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Thursday, 4 April 2013
King Lear II : Or a study (short sketch) in
Czar of all can see...
but age is tiring you:
how welcome retirement would be!
So you shovel your crown,
your sceptre and throne
and the weight of the world
that goes with them all
on to your least favoured son --
in whom you have sown
all the wisdom and duty you've grown
in the years you've been king.
So was it the weight
or the greed in his heart
or the fact that he never did bloody well care,
that he turned from the way,
betrayed you and the faith
and acted the anti-Christ King?
Your life-style adviser advises retreat
to a cloistered place with a strict regime
in the wildest terrain you could wish,
but you take yourself off,
just you and your God
to the Desert of Hungry Souls.
And you live in a cave
and you don't wash or shave
but rail night and day at your God
and your prayers explode
in the language of filth
and there's nothing but you,
you finally see, in the world,
but the snake and the toad
you've befriended out here.
The world is a grand, empty place,
remote and extreme, and there's no way to guess
why the hell you have ended up here!
And was it the herb that you ate from the stream
or the storm that left you for dead,
or the bite from the snake
or the ice in your bed
or the loneliness rendered you mad?
Was it seeing yourself as the one soul alive
who is guilty, unable to put things right,
with only the gift to stand alone
and reject the easy and trite?
But you're making no sense that sane men would see,
blaming yourself for the ills of the world
as if you were God - and praying, I hear,
to the god of your dreams (who doesn't exist)
that your kids may be spared
a trauma like this.
Written for The Wednesday prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads where we were asked to write something on Existentialism which The Free Dictionary defines as A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.