Introduction

What could possible by interesting about a game of cards that will make it worthy of a poem called A Game of Cards. Listen and find out. Maybe it’s not a game of cards at all. A poem from The Scream poetry collection by Danny Ballan.

Audio Podcast

A Game of Cards

He stepped up and conquered. All those less important are not worthy of a trophy he so felt was his. They either had no guts or had no hands to handle the whips, no mouth to shout and give orders, no legs to kick the right asses, no teeth to bite the truth coming out from the throats of those who still believed that truth actually mattered. They haven’t read their histories well enough to know only the cruelest receive the divine right to rule. I wonder who has not read history through and understood what it all meant when mighty Carthage fell, but Rome also fell even after a while. He stepped up and conquered what need not be conquered, what could be his without a fight.

A Game of Cards
A game of cards—
eyes on the table sneaking past
the watchful discreetness
of each hand holding on
tight to those hidden cards—
dealt, stolen, forged…
Inside it felt as if
something was wrong,
but I kept on
playing anyway.

All the numbers
do not matter;
a great hand is full
of jacks and kings and queens;
aces like veterans clean
and secure the win—
kill all the numbers,
leave some to serve the later king;
undermine the aces,
sacrifice the jacks,
stab the king in the back,
and hijack the queen—
the royal bed is yours,
today, yet
tomorrow it may be not—
you are now king—

new players lining up
all the way filling the ring
numbers you left behind;
unappreciated aces who have their eyes,
too, on the queen;
unworthy cards will one day grow—
Glorious Rome was never short
of a cunning Caesar or a Brutus, cowardly
with eyes seeking only vengeance—
a bout is over; another soon begins.

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