The Fool’s Lament

“Do you think I’d have let it get that far
if I had really known?
What can be blamed on the miscreant
Can too be faulted on the fool.
I cannot see where I misstepped.
The mirror’s fogged too much.
I can only tell that I have wronged
by what does not remain with me now.
Inside this cage, I look back against myself
and weep within my foolish heart’s brute idiotic rage.”

The fossil of the idiot
locked in his self-made cell
clutching at the iron bars,
mouth twisted in whiny yell,
gazes back at the crowd.
Their mix of blame and pity
marry together in their heads
in strange alchemical union
witnessing the fool inside his hell.

“I would pick any lock presented
if only I had the tools!
I’d weep at the feet of every God
and offer praise up to their name
if but one of you would open the door
and guide me to the temple gate!”

The crowd swells and contracts again
in its daily cycling of constituents
but none move to release the idiot
who seems destined against himself to sin again.
No one tries to tell him anymore
the containment is for the best
and preserves for them the image of the poet
that sometimes gets lost inside his acts.

There inside the fool’s small cell,
he scribbles out his alms
and passes lyrics through the bars.
Children pluck them from the gutters
and sing them to themselves.

He fancies it a passion’s play
when it’s really just a side-act.
Elsewhere, actors take the stage
dressed to present the evening’s phantasy.
The crowd departs to take their seats
and the fool curls up upon the ground,
continuing his fool’s lament
though there’s no audience to be found.

Muttering always in mirrors,
longing for a witness to how much he suffers,
the fool laments and laments and laments.


A brief fantasy scene-cum-poem. A nightly writing exercise. Was plucking through half lines in the car. I’ve been feeling the Biblical imagery and language again recently.