Dumb Peyote
(From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

The leper knight erroneous has erred
Mistaking might for right he wrongly thought
That "errantry" meant any deed he dared

As long as others paid for what he wrought
No costs to him in any case accrued
Who robbed the future for the now he bought

An irresponsibility imbued
From childhood: early, middle-aged, and late
That never grew but only came unglued

When all his haughty hype dissolved in hate
Because the minds he lit on fire then burned
Consuming meals that no one ever ate

While others got the bill for what he earned:
Some lessons only stated, never learned

Connected to the teleprompter crawl
Some moving lines he labored to pronounce
But what began as boast became a bawl

For on his lies he feared the truth would pounce
If ever he acknowledged what all knew:
That any check he wrote would quickly bounce

As he had made deposits small and few
To fund his overdrawn Crusade account
Compared to princely sums that he withdrew

No actuaries told of an amount
Offsetting compound interest as it grew
A hemorrhage erupting in a fount

A punctured fiscal artery or two --
His lookouts on the stern cried: "Thar she blew!"

His rotting nose and ears and finger tips
Left him no way to smell and hear and feel
So with his face he launched a thousand slips

Forgetting only first to lay a keel
He swung a champagne bottle at some air
Thus christening his fantasies as real

While in the Hellish Land grief and despair
Resulted from the dreams of this rude runt
Who saw a darkened cloud and called it fair

Who tried to score but found he had to punt
He played at pope and captain from his pew
His life behind him, only less in front

No Starbuck, he wished only for a crew
Who did not fear the whales that wise men do

His white whale hunt produced white elephants
And albatrosses hung about his neck
Which even bought-and-paid-for sycophants

Described as nothing but a total wreck
Like Ishmael left floating on his box
Alone upon the waves a tiny speck

The witness shook his fist to curse the pox
That serving such a madman made his life
Adrift with only seabirds in their flocks

To hear his telling of the sorry strife
An audience up in the air above
Whose cries much like the whistle and the fife

Accompanied the lyrics telling of
A ship sunk by stupidity, not love

This Dumb Peyote, armadillo ass,
Set out to wrong all rights that ever were
And championed Medusa, maiden crass,

Who turned to stone whomever looked at her
While he with terror's windmills vainly strove
By catapulting propaganda slur

At any that took note of how he drove
The ship of state off course and onto rocks
As cronies drained the country's treasure trove

And cut their taxes; boosting up the stocks
Of his own self-selected VP pick:
A Search-and-Pinch-'em turning back the clocks

To tell a time of former torments sick
Before his basement shrine to Tricky Dick

Thus as the scrolling sounds too quickly sped
From right to left before his thoughtless gaze;
Through empty chambers nestled in his head;

The one who would command stared in a daze
At chicken hawks now coming home to roost
And rats deserting courses that he stays

From his collapsed Crusade he gets no boost
Yet in the bowels of a bunker crypt
A constipated comrade's colon loosed

And whispers of some slogan-schedules slipped
Leaked out to lubricate the greasy pole
With blood from all the victims they had gypped

Who in the hanging wish to play a role --
A little slop of horrors in their bowl

So Dumb Peyote, leper knight errant,
Tried playing captain Ahab, too, and more
But as he couldn't read, spoke only cant

That others wrote and which he only swore
While trying hard to play the common sort
Who didn't mean to be the crushing bore

Who every conversation will abort
Like landings turned into a fiery crash
Because he has but only one retort:

"I'll have my war; you pony up the cash!"
To which the opposition says: "Why, sure!
We'll gladly let you handle all the stash."

Thus ever leper knights spread their manure
From whose infection none have found a cure.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2006-2010