Golden coin gleaming in hand.
All his hopes took refuge in that vestige of conjured worth.
The man with no name would buy his name this day...
The empire's burgeoning halls pressed in around him as he strode.
They would devour him in this moment if they had not done so already.
Yet, why the empire? There are more docile things to tame.
Everything is the same for the man with no name.
"People would apologize for stepping on me, but they knew not what to call me, so they went somnolently on their way."
I try to imagine these are the things he'd say,
instead these are the words of those I know,
those that I can hear, see, smell, touch... taste.
The man with no name's words are a waste.
He leaves no footprints wherever he may go.
The steps to the Hand of the Empire are steep.
Some will climb it, some will weep.
Yet, the man with no name will not turn back this day;
he takes a moment to fill and a moment to pray.
His memories are so vibrant, so full of clarity,
like crystals in the light, banishing insanity;
his tales will evoke the highest majesty,
entrance the gluttonous, deprave with vanity,
they'll bite the snake and poison its legacy,
they'll quietly rake the fields of the mind,
yet each soul is weary, cold and blind,
when he is gone, they pay no mind.
His steps are strong, hard, fast
throughout the night, will he last?
This is no simple, boring task,
the steps to the Hand do more than ask.
They take from you and more than due,
they make you fight,
they run through you.
When the night is cold and breezy,
you'll find the steps are dark and creepy...
Of course, the man with no name bears on.
What has he to fear, you can't hunt what you don't want,
for the hunt is a thrill, and trash is pleasureless.
The steps are perilous,
they hunger for blood,
his steps are thunderous,
nailing thud after thud.
Dawn peeks over the distant horizon,
and what a sight to see: the man is still rising.
In tandem the sky and he play their parts,
so does the Empire, putting bodies in carts,
for the night brings the dead, so many have tried,
to climb up the steps and in doing so, died.
The man with no name treads a feat all his own,
but see? A trembling hand. The ache of bone.
For the man with no name is tiring, tiring,
even in the face of his glory aspiring.
He would tend to the sick and defend the weak,
danger and challenge and evil he'd seek,
to vanquish the rotten
and save the damsel,
but he's always forgotten,
that he couldn't handle.
So this lead him to this fateful day,
to this fateful place.
Just look at the sweat cascading his face.
Look at his knees, how they groan and slow pace,
his legs seem to jostle and wobble out of place.
Where is his strong stride? It almost seems funny.
Many would do this sort of thing for money.
Yet, he does this for his own pride,
and that grim determination, from his face,
seems to slide.
He collapses and the jut of a step knocks his face,
for the steps are at his throat,
trying to crush his ebbing life.
I've known better men
to have fared far worse,
but this man looks on his life,
not as gift,
Who is more deserving?
More than he?
Cowards! Be gone!
He props himself up with ease,
the fire in his eyes would startle a lion.
The steps tremble with fury,
they quiver with disgust,
they lust for his end,
he must die, he must!
Don't tempt these steps,
the Empire's nigh trekable wall!
"What I want more than anything,
is to be myself,
whoever I am,
so let me pass, you glorified shelf!"
How strange it would be, to be there that day,
for the steps let him pass, without delay.
He stood in the face of the Hand of the Empire.
Glistening in his palm, the token to buy his face:
his full life's earnings, polished, just in case.
He sighed, "All I've ever wanted is to be respected."
At the cusp of his one goal, the man defected.
One day, he told me this tale.
This he said, into my conscience: burned.
"If you fight death for a name,
you'll lose all you've earned."
It's a rare thing these days for me to feel puckered out after writing a poem, but this one had me panting... metaphorically... maybe a "little" bit literally, LOL.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this!
Let me know if/how much, you liked it :)