The Burning King


There stood a King of Thoan, 
Who bade his subjects: “Burn!”,  
He lit the oil, and under him, 
His fate took a nasty turn. 
Up rose the flame ill-tempered,
Up rose the flame ill-bade,
The King of Thoan, was no more,
As he burned into the shade.
Gurgle did his tongue in mouth,
And bubble did his eyes,
He kindled like a waxen doll,
He smouldered in his cries.
Melt upon his brow the crown,
Of Father's ancient theft;
Broil and burn upon his skin,
Until stinking ash was left. 
Now the King no longer burns,
Nor do his subjects three;
He rests as ash in frigid tomb,
As it crumbles in the sea. 
Now the Thoan people, who
Rejoiced at wicked fate -
Curse the King - the burning sire,
As he rots in pieces eight.
Alas they laughed, unhearty,
For deep within the tomb,
The Burning King, he rose once more,
And cackled in the gloom.
Raise he did the Kingdom, and
His wretched subjects three;
In amber blaze he burned them all;
Then he sunk into the sea.

© copyright Eve Redwater 2011

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8 thoughts on “The Burning King

  1. Love the imagery, and always find a great interest in the imagery of fire specifically. Nice job, thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi hi! I am back and yes, I happen to grok this piece much much more then the previous two.

    I do wonder though if the reference to Thoan was just made up or you used with the precise nod to Philip Jose Farmer’s Thoan. If it was a nod to the later then the imagery in my mind’s eye, my initial sight so to speak, painted this mad old king of Incan decent gleefully ordering his men to gather from his realm, human lambs to be given to the flame. They finally rose up, he fell, but like any other good lord of evil, laid his once fertile land low with a curse.

    However, my mind as its want, wanders all over as I read the entire piece. The final imagery now is no longer a person but that one of Gaia’s most primal forces. Magma and pressure pushing up, then exploding and spent with lava lolling down the old king’s like a lazy tongue, gurgling away yet obviously dying. Or so the people of the land thought.

    Names sprang to mind. Tambora, Taupo, Aniachak, Pompeii (not even really is this league of mega eruptions but…hey, its famous!) Krakatau to name a few. Only this one was unknown, left unrecorded in history. Only few remember the wondrous lands that the old king overlooked. More then a few on hearing the name scoff it off as legend and myth. The old king had his revenge.
    Thus sank Atlantis.

    And yes, I know.
    My mind’s eye sees more then is really there does it not? 🙂

  3. Opps! Click post comment before proof reading / spell checking! HAVE to stop doing that. 🙂

    So please excuse the odd “is” when it should be “In” or other grammatical oddities.

    • You know what? I had no idea about Philip Jose Farmer’s “Thoan”! My mind completely made it up; kind of scary knowing theres something out there with the same name! I wonder where I got it from…

      Also, a lovely interpretation! I do like this “grokking”. 🙂

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