In a dark and empty nowhere
In no mortal time or space,
Four ancient thrones and table wait
For each to take their place.
Two Princes, two Princesses walk
With regal, high born pride,
Prepared to take their places with
A matter to decide.
A voice of great authority
Announced why these four met.
A matter of importance which
Was unresolved as yet.
"You gather at this table to
Decide which one is best.
You each may state why he or she
Should rule above the rest.
A King or Queen of Seasons, who
Is recognised by all.
A ruler of the Yearly Court
With power to enthral.
Now, the first to tell you of
The benefits she'd bring.
I call the first contestant.
Please arise sweet Princess Spring."
A young and childlike Princess rose
And tossed her golden hair.
The sweet perfume of springtime filled
The stale and musty air.
"Do not deceive yourselves that I
Am not as strong as you.
Whilst I am meek and gentle
I hold power to renew.
Prince Winter leaves a canvas which
Is bleak and all too bare.
I bring forth Mother Nature and
We plant a new world there.
I ask the sun to waken and
Direct his rays to earth.
I draw out shoots and creatures
And direct their sweet rebirth.
As animals and plants wake up
The whole world takes a breath.
Their homage is to Princess Spring
Who beats Prince Winter's death."
Princess Summer rose with grace
And shone with golden light.
She looked at Princess Spring and smiled
"Sweet Princess, you are right."
"It cannot be denied that you
Bring life back in your wake.
It's true that you are much loved,
But it's not for your own sake.
The world welcomes your coming
As it marks Prince Winter's end.
And I don't want to hurt you,
But the truth is harsh my friend.
You're loved because your coming shows
That I am on my way.
For everyone looks forward to
The first true summer's day.
Long and balmy evenings after
Hot and lazy days.
Carpets of wild flowers, bright
In sunshine's heat filled rays.
The sun shows his great power,
Mother Nature takes full bloom.
There is no doubt that Summer is
The most loved in this room."
Prince Autumn stood and clapped his hands
And bowed at Summer's speech.
"Your words are true dear Princess,
But this crown's beyond you reach.
Although the whole world loves you
And they praise the joy you bring,
You cannot be our monarch
Any more than Princess Spring.
Summer is the season which
Shows Nature at her best.
But to achieve that beauty
Mother Nature must have rest.
Autumn brings a cooling and
Induces Nature's sleep.
I fill the earthly larders
What Spring sowed I now can reap.
A monarch must use power to
Meet every earthly need.
What greater show of love than
To give rest and richly feed? "
A fearful chill crept over as
Prince Winter took the stage.
The others pulled their cloaks close,
Ready to face Winter's rage.
"Prince Autumn sounds so noble as
He tells us of his care.
I can't deny the horror if
Prince Autumn wasn't there.
But, truth be told, he's merely there
Announcing my advance.
I hold back my invasion to
Give Autumn a fair chance.
A soldier, I come marching in
To weed out those too week.
Mother Nature's general,
I make their small lives bleak.
If Princess Spring brings rebirth
It is my job to make room.
The strong need space to flourish so
The weak must meet their doom.
I bring coldness and take light.
But I bow down to any
With the strength to win their fight.
I clearly have the power to
Be monarch above all.
My weapon's fully ready to
Give answer to the call."
The others gasped in horror as
They listened to his speech.
As one they knew the crown must stay
Out of this tyrant's reach.
The unseen Great Announcer called
For silence. As it fell
The Princes and Princesses each
Hoped that they'd argued well.
"Once more you all have stated why
Your regal claim is best.
You've also listened quietly
To claims from all the rest.
It's clear you all have passion for
The benefits you bring,
And clear you all have value,
Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring.
I've come to a decision.
Not one of you is the best.
And therefore not one season
Shall be raised above the rest."
In a dark and empty nowhere
Four great seasons gave a bow.
Bound all to rule together,
Each one swore a solemn vow.
All 254 poems by Judith Blatherwick