Tuesday, 11 October 2011


“18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fat-fleshed and well-favoured; and they fed in a meadow:
19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill-favoured and lean-fleshed , such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
20 And the lean and the ill-favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:
21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them ; but they were still ill-favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.” – The Bible, King James Version, Genesis 41.

The quote from Genesis that I start today’s entry with is the Pharaoh’s dream explained by Joseph. The seven plentiful and rich years in the land of Egypt are to be followed by the seven bad years of famine and dearth. By explaining the Pharaoh’s dream and enjoining him to be chastened by its prophecy, Joseph saves Egypt from famine and gains the Pharaoh’s favour, but indirectly also causing his own reunion with his family. The lean and fat cows analogy has stood the test of time and even today we may talk of “fat cows” – the good times where we save up for the rainy days head – the “lean cows”. It seems the world’s economic fortunes are going through a “lean cows” period with the world-wide crisis. Few are those countries that have prepared well and most major economies around the world are struggling to cope.

It seems that we humans refuse to be prudent and ignore history at our peril. Our politicians are busy legislating short-term policies to suit their personal goals and look for solutions of immediate political expediency. The world of big business is dominated by greed and the relentless multiplication of profits, to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The stock market balloon is heedlessly inflated. Yes, there are “well-favoured kine” that will result out of such activities, but it is inevitable that “ill-favoured kine” will follow and the balloon will burst. But who plans for the lean times, nowadays? Even now, in such dire economic times we spend beyond our means and fail to plan ahead. Our politicians and other leaders – community, business, national – give the worst examples. The kings that live a life of luxury and revel in wild spending sprees will crash down from their thrones…

Here is my poem inspired by Magpie Tales’ latest image, from Michael Sowa’s “The Little King”.

The Once Was King

Old King Cole knew in his soul
His days were numbered
Like journal pages; and he rages,
With ire encumbered.

Old King Cole hid in a hole
Real world ignoring;
Drinking his coffee, eating his toffee
His subjects deploring.

Old King Cole, winning a poll
Rigging the voting,
Promised them cake, no one will bake
Generals promoting.

Old King Cole, regularly stole
The treasury’s wealth.
With golden spoon, in his saloon
Ate caviar with stealth.

Old King Cole knew that his role
Was soon ending,
As if in a soap; he couldn’t cope
With his expending.

Poor Old King Cole
Who for his life whole
Cared nought for the budget;
Is now made redundant
No more gold abundant,
No more will he fudge it.

It’s all in the news,
Poor Mr Cole’s blues
Are due to the crisis.
King nevermore,
Mammon foreswore,
Instead, prays to Isis…


  1. That's a very apt poem for the times we live in, Nicholas. The "kings" of western economy are certainly toppling from their thrones and the worst is yet to come I'm sure. "Prudent" is word not used much nowadays, perhaps we don;t often see much of it around!

  2. Excellent post Nicholas and abundant with truths.

    We definitely had the same thoughts when viewing what appears an innocent image - perhaps it is as I haven't read the book.

    Anna :o]

  3. This is a wonderful, yet sorrowful narration of our times.

  4. Perhaps we will never learn from history...foolish ego! I like your original take on this Mag.

  5. Nicholas, I like your fearlessness in taking on the subject and its form. Bravo. Thanks for your take on my take re this image. And for paying my blog a visit.

  6. Oh, but the Midas kings were indeed doomed.

    Good poem as usual.

  7. Good old kings, lost somewhere in history chapters...Such a realistic take,I liked it!:)

  8. In this case old King Cole wasn't such a merry old soul...