The Tale of Nicodemus and the Black Bard

Posted by Erik Moshe on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 Under: Rhymed Verses


Nicodemus lived in an obscure crook of the countryside for most of his life
The loner type, he was born and raised around the odors of mice
Being a hermit ensured he existed meagerly at no expense of a colony
He'd give wandering beggars apologies, for he himself was the essence of poverty
Gathering firewood one morning, Nicodemus was delighted to see
The flight of the bees; he rejoiced in his abode of soulful silence and peace
He invited his niece Genevieve for supper, feeling generously sweet
She had an energetic chic to her, sensuous, petite, clever to the teeth
They settled on a tiny nectarine for each – he was poor, had no memory of meat
Genevieve was pleased, she’d play with butterflies by the waterfall in the backyard
Suddenly an imp appeared in a midnight suit, called himself “The Black Bard”
A genie-like mantra surrounded his figure when he materialized
Genevieve had nothing but curiosity for this creature – no fear in her eyes
"Greetings, young miscreant... I am Phineas of the Hypogeum of Al-Sufleini…"
It drummed its craggy claws on the damp rocks, the twinkles in its eyes alternating
Genevieve responded tactlessly, "Phineas? You look more like a Phil," the girl mused,
As the murky blue waters started to whirlpool, it changed into a pearl hue
"Where have you come from, O' Wondrous Sheikh? We have naught but crumbs in our reach"
Noting that the girl's sense of honor was tongue in cheek, the imp sacrificed hundreds of bees
He didn’t love to be seen… was this insolent child going to submit to greed?
The imp told her to jump in the creek – a prize was promised so she took a coveted leap
And by the gods of the forest... there was something beneath!
"Well, little lady, it seems you've happened upon an item of fortune,
which may or may not leave one of your cherished one's inside of a coffin"
Genevieve was skeptical, cradling a glowing orb in her wet, muddy hands
First, she used it to conjure a wolf to chase away the Black Bard, then some fresh cuts of lamb
Understand, to this girl the orb seemed to contain endless fields of this power
But Genevieve was clever, & she resolved to wish for more wishes after her meal was devoured
From the distance, she heard an echoing croon... "ONLY a single wish left, little girl"
"Okay, Phil. I must wish for my loving uncle to be blessed with all of the wealth in the world…"
She heard a series of deafening tremors; the forest clambered to find its bearings
Where her uncle's shack used to be was a golden house garnished in diamonds & the finest pairings
Ecstatic with what she’d accomplished, Genevieve ran into the house to tell her uncle the news
but he was already standing in the doorway in golden chainmail, love-less and shrewd
"Who dares disturb my wondrous subterfuge? This must be the summer of fools"
Genevieve snapped back:
"Why so hostile, Uncle? & why are you holding that shovel, you scrooge!"
Her uncle Nicodemus appeared strange in some way… she considered her life in peril
He had money signs instead of irises and the whites of his eyes were emerald
She tried to dart around her uncle to gain entry into the house, but with surprising grace
The old man swung his shovel with full force – pure gold collided with the child's face
She fell lifelessly, this innocent faun who'd bestowed him with this miraculous gambit
He was cursed with the madness of malice –
weighed down by the riches in his new, enchanted spectacular attic
Nicodemus takes it all for himself... such a sumptuous lord,
He cremated his niece, then scattered her golden dust on the floor,
"You see," the Black Bard said, "all the wealth in the world turned him forsaken inside,
...content to rule over his tomb full of bullion until the day that he died."
The Bard began waltzing through the greenery, the waterfall its sentient throne
While playing a lovely solo with a violin crafted from Genevieve’s bones
"When you are granted three wishes, only give unto others what the forest's grown!
Discard the hordes of bargained gold.
For there is nothing in this world we can call our own..."

In : Rhymed Verses 



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