Der Bettler von Prachatice, Conrad Felixmüller, 1924
(Inspired by a colleague’s absorption in marking exam papers)
In London city there is a Speakers' Corner
where the sage and the bold can air their views
on fleets of words that vanquish monarchs,
MPs, and every dandy that drools,
reducing crowns, scepters and badges
to faceless coins which history spews.
In Latakia city there is the Still Corner,
where a brown-haired man with an oriental hue
sits on a wooden throne defying the furies
of his aching back's monsoons,
marking the gibberish of Gog and Magog
with a fountain pen that red exudes,
mysteriously enveloped in the fogs of cigarettes
that incessantly weave a Dickensian gloom,
absorbed in monitoring the mass-graves of preps
and the crucifixions of verbs so badly groomed,
a halo arching over his pen,
a covenant that some would be spared his doom.
Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her writing has appeared in multiple venues including Impspired Magazine and The Ink Pantry.