Through a city of broken glass and fool’s gold,
bankrupt businesses and busker’s songs
the call of a huntsman’s horn
resounds, shaking derelict shops and halls.
Rumours of a lost king’s
return are whispered in voices
of fear and awe. Through voices
comes the sound of golden
bells, a white horse fit for a king
ridden by a blindfolded girl singing folk songs
leads a procession past the old town hall,
garlanded, ribboned and horned
to the bang of a drum, pipe and horn.
Giants strut on stilts, jugglers toss clubs and diabolos. Voices
of votaries sing meadows from beneath shops and halls
with mist-soaked marshlands where golden
lanterns dance to reed-thin songs,
which echo through the king’s
underworld catacombs. On a green hill the king’s
palace appears from mist at the blast of a horn.
Its glass walls are sculptured from song.
Its beasts and wights from many voices
are etched and cast in the sun’s glowing gold.
The procession disappears into its hall
followed by the city’s people. In the banqueting hall
midst riotous colours and wild revels the king
holds rule from a shining throne of gold,
a chaos of mist with huntsman’s horns,
surrounded by whispering winds and long-dead voices.
Offering mead and exquisite viand he bids them join his songs;
songs of the hunt’s wilderness and madness. In the hall’s
mirrors all the peoples’ reflections unite like voices. To each the king
raises his horn. Then they vanish with the glass castle like faerie gold.