A Taste for Power

The fifth of half a dozen children’s poems, written by me a dozen years ago.

A Taste for Power

Alexander was a fly.
His eyeballs were metallic.
His wings had scales like dragon’s wings.
His friends knew him as Aleck.

He liked to boast that in the swamp
The lordliest was he,
Insect emperor of all
The sludge that he could see.

“Aleck the Great am I,” he sang,
But when his song was sung,
A low voice croaked, “There comes a day
when every king has kung.”

The croaker blinked his bulbous eyes.
Tongue lassoed out like fate.
He said, “Since eating made me king,
Please call me Aleck-ate.”

Aleck-ate, the Lotus King,
Gave low, burplike decrees,
That belched across the waters
To frogs on bended knees.

But a visitor with glassy eyes
and underwater smirk
Gurgled, “Empire looks to me
Like a tasteful line of work.

“Your deed was great,” the visitor hissed,
“But my deed shall be greater.
You may be known as Aleck-ate,
But I am Aleck-ate-er.”