Poem: One Room in the Palace

One Room in the Palace

In the mad king’s palace, there are angels in the ceiling,
each of them strangely resembling the king himself,
mighty and powerful, able to float in the air,
pandered to by other great beings, powerful
but not as much so as the king himself.

The colors are bright and Italianate,
A contrast to the long alpine winters.
as foreign then as it is to this tourist
in the here and now,

There is light.
Massive crystal chandeliers hang low from the ceilings.
Windows, floor to ceiling, let in the Germanic light.
There are candelabras on every flat surface, and then
as if that was not enough,
the walls themselves are gilt in gold.

You wonder, peasant tourist that you are,
what a new servant might feel, brought in
from his village home, to this, this palace
of a madman’s imagination?
Awe? Anger? Fear? Dismay?
How would they explain this to their friends
in front of the rough stone fireplace of home?

How to explain the madman who created this room,
and the rest, equally opulent, this royal captive,
bankrupt and powerless, except for the power
to create?

About this poem.

The picture was taken at “Mad King Ludwig’s” palace, Linderhof, the smallest and most homey of his palaces. His story is an amazing one. He was, falsely, accused of madness by doctors who never examined him, and lost his power, and was imprisoned in a castle that was not one of his creations. A drab place compared Linderhof and his other creations. Officially he drowned, but there was no water in his lungs, so more likely, he was murdered. A glorious and sad life.

Ludwig, as he aged, cared less and less about ruling. Creation of these palaces was his life, and I cannot imagine his last years, captive, and his power to create take from him.

He came to mind this morning as I began to think of what I wanted to do today, which included time writing (Writing this, as it turned out.), and maybe some time in the studio. I would be lost without my creative time. I know this because there was a time I did not create, and yes, I was lost.

Be well. Travel wisely,

Tom

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