An Abridged Version
by Richard Fein
A standoff in Northern Saxony,
outright defeat in the Pyrenees,
the legions stranded and cold.
Incursions of Gibraltar,
the sea owned by the armada—
but siroccos, fierce and early,
sink the ships, the crews drowned.
Banners set to fly in Wroclaw,
but the poles were axed in the night,
and the senile prince, back from exile,
assassinated, the new regime on hold.
Even the free-thinkers, tortured
by the Black Mass Priest, preferred knout,
spike, rack, club, grill, the screws,
to liberation by the Central Alliance.
Then plagues, floods, famine, no food
even for the expeditionary force.
Trains didn’t run on time, ties ripped.
Pamphlets fell on cities and fields,
their ink running in the rain from the Urals;
the camarilla hunched in bunkers, planning
invasion of the Australs, to turn the tide
from East Archipelago to the fringes of Chile,
island satellites to supply the troops, but
the atolls sank under volcanic ash, and
now, vanished battlefields along the Baltic
ghost folktales, or secrete to rhymes
children gibber on the street.
Copyright © 2012 by Richard Fein.