The King is Dead Long Live the King

The King is Dead
By M.S. Olscamp

Big business of volunteering

Once upon time there was a new king whose father had also been a king many years before when the new young king was only a child. As a kings son he had traveled far and wide with his worldly father and learned the ins and out of kings all across the globe. Having a great king for a father might have made him proud and arrogant but in addition to having a wealthy king for a father he had a mother who was quite a nice person. He inherited her goodness and as he grew into adult developed such a winning personality that he was loved by all who met him.

The old King had eventually passed away, other kings came and went but with each one came more and more dissatisfaction in the kingdom. The older King had been extremely popular because he had spent lavishly and made his kingdom into a land of wealth and plenty hardly ever before seen.

The young king-to be didn’t just automatically inherit the crown. No, that was no longer done. Instead he had to spend years proving himself worthy. He was carefully groomed and watched over and eventually when the time seemed just right, his entourage was waiting to usher him into the throne room to accept what they said was his right. Yes, they all agreed, the time had arrived for the new young king in waiting to take the throne.

And the reason why they chose that particular time, that exact year? Nobody really knew except that it seemed an opportune moment. For the last few years the throne had been occupied by someone everybody agreed was way too stern, much too stingy and just didn’t know how to have a good time. He was the sort of ruler who might even fire people who didn’t do their job, they warned each other. The word was passed from mouth to mouth that he was way too stern and stingy and boring to be their King. Soon so many people were whispering and dropping hints and jabs and telling so many bad dictator jokes that it finally became possible to convince the people that he was only slightly better than Hitler and really must be dethroned. And so he was.

The King is dead. Long live the king. The young new king was received by his inner circle. They gathered around him and gave him advice. They told him how to act and what to say and what promises he should make. He was very grateful for their attention and their kind assistance and carefully followed their instructions. They, after all, were so much more experienced in these things. Oh he could act the part well. Hadn’t he watched his father play the king role for years?

He took to being king like a beaver to a dam, everybody noticed. All across the land the people were all so proud of their handsome and popular young king. He made many promises that once again the land would roll in wealth. The people loved him. He was greeted with enthusiasm bordering on adulation. He was more than any ordinary king. They could imagine the gold coins jingling already. This would mean a return to prosperity the people all whispered to each other. No more belt-tightening. There would be jobs for everyone. We would once again become a great nation as we had been when the old King had ruled, many years before, is what they said, over and over until even the young new king was convinced this was so. Everything the previous King had done he would promise to do twice as well and twice as fast. The people could hardly contain their elation.

But promises cost money, he soon realized, a lot of money. First this promise, then that one had to be modified. Some, he realized, would be impossible to keep. As time went on the king began to worry. He had come to love his kingdom and its people. He didn’t want to let them down. Already they were beginning to ask questions he could not answer. Already there were signs that not all was well. Here and there he began to hear the far off rumblings of discontent. Where is this, where is that? Why is it taking so long? Why doesn’t he do something? He promised us. The grumbling was almost loud enough to be heard, not quite, but it soon would be if nothing was done.

He went to the inner circle who had encouraged him to make all those promises. Where would the money come from he asked his advisors. They told him not to worry, they would look after things. And they did.



Shhhhh Erin Shhhhhhh
Sit quietly
Be good
Do this and that
Do what they say

They who claim
The only truth
Have had their way
Waged their war
Tarnished our day
And nighttime too
They took control
And left us broken
On the field
On the seas
In the sky
What’s that you say
About the fire
That burns
Within your hurt
And bleeding soul

Sit quietly
Be good
Do this and that
Do what they say

They had their way
They gave us war
We covered them
That Scarlet Dawn
Remember well
Those of us
Who did return
To hearth and home
Might well have died
Now bleeding souls
Are keeping score
Deep within
Steeling the hearts
Of our children
And our children’s children
For yet another
Hundred years.


As one descendent of a people who had left Ireland long before 1916 and watched from afar as violence overtook their motherland, I look at this planned hundred year celebration with mixed thoughts. On one hand I say yes, support the artists and scholars who want to tell the stories and heal the wounds that still fester to this day.

To market the commemoration of any violent event as a celebration, however, is an insult to those on all sides who suffered and died.

My poem above is one lost soul speaking to the land of her ancesters.
This soul aches over the terrible truth that war never seems to end. It gets carried from generation to generation and from country to country.


As someone who was so often reminded never to forget about being Irish … Even these several generation later, I look across and wonder what it might have been like had my ancesters stayed in Ireland and not made a new life in Canada.

Would I even exist and if so what would my life be like in Ireland.

Today I think I found a little glimmer …

This might be a good model for New Brunswick, perhaps even all of Canada.


Yes … We know …
New Brunswick is bankrupt
Or so they say
No way no way
Naught left to pay
Shall we then move
To the UK

My take on this is …
What take might that be
Well now I admit
There are doubts within
Where is your solidarity
Have you no pride
Sink you so low

The bridges we built
Have fallen away
Our generation is lost
Have we nothing to say
Nothing resounding
Except to demand
A fair chance to all

Scrap that old system
Scrap it I say
What’s fair about it
When some have free dental
And others must pay
When jobs are dependent
Upon who you know
When some work their ass off
While others take dole
If the system you have
Is so perfect, so good
I’m sure you’ll agree
Then spread it out Further
Apply it to all
Giving basic income a chance
Let everyone in
Her him you and me.

The truth they say will set you free
Was it truth from my Nanny
My Irish-Scots Nanny who said to me
Never want to be an artist
An artist’s life
Is much too hard
After years of struggle
… Yes Nanny … I agree

Click to access Senior_Artists_full_report.pdf