Alessandro Farnese

When I was young my sister screwed
A pope, and from this all ensued.
Our family was down at heel,
Good blood, no cash. I can reveal
It’s true, she slept our way to power,
We made it though, and this was our
Deep plan. It worked. I’m pope in turn.
I miss her still. But I could learn.
And though survival’s not profound,
I lived to turn my house around.

Yes, lived. And won. And did my work.
Though Martin Luther is a jerk,
I can admit, now that I’m old,
And pope, that more than once I’ve sold
Some offices, but not in vain!
Upgraded men for cash or gain,
Taken some bribes, and paid a few.
I do what popes would ever do:
Promote our nephews, rule the city,
Preside, parade, and make Rome pretty.

And though poor Rome had quite a fall
And louts scrawled on my painted wall
Still, here I am, and here I rule.
My bones may creak but I’m no fool.
Remembering enemies and friends,
Their jokes, their lies, their schemes, their ends.
Outlived them all, to live alone,
And sit upon St Peter’s throne,
For power. For family. And for
The keys that open every door.

22nd December 2022