“Are you not a royal bard, a paid minstrel for our amusement?
How dare you come to the court without a new song, without
words to amuse us? You must be banished from court for your
utter lack of wit. Get out of our sights before your worthless
head rolls into the dirty streets like rotted, stinking cabbage.”

This pronouncement left the royal bard with both relief and
regret. How would he eat without his royal stipend? Who
would reward his stunning lack of creativity? Was he sentenced
into the villages of crass drunkards to don mask and costume?
Must he sell his pampered body in the debauched  taverns ?

This is his tale of woe. Dryness overtook him like the sudden-
sucking of desert air. He evaporated into a powder upon the
streets of peasantry. His shrunken head bobbed  to avert the
throwing of rotten tomatoes, blackend potatoes by peasants.
He had become what he had feared the most; discarded fodder.

He must now sink into the well within his belly without drowning; to 
retrieve the lost, sunken treasure of inspiration.  He must re-emerge
with gems and pearls of witty amusement for fleeting pleasure. He
must submerge himself  without succumbing to the madness that lies
next to such coveted treasure. He must survive the harsh upward swim.

After gasping for breath, he is, once again, alive with poetry & song.
Although, seemingly inspired, he is but a peacock-colored charlatan. 
What he now gives is not the true treasure of the soul, but carefully
crafted fool’s gold with a new-found species of pearl. There was
absolutely nothing within the recesses of his well. He is an invented, 

highly-paid actor. He has been paid well for his ruse. The court,
which is a brothel of bad taste, will never know the difference. He
eats, drinks merrily, having once more obtained favor;  a monkey

held by a thick, gold chain. Having found peasant life quite distasteful,
he now, shrewdly, spits out his teeth, pronouncing them as exotic pearls.

Alice Parris


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