Last one out, turn off the lights

Some months had passed

Since Alaric the Brown had stormed the gates

Of the Mighty Cosmopolis of Auk,

Burning and Thrashing and Laying Waste.

Now Alaric wandered his vast estates

As the passion and fire of battle faded into memory

And brooded on the weighty responsibilities of State:

For the Barbarian Conqueror had become King.

He felt his potency and fearsome powers ebb away,

Not through brutal trial by combat,

Yet by suffering a thousand paper cuts

As courtiers and scribes and consultants hounded him

With contradictory reports and memos.

Lo, his communications team advised Alaric most strongly

To rule in the manner of a Civilised King:

But what does a Barbarian Warrior care

For the fine words and perfumed sentiments of the City?

Alaric grudgingly invited carefully selected Stakeholders

To a small windowless Chamber in the Palace,

But unable to restrain his foul temper,

He lashed out in fury at the disagreeable Senators

Who refused to sell off the Gold Statues of Auk:

For what Barbarian Chieftain can tolerate

Such brazen challenge to his Absolute Power?

The Selected Stakeholders watched in mystification

as he sneered at Lady Viv, the Merchant’s Envoy.

Outside in the extreme weather, the banished Scribes

Dripped and plotted revenge for their exclusion.

All the time, the rising waters lapped

Around potholed roads clogged with rush hour chariots,

And the Raiders of Ram marauded gleefully

Along the boulevards of the City of Auk,

Which no King has ever managed to sort out

Not even the Mighty Barbarian Lord, Alaric the Brown.

Victor Billot has previously felt moved to write Odes to such luminaries as  the Baron, Christopher Luxon and the leader of the National Party.

Leave a comment