Author’s Note: This poem was originally inspired by COVID-19, but it kind of morphed into something different as I was writing it. Now it has a double meaning about the nature of mankind; please see the explanation section for more details.
Some things are meant to exist in nature.
Crowns are not one of them.
They may be made from natural materials –
precious metals, clay, thorns, flowers –
but they’re still manmade.
Forged in an ember-filled mouth.
Branches twisted layer upon layer,
scratches forming like stress lines
on sore fingertips.
Delicately molded from the Earth’s remnants.
But they’re still manmade.
No matter what they’re made of,
Crowns are always associated with royalty, real or imagined.
Animals have hierarchies,
like the chief lion that rules over its pride.
However, anyone bold enough can question the alpha’s authority.
Complete sovereignty is a human idea, as are Crowns.
There are a select “noble” few who –
based on bloodlines or gods’ will –
are considered special enough to wear their own Crown.
No doubt, most people would like to be
King, Queen, Your Majesty for a day.
But what if everyone was forced to wear a Crown?
Every day, even if they didn’t want it.
What if the system was rigged so everyone wore
one without knowing it?
Whether through misinformation, peer pressure, or pure human nature,
the Crown would be anointed on each and every human skull.
All would have a feeling of sheer self-righteousness,
believe they have the right to rule over all resources
in their hometown, country, planet.
Red and silver Crowns sitting loosely on top of their scalp,
sliding down toward their brows,
making them resent, fear, and look down upon anyone
who crosses their paths.
This attitude would be infectious,
with people hoarding gold, food, and other “necessities,”
like a greedy dragon on a lonely mountain.
Everyone would be holed up in their castles,
unwilling to negotiate,
polishing, polishing, polishing
their Crowns until the gems
are so dazzling,
How many people have died because of Crowns? What is the tally now?
Because of holy wars where soldiers were sent to battle with nothing but
their leader’s dignity on the line and flimsy armor on their shoulders.
Because of simple misunderstandings and ignorance.
Because of delusions formed through a lifetime of unabashed vanity.
A Crown may sound appealing, look radiant,
make you feel regal, like a god on Earth.
But they’re not worth the shine, the entitlement.
Crowns belong in ancient tombs from days of yore.
Unfortunately… they’ve already been spread across the globe.