Saturday, 12 November 2011

He who pays the piper

He who pays the piper
could reap a riper crop
by stopping to remember
that whoever calls
the piper’s tune falls flat,
unless the rat’s consulted,
not didactically insulted
by the forceful imposition
of a tempo from
an unfamiliar tune.

Some ignore this simple law
and impose the final score.
Thus, risking war
and leaving poor,
even he who pays the piper.

© James Rainsford 2011

Note to readers: Posted to dVerse Poets in response to Brian Millers interesting invite.  


  1. and still the piper never fails to call...eventually...this has a nice rhythm to it james...enchanting almost like the piper...

  2. James, I love the Piper tales in general, so I love the picture, really cool. Your verse is excellent as well, such a fluid movement, fun, and love the word choices in here. And oh yeah, the rhyme is great too. Thanks, really enjoyed this

  3. To have the "falls flat" actually sound off in context is effective especially then following with a rhyme. Very suggestive use of "forceful imposition" and "unfamiliar tune" initial reading made me consider the art of interpretation. Your closing reminds me of a favorite quote of mine from Bertrand Russell: "War does not determine who is right—only who is left." Uncomfortably true. Fine work. Cheers James.

  4. It seems like we can't escape paying the piper. I enjoyed this very much--good choice of idiom.

  5. i love this pun "that whoever calls
    the piper’s tune falls flat"

  6. A clever riff on the idiom. I like the way it gets close to explaining its origins but ends up instead skirting around its edges, suggesting some dimly remember folklore and leaving me with more questions than answers…and so off to Wikipedia I go.

  7. Fun to read, with a surprising thoughtfulness at the end.

  8. i also like the rhythm of's slightly off beat at times which makes it very effective in combination with the topic you chose..

  9. I like the flow of this, how the end comes back to the beginning, full circle. I like the feel of riper crop in my mouth.

  10. Great choice of idiom and an interesting tale woven into your poem!

  11. Hi James

    Its lovely... I enjoyed reading this one... thanks for sharing..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya


If you wish your views and opinions to be published here, please be polite and respectful. I welcome feedback on my work and will try to respond if you take the trouble to post a comment. Thanks for visiting 'The Sanctum of Sanity.' Hope you enjoyed the experience, James.