Wednesday, June 7, 2017


From time to time, Ming the Merciless,
(Relentless foe of Flash Gordon,
Former emperor of the planet Mongo)
Turns up in my dreams. Most often,
He has a character role -- an old soldier
Down on his luck, or a traffic cop
Trying to persuade angry chickens
To keep on their side of the road. Once
We were beggars and shared a tin bowl
Of quite horrible soup. My father
And Ming were for some reason friends.
Having recovered from seventeen bouts
Of certain death  -- including being tossed
Into three volcanoes and twice being thrown
Off cliffs and once being thrown off a cliff
Into a volcano -- Ming insists that
My father may return not much the worse
From having been buried for six years.

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