Playing in the surf one day

Amongst the castles of my make

I glimpsed an old man, with cane in hand

Little birds trailing in his wake.

 

His robes were rich but rather worn

Tassels dragging at the base

His eyes were wrinkled in a laughing twinkle

A father's smile upon his face.

 

He ambled to my plot of sand

I came and sat down at his heels

A line with his cane he drew round my domain

His song now ready to reveal:

 

"Seeing your granular fortresses

Splintered and broken by the wind

I think of a parable, tis no more fable

That tells of perfection's sad end.

 

A king ruled in a great castle

Wherein court consisted of these-

A Lord of the land with Lady in hand

And His son the Prince of Peace.

 

The king denied them nothing

Except for his enchanted grail

It gave him long life and protected from strife

All the village, hill, and vale.

 

The Lord and Lady were chosen

To rule serf and creature all

Correct any flaw, enforce sovereign law

And centrally heed their King' s call.

 

But one day having communion

The Lady visited the Priest

Partook of the bread, sipped vintage red,

To put her soul at ease.

 

Now, the Priest was more pious

Than anyone in this holy land

And he did ask troubled, indeed most humble

"Can you have no food from the King's hand?"

 

"No good sir, you are mistaken,

Only from the grail must we abstain, "

She made reply, with innocent jade eyes,

"All else is our limitless game."

 

Now the Priest marked the emerald spark

And said with humble submission,

"Drink of this chalice, He'll have no malice;

You could rule with all his wisdom. "

 

Straight away to the Lord she went

And found him before wandr'ing long

Melodic her voice, and her words were choice

To bend his ear to her song.

 

She told how the Priest did advise

His heart to her mean plan to bind

Long he had longed to sup from that cup

So he quick became of like mind.

 

The day came when King was away

Their design ripe to proceed

They took to the brook, filled, then partook.

 Done was the immoral deed.

 

The king returned from pilgrimage

His heart was heavy weighing

He knew what ripe sin had mock-taunted his kin

 And called unto them saying:

 

"Where are you Lord and Lady

Where hides my beloved kin?

Loathed this day, now must you surely pay

For your most well-meant sin."

 

But came the Prince out of the Hall

To come and make amends:

"Hold them not in shame, I take on their blame;

Their punishment I attend."

 

The Lord and Lady banished

The heavens struck with thunder

And blood of man on crimson cross-guard ran

The castle rent asunder.

 

The prince did pay the fatal price

Of treason to a king

Auric chalice did build a saving shield

Upon him our new made stripes sting."

 

So sang the man, with birds, as one

As he slowly walked away

The fruition of youth destroyed by that fruit

On that once and fateful day.

 

Brandon Capps