Mum Is Not The Word

Mum Is Not The Word (Draft 3)

I will keep my word;
for myself I hold it in

I keep this necessary
treachery word
to myself and

I keep treachery, for
I am the true King

Ancient legacies, enforced
by witching powers and magic,
like Chrysanthemums are
late to bloom, easy to flower

Mum is a mere word
treachery is mine to do.

An empire will arise, and
loyalty will be spoken.
Traitors to me, to my word
will be slaughtered. I

rise in the glory of my word —
let others be mute and mum, for
they have their word, and
I have mine

I will keep my word
for myself alone

Obey me
and keep your mum

perfidy and
you die.

— Douglas Gilbert

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6 thoughts on “Mum Is Not The Word

  1. I love this, it seems mysterious and powerful with the true King, ancient legacies enforced by witching powers and magic. Keeping one’s word is important, betrayals are so painful. I had to look up the word perfidy. What a stern/strong ending…

    1. Thanks very much. I had to look up “Mum’s the Word” to find out where that cliché came from. It’s from Shakespeare and in that play the character says he won’t speak but betrays everyone anyway. And “mum” is from “mute” or something. The derivation is convoluted and so I don’t remember.

    1. That’s great. I think I grew mums. I got seeds at the supermarket and forgot to save the package to remind me what I was planting. The whole Summer I was disappointed because it was very hardy but had no flowers. But then at the end of Summer it was spectacular: it produced white, red, and purple blossoms and it’s still going.

      1. Yeah they don’t bloom until almost fall when the days get shorter and there’s less hours of sunlight and it’s cooler out. My prim roses are starting to bloom again now too, they seem to like it the same as the mums do…

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