This poem is the latest in an ongoing collaboration I have going with classical composer, David Arbury. It was created as a commission for the Six Degree Singers concert homage to the work and influence of Shakespeare. This is the fifth poem of mine Arbury has set to music so we are cooking with grease at this point, but trust me when I say we have only scratched the surface of the future alchemy to come.
In the navel of dawn the castle wakes.
The king is sleepwalking again across
a chessboard roof, charcoal shadows
and magenta clouds caught in his nightgown.
He always takes the same route. Up
the fire stairs snaking the tower’s side.
One hundred nights in bare feet. No one
has built a guard rail. One morning
his toes will miscount. He will step heel first
into the silence between blade and throat, pull
the bloodied night over his hips—a pair of velvet pants
with a drawstring and a tassel, swinging.