've called "wealth" to the poor and alone...'
and, without further hesitation,
without looking back home
the King flew headlong into the blazing unknown!
and as the Smoke King curled higher and higher,
the troops, flying loops around the telephone wire, said:
'our Beloved's not dead,
but His Highness instead
has been utterly changed into Fire!!!'
(why not be utterly changed into Fire??)
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