Saturday, September 21, 2013

poemwrig4 The Sleeper King

The Sleeper King

by Will Wright

Not Arthur or Ramses

Louis or Agustus

Hamarabi or Fredrick

Though each great and robustus

Not Alexander or Kublai

Or David with sling

Reigned as long or as far

As the great Sleeper King

Now Eduardo worked hard

And not for much pay

Sorting the mail

In Murphysville Bay

His lifestyle was frugal

With no family, no flash

So he had in the bank

A fair bit of cash

In choosing investments

Risk did not attract

At Dewey and Howe

He found this contract

This fund” said the broker

Is for your situation

It always pays one point

Over inflation”

It’s simple and stable

With no legal string”

That sets my mind easy”

Said the man to be king

Arriving at home

Hanging coat with his cap

He yawned and stretched out

For a short mid-day nap

He slept through the night

And the noise from the tram

And he slept right through breakfast

No biscuit, no jam

A no-show at work

And for bowling and beers

He missed every day

For ten thousand years

But Dewey and Howe

Each year in the Spring

Gave inflation plus one

Till Eduardo was king

For a percentage so tiny

When compounded will grow

From molehill to mountain

The kind covered with snow

For money is power

And power gets wealth

So our hero gained both

Doing nothing himself

When Eduardo awakened

Now what did he see?

They’d moved in a throne

And moved out his TV!

A man came in and bowed

I’m Howe 394

Dewey 386

Is right there by the door

Our firm has worked long

That percentage to bring

You own so much now

You’re the great sleeper king

You own continents and oceans

And planets and moons

From the greatest of rubies

To the smallest of spoons

Now we earn it through taxes

For you own all the lands

Taxing aglets and gumballs

And big rubber bands

We tax birth we tax death

We tax those that retire

We tax those that play tennis

Or just simply perspire

At first we taxed low

A third part seemed fine

But now our percent

Is ninety-nine point twelve nines”

The brokers sighed deeply

It’s no party, no fling

Yes, our jobs are quite taxing

Oh, great sleeper king”

Now Eduardo considered

This might be a dream

But his couch stood on emeralds

With gold thread through the seam

From mail handler to king

Was a largish promotion

He preferred something quiet

This was too much commotion

Bring jugglers cried Dewey

To rouse the king from his sleep

Bring singers and dancers

And a box that goes beep!

Now the juggler was good

Though he tended to babble

Eduardo kept thinking

He’d rather play scrabble

Then Howe announced

The bard Ivy would sing

A song written especially

For the great sleeper king

Ivy, though compact

Had a voice full and strong

And though the words sounded sweet

They claimed Eduardo was wrong

She sang of justice

Of a people made free

And she sang it so clearly

That Eduardo could see

The startled king shouted

I should never have hired

Either Dewey or Howe

You both are fired”

Look,” said the brokers

What the contracts require

We run your portfolio

Until you retire

Lie down, get some rest

The couch bugs won’t sting

We will manage the realm

You just be the king”

Eduardo, though king

Was unable to rule

The people were suffering

He felt like a fool

Power seems nice

Till you grab it by tail

Ruling worlds was more stressful

Than sorting the mail

There is one, thought Eduardo

Who could be a queen, true

She had wisdom and poise

A nice singing voice too

Abdication’s my choice

For my people now moan

If Ivy will take it

I will give up the throne”

Dewey just laughed

You still own everything

She’d just be a puppet

Of the great sleeper king”

But Ivy laughed back

Check your books and inquire

If abdicate might be

The same as retire

And the tax books say clearly

On the forty-fifth line

The retirement tax rate

Is 99 point twelve nines”

When they figured the numbers

The ex-king got to keep

His jewel-bedecked couch

And the box that goes beep

And Dewey and Howe

Their commission now due

Got two cumquats, a hairbrush

And a left footed shoe

Wise Ivy, now queen

The bards praise as they sing

And she plays scrabble each evening

With the retired sleeper king

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