The Sage (Verse Xii, The Dark Lord)
In machiavellian manner with malicious intent
by Warren Atherton
The Dark Lord surveyed the scene.
He’d watched in a fury, his demon hell-sent
Had but failed in what now should have been
The death of the Sage in that underground pit
And his victory almost secure,
But instead of near glory, humility hit
Like a rotting and festering sore.
He stood by the window, glared out at the night
In a mood that was blacker than coal,
Then threw off his cloak at the maddening sight
Of the thing that denied him his goal.
The demon now hung from his own castle gate
Where the crows scored the eyes from its’ head,
To remind and to warn those who prevaricate
Would most fervently wish they were dead!
A squamate obscenity entered his vault
And instinctively fell to the floor.
With not even a glance the Dark Lord threw the fault
At the beast, as he silently swore.
“You failed in your mission, you pitiful wretch,
The vile equus Dominicus flees!
Ten thousand-strong army and all you need fetch
Was the Sage to my feet on his knees!
That pathetic monstrosity hung on my gate
Under your jurisdiction has failed.
I should skin you alive you grotesque reprobate
With the rest of you slowly impaled.
Were it not for your show of reverence to me
I’d have no hesitation at all.
Now get up off the floor or my wrath you will see,
I’ve another plan nothing can stall.
The Dark Lord sat down on an ornate high chair
That he’d dubbed as his ‘Immoral Throne’.
It had arms carved of snakes and a single eye stared
From a back made of charred human bone”.
The creature rose up from the floor to its’ knees
And with lowered head started to speak,
“Please forgive me Great Master, I’m shamed to displease,
I placed trust in a cowardly freak.
But my judgement was clouded, I loathe to admit
For I haven’t had sleep in an age.
To the East, West and South our great armies now sit
And wait word on our Master's next stage”.
The Dark Lord stared hard, then a thin smile appeared,
This subservience suited him well.
“At least you got that right”, he purposely jeered,
“Now get up or I’ll flirt you to Hell!
Consume these right now and you’ll tire no more”
And he placed three live beetles to hand.
The creature ate nervously, never quite sure
If his Lords’ good intention would stand.
He knew from experience not to assume
Where the Dark Lord himself was concerned.
He’d pledged his life-service in this very room,
Now immortal, forever interned
To a ruler whose tyranny knew of no bounds,
Showing cruelty none could surpass.
And any who stand, most now dead, he still hounds
Like a hare to a burrowed impasse.