Poetry Sunday: The Ballad of the Crustacean King - A Steem Monsters Fiction Writing Contest Entry

in poetry •  last year  (edited)

Good morning, my fellow Steemians. It's poetry Sunday!

I don't believe I've missed a day of posting since I've been on Steemit--until yesterday. I spent the entire day dreaming of entering the Crustacean King backstory writing contest for Steem Monsters.


Image taken from the Steem Monsters Crustacean King Fantasy Story Contest announcement post

Actually, I spent the entire week dreaming about it, but I had to enter the free write contest first. I did that and took second place. Congratulations to @ChrisRoberts for snagging the first-place prize, and to @beeyou for taking third.

So, yesterday, my wife and I got running early. My grandson's baseball game was at 11 a.m. on the other side of the neighboring county. So we were out the door before 9 a.m. to get the kid and make a few stops before arriving at the game. Our youngest granddaughter, my grandson's cousin, wanted to go, so we spent the day entertaining her, as well. Then we had chores to do when we got home. I ended up spending over two hours last night writing "The Ballad of the Crustacean King."

As is my habit, I wanted to pore over the words of the song one more time before posting. So I decided to sleep on it. That's why there was no post from yesterday. Instead, I decided to make this post my usual Poetry Sunday post.

Now, a little word about the poem. You'll notice that it's a narrative poem, but lyrical. I toss in some alliteration, and give the Crustacean King a unique voice by playing around with diction. Finally, you'll also see that it is composed of couplets, a rarity in modern verse.

At any rate, I don't expect to win this #contest, but I had fun writing the piece nonetheless. I offer it for you humbly as my entry to the Steem Monsters fantasy fiction character card backstory contest. Without further ado, I give you, "The Ballad of the Crustacean King."


Image from my personal card collection at Steem Monsters

The Ballad of the Crustacean King



Life is so lonely in the bottom o' the sea
E'en for an ol' crusty king like me.

Once was I king of the commoner crab,
But life grew dreary, frigid, an' drab;

One day a curl-foot said to me
"Sir, our kind needs more unity.

Our days and nights are spent alone;
Singly, we are weak, impotent, prone

To be feasts for those bigger than we.
Will you rise to the task and set us free?"

How could I 'fuse a 'quest like that?
I set about my humble habitat

To poll as many pods that I could find
To 'nquire as to the state of their cocooned minds.

What I discovered, to my utter dismay,
Was that ev'ry arthro felt this way--

The same as the barnacle, and, as well, me.
My conclusion: We shall assemble a military.

To all of my sea-worthy friends I vowed
This one duty, if the sea-gods allowed.

But such a task proved hard at best
For the aqueous sort are like anarchists:

Sufficiently proud, unfit to pr'dict;
Such was the start of our 'nternal conflict.

The prawn took aim at the crab and the krill;
The woodlice the lobster vowed to kill,

For he did not like that the hardshelled other
Would not go nowhere near the water.

Dissension, war, bitter words, and murder!
The ocean floor split as we turned on each other.

I fled, I prayed, I beat my head on a clam
Until something inside me b'came undamned.

With a boisterous cry, I howled and I wailed
Until every crustacean healed to my flail.

I cursed, I stormed, I set the waves to rock.
The ocean, it shook from cove to loch.

When all was stilled and all was calm,
I cleared my throat and dropped a bomb:

"Hear, hear," I said, "To all that would hear,
I want to make one thing perfectly clear.

This deep blue realm we call our home
Can be ours for the keeping, and ours to roam,

But only if we set about
To r'spect one another, and never to rout

When danger lurks or rears its head,
For if we do, we'll all be dead.

So, for the sake of life, yours and mine,
Let's unite for the war that will arrive in due time."

A silence overtook the sea for the sec,
Which I considered good, if I recollect.

Then a raucous roar of agreement arose
And I felt a change from inside me impose

Upon these soft innards and my harder outer,
I began to grow bigger as the clamor climbed louder.

Stronger and longer my claws extended,
Skeletal hull swelled until fully distended;

From tail to legs, the whole of me fueled
An aggressive growth e'en to ant'nnules,

Which b'fore had not been, but clearly are now,
An' from that day on I was king somehow,

King of crustaceans, far and near:
We shall rule the sea with tsunamic fear.

Well, there's my entry into the Crustacean King backstory writing contest. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed writing it. After you're done reading, you might be interested to know that @bitson is giving away his entire Steem Monsters collection. You can learn how to get in on this deal by reading his post about it, but you'd better hurry because the deadline is tomorrow.


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Hi blockurator,

Your post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Keep creating awesome stuff! Have a great day :)

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Thanks. Sometimes poetry helps us think and feel more profoundly.

Keep of the great work

Congratulations @blockurator!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade for newcomers in the following categories:

  • Upvotes - Ranked 2 with 565 upvotes
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I also upvoted your post to increase its reward
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