Lived there a Mad Poet,
in the apocryphal town of Aurintine.
Mystical were his ways,
Turbulent was the time.
None knows how he got bread,
there was no book he had not read;
Beginning from the dusk,
he wrote the whole night.
But none of his poems saw day’s light.
The yellow sheets he scribbled-
He tore all by dawn.
None knew what he wrote
None knew what he thought.
Grey robe and silver beard,
with lice kissing his long hair
When asked about his poems
He screeched – “Who cares! Who cares!“
But that doomed night-
when the moon was full,
and the tides were high;
They say the breeze fluttered
his sheets to the streets.
By noon the copies were a wildfire
“The Ballad of Eccentric Emperor” was known to all tiers-
The soldiers to beggars,
The hippies to shepherds.
The poem was mean but true.
About the larcenies, the emperor brewed,
his toothless laws and betrayal of trust,
of deceit, injustice and treacherous lust.
Vested in chains,
For sedition, the poet was accused.
In an open court of the Emperor,
the tribunal communed.
“Do ye, Biradello- Own this Poem?” asked the judge.
This brought the poet in a theatrical nudge.
“Nay, Nay Nay!! My benevolent Emperor Nay!!
Ye so kind, so benign
With charms visible to the blind,
Titillating tales I write of the gyrating waitress,
Dare I jot you down with hatred.
“I penned it though,
A clumsy rodent, filthier than bovine!
A little mercy I beg thee,
in lieu of truth divine;
Mad me might be- with my senses gone bane,
Not my wit- but the Ink drove me insane.
Your Lordship! would ye believe?
Our Inks have become wines.
The enemy has intoxicated our ink brines
My fetish to smell inkpot before I snooze-
That was when Devil had my noose,
All the hell your lordship-
Hence began to lose.”
The Poet was jailed
and the case was closed.
A new Legislation
but was disclosed.
“Masses need no more poems and pens
So, ink and pens are banned until Emperor behests.“
Hence began a national campaign,
to spill all ink and trash each pen;
the drains, lanes and every single track,
became Red, Blue and pitch Black.
Already infuriated, public was raged.
The decree was the last among the straws,
Even Draco is said to have made better laws.
All regiments rebelled; the senate was stalled.
Emperor Bogo was dethroned,
and his Citadel was mauled.
A bloody coupe but what a coupe it was!
Years later when the Biradello died,
His Epitaph had his second and last known poem inscribed.
“ Nay Ink, Nay Poet, Nay Pen!
The Ownership of a Poem belongs To Children, Women and Men.
To those who read, To those who dream, to those who aspire,
to those who topple the Eccentric Emperor’s Empire…..” .
Papermate is just another face from the maddening crowd.
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