The Princely Path [poem]

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A certain foetus (who I cannot name)
has slithered down the birth canal of life
into the world today. And in no time at all
I guarantee will slither out the other way.

They come.
They go.
Whether royalty or paupers
they all play their tawdry bit parts
in this raucous
moving picture show.

So little time to make our soulful points
(though rarely do we realise until
the clock has struck its final chime and
solid matter from our soul disjoints).
But if we merely play the standard role
which we’ve been firstly given
(in other words we never step outside
the box in which we find we’re living)
cosmic cobwebs drape themselves
across our face as vision handcuffs
temporally blind us – take away the
magic twinkle from our rhyme dust
robot actors
going through the rusty motions
reading from a dog-eared script
a globeful garbled mass of hypocrites.

That so far and as yet unnamed
depiction of delight
inheritor of embryonic heights
receives today a printed script
which strips him of himself
and folds him in a drawer
or on a shelf or pigeonhole
confined by some unspoken laws
to play a dandy role and live
the playboy life in St. Moritz
while half-wit newsrag readers
gawp vicariously at his smiles
in photo-ops his style of shirt
and hope that at some barricade
the prince will flirt (while some
will idly dream that on his tank
they’ll ride into the setting sun
and happy-ever-after he will be
their One) with them, so handsome
will he be (despite the inbred
Hooray-Henry secrets tucked away
within the vaults of royal families).

The news I have for you today is that
there are no rightful princes anywhere
and happy-ever-after themes are flawed
because within this earth on which we tread
the only true reality’s the odour of decay.

We prove ourselves as princess or as prince
not by the bloody labyrinths of genealogy
but how we here conduct ourselves
in grace and charm – in fearlessness and
gallantry and valour in the face of harm
(though not on corpse-infested battlefields
invented by the greedy hearts of men)
and chivalry and courtliness and honour
(though not confined to military regiments).

So, drawing to a close, I ask a germane question:
What if that suckling palace-dwelling neonate
would someday somehow spurn the script
imposed on him and extricate his royal flesh
from chains then improvise his lines
instead of what a throne has preordained?

And if you think that question’s just for him…
it’s not. For in our eachly way we carve out
our own path, unloosed from dumb convention’s
tepid bath. For only then our trueway can begin.
© Alan Morrison, 2013

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