The Fool

Fool/Jester – Common Domain

The fool, in motley dress – making jibes, faking falls,
what need drives this fool to rule the center stage?
Veiled hubris parades conceits, emptiness and loss.
Zeal fuels a fire to wear the belled cap of the age.

What need drives this fool to rule the center stage?
Walking the tight-wire between smirks and smiles across
the lights;  fuels fires to wear the belled cap of the age,
disguised in the light, plucking laughter from the dark.

Tongue wedged beneath his cheek with couched satire, embossed
by winks and turns, prevents King and Court’s stinging rage,
he shifts, then re-appears with scythe and totenkopf.
Covert grin when asking who gets to turn the page.

By winks and turns, he scorns King and Court’s stinging rage.
Veiled hubris parades conceits, emptiness and loss.
Twisting grins when asking who’s last on the stage —
Turns ’round, motley jester–making jibes, faking falls!

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 2012 July * All Rights Reserved

* At times The Fool would transform into a cloak of death – and point out that Death gets the last laugh.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 2012 July * All Rights Reserved * A Pantoum

41 thoughts on “The Fool

  1. the fool is a fun character, esp when they use their craft to poke at the royalty and it is dismissed if he is good but it is a razor he dances….wha tneed drives this fool….i can think of a few, but i guess to each their own reasoning…nice form as well gay…

    • I’ve been steeping in Edwardian and Victorian royalty of late. Spurred no doubt by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The fool could say to those nobles what no one else would utter. Now of course we have the Murdoch press to do that.

  2. don’t we all make fools of ourselves at one or the other point in life..? what need drives us..? love the mirror the fool holds and makes us see the things we wouldn’t, confronts us with what we’re trying to hide… they were so useful back then, we would need them now as well…great write gay

  3. What a detailed picture you paint! And yes, every fool holds a mirror…and we can look into it to see that we all are fools at one time or another…and some of those who appear to be fools are actually the smartest ones with the most insight.

    • I was never one with rapier wit, just countrified sarcasm which I laid to rest long ago realizing the pain that such hasty comments can do. The kind of wit of Shaw and Wilde – literary, clever – never instantly occurred to me.

  4. Methinks this fool Gemini-born,
    those many are so forlorn
    must prance and dance
    as Peeps look askance
    and live their life under horn…

    Your form I could never try without some real labor–
    so alas I do not. But APPRECIATE? YESSSS!
    Thanks, Natasha

  5. Walking the tight-wire between smirks and smiles

    Not everyone finds him humorous… And there are many out there, even today… they just don’t wear the crazy belled hat anymore. 🙂

  6. Pingback: The Fool | Pure Poetry |

  7. Pingback: The Fool « thebleedingpen

  8. One of my favorite characters to use as muse…whether the jester of the court, the fool of the tarot, so much rich and unique history to delve into…love the life you brought to the character and the structure of the form is amazing. You are one brilliant pen wielder, Gay!

  9. The jester, to me, carries a valid passport into danger…for all will laugh at wit, but sooner kill the bore. The court jester of yore walked a tightrope… He had better be clever…or exiled…Too clever and he’s axed. Have things changed that much…I wonder. Great write, Gay. You are a clever one!

  10. The Fool may seem a fool, but from Shakespeare’s point of view, the Fool could be a sharp, inciteful wit to those who cared to take the time to listen and watch! Descriptive poem!

  11. Such a difficult form, the pantoum–You’ve done it very well here, Gay–the short staccato phrases seem like the capers of a jester, gestures that are meant to both amuse in their own right and also invoke a satiric image.

  12. I. Love. This. “The Fool”! Out on the heath with Lear, in the forest with Ganymede, truly enslaved as Caliban in a tempest-tossed island–and here pantoumed into his formal clothes and posture as pictured in medieval times–the footstool, fall guy, and satirical conscience of a king. “What need drives this fool to rule the center stage”? All of this and his acrobatic skill at survival through “Veiled hubris parades conceits, emptiness and loss.” This poem is Brilliant! the form is made for the wit and capers of the immortal fool. You totally rock!

  13. The fool as mirror… this struck me as very contemporary, we need more fools as foils for those who dance as leaders… the form is fabulous here, and fits the subject matter so perfectly.

  14. the fool seems such a fascinating character–to walk such a tight-rope–anything but a fool they must be.

    loved the portrayal here…smiled several times (and nobody fell).

  15. The perfect amount of stickiness, without a spot of flower or drop of honey. 😉

    These are my favorite lines:
    “Tabled grins when asking who gets to turn the page”
    “Twisting grins when asking who’s last on the stage”

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