Inspired by old “fancy rooms” with a touch of morbid romanticism.
It should be noted here that this, like many of my rhymes, is designed to convey a feeling, but not necessarily a feeling with which I agree. When I read what I wrote here I think to myself, “oh you silly author, how could you get caught in this false dichotomy?” But then I am the author, and it is the feel, not the logic, about which I am writing.
The room is quite glorious, crimson and gold
With tea-sets of silver and paintings most old.
It speaks of the wealth and refinement of yore
With intricate carvings and Mahogany doors.
To be there you feel that you must act with grace,
To rise when folk enter and honor the place
By speaking of topics that “proper folk” know
Like Claire’s silken ball-gown and horse-sleighs in snow.
But somewhere inside you you know that this place
Is made to disguise, with its polished gold “grace”,
The work of the slave class, the toil of a world
Where armies are fighting with banners unfurled.
That handsome young captain who graces the room?
He just sent the sons of your “staff” to their doom
While safe in his tower, he moved them like pawns
That you might recline with your tea, scones, and prawns.
The butler invisibly freshens your glass.
A tale is told that’s a tiny bit crass.
Now people are laughing as Mary relates
How her sister was tricked into buying cheep plates.
You move to the window and see there a wall;
It’s white-washed and gardened, but still strong and tall.
You see in your mind frightened town-folk and sheep
All crowding inside of this curtain-walled keep.
The vision unfolds with a desperate clan
Assaulting the fortress however they can.
You know they are slaves driven on by their lord
But still you must shoot on the poor frightened horde
For if you do not they will steal all the sheep
And people will starve if the winter is deep.
So you rally your own slaves to shoot on their neighbors
And hope that they soon can return to their labors.
The host now is speaking, he calls for a toast
and gives the young captain a second-hand boast.
You raise up your glass to him, sip the sweet gall
And wonder if there’s an escape from the Fall.
The mansions have captains, the farmers have knives,
And each seem essential to preserve their own lives.
This crimson-gold opulence, this happiest lie:
If we put it aside, are we all doomed to die?