Paul Violi



The last enemies against whom Cyrus fought
were Scythians from Margiana, hoity-toity,
who were led by King Amoreaus, hot-shot.
These people, mounted on elephants, holy-moly,
ambushed the Persians, helter-skelter,
and put them to rout, higgledy-piggledy.
Cyrus himself fell from his horse, humpty-dumpty,
and a lance pierced his thigh, low-blow booboo.
Three days later, he died from the wound, loco.


After decades of warfare, Cyrus, wheeler-dealer,
perished in combat against the armies, super-duper,
of Queen Thomyris, hoochie-coochie,
who had long desired to avenge, rough stuff,
the death of her son, namby-pamby.
She ordered the body of Cyrus dragged, ragtag,
from beneath the slain and his head, harum-scarum,
thrown in a vat of blood, jeepers creepers.
She then commanded the lifeless conqueror: "Drink
this blood, after which you ever thirsted, but
by which your thirst was never allayed, jelly belly!"


Cyrus died tranquilly in his bed, fancy schmancy.
He had been forewarned in a dream, hocus pocus,
by a man with such a majestic bearing that he
appeared much more than mortal, razzle-dazzle.
"Prepare yourself," he told Cyrus, "for you will
soon be in the company of the gods, hobnob."
Cyrus awoke and offered sacrifices, solo,
on a nearby mountaintop, sky-high,
not to implore the gods, hanky-panky,
to prolong his life, but to thank them, lovey dovey,
for their protection. Three days later, payday,
he gently breathed his last. Okey-dokey.


Cyrus died of grief. Itsy-bitsy.
He was over one hundred years old, fuddy-duddy,
and he was inconsolable because his son, crumbum,
had killed most of his friends, brain drain.
But his son paid him all honors after his death,
building a tomb for him a Passagarda, grandstand,
a city Cyrus had built on the very spot, hot-spot,
where he had vanquished Astyages, who was none other
than his own grandfather. Wowie-zowie. Even-steven.

Paul Violi, Selected Poems 1970-2007, Rebel Arts, 2014.