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The Jester - a Medieval Poem

John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He loves story-telling and also has a Certificate in Permaculture Design.

Image by Momentmal from Pixabay

Image by Momentmal from Pixabay

The Jester

The jester stood before the King,

His head bowed in respect,

"I stand here at your bidding, Sire."

Knowing nought what to expect.


The King's voice boomed both loud and slow,

"You'll kneel before the throne.

You are the lowly knave of spades,

For treason, you'll atone!"


"But, Sire, I've never done you wrong,

Or spoke against the crown.

What traitorous act is it I've done?

I am a loyal Court's clown."


"I heard it told, you have conspired

To bring this Kingdom down.

Plead now for your sorry life

Or in the lake, you'll drown."


"Well, My Lord, if truth be known...,"

The jester played his hand,

"Your guards have raped and pillaged

Across this once great land."


"My beloved village in your path

Is now just ash and rubble.

My wife and child just cinders now,

So, now I'll cause you trouble."


The jester threw his cloak aside,

His hand closed on the hilt.

He wasn't here to entertain

And felt no shame or guilt.


"Seize him, guards!" the King exclaimed,

But before they could respond

The jester with such lightning speed,

Flashed his sharpened sword.


The guards were slain, right whence they stood,

The King's face froze in fear,

"You are no jester of the Court,

So warned my faithful seer!"


"Oh, I'm no clown, Sire, that is true,

In fact, I am a knight.

I stand before you to avenge

The evil that you spate."


With sword point pressed against his throat

The King begged for his life,

But the jester showed no mercy,

"This is for my child and wife!"


The sword plunged deep, the King's mouth gaped,

He toppled from his throne.

The jester shed the clothes of fools,

As a knight, he'd now be known.


He had revenge, though it's not sweet,

You cannot change the past,

But he vowed to right the bad King's wrongs

Until he breathed his last.

Image by RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay

Image by RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay

Off the Shelf - "The Jester" by James Patterson and Andrew Gross

My regular readers will know all about my "Off the Shelf" series, but if you a new it is where I select a book from among the hundreds in my bookcase and use the title for inspiration to write a poem, story, or article. Most times what I write has no relation to the content of the book itself, but on this occasion, my poem is based on the story. I do claim a little poetic licence, however. For instance, in my poem, the protagonist is a king (not a duke) and the jester's wife was killed instead of kidnapped.

The Jester is only the second book I ever read that was written by James Patterson (this time in collaboration with Andrew Gross.) I won't go into my opinion here of Patterson's collaborations and how much input he actually has in regard to the writing, because this is, in my opinion, his best novel. it has also led me to seek out books written by Andrew Gross himself.

"Hugh De Luc returns from the Crusades to find his son killed, his wife kidnapped, and his town gutted in the search for a priceless relic . . . and now, he must fight to save everything he holds dear.

With the rapid pace of a page-turning thriller, The Jester is a breathtaking adventure. Full of pulse-pounding plot twists and mysteries, Hugh's quest to find Sophie is one of the most unforgettable love stories in all of fiction." (Amazon)

I found this novel to be exciting and one of those rare books that are difficult to put down. You can't wait to see what transpires on the next page.

Stock photo, reduced resolution, free use

Stock photo, reduced resolution, free use

© 2019 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 13, 2019:

Thanks for reading, Beth. Yes, that is true. Court jesters we’re out mere clowns and fools. It was often their job to offer sage advice to the ruler

Beth Perry from Tennesee on October 13, 2019:

Clever, honest jester. Reminds of the origins of historic court "fools". They weren't there to merely entertain, but appointed to serve as the living conscience of the ruler.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 29, 2019:

He certainly was not a fool, Mark, and a force to be reckoned with in fact. Thank you for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 29, 2019:

Thank you very much, Priya.

Mark Tulin from Ventura, California on September 29, 2019:

Nice job, John. That jester was no fool.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 28, 2019:

I van be full of surprises at times, Steve. I guess the title “The Jester” gave the impression it would be humorous...a bit of a red herring.

Steve Tyson from Byron Bay, Australia on September 28, 2019:

I thought this was going to be an almost tongue-in-cheek piece John, but wow, it gets very serious! Fantastic...

Priya Dinesh from Bangalore on September 13, 2019:

An amazing poem, John. I'm really inspired to read tje book now. Your rhyming pattern definitely deserves a special mention :')

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 13, 2019:

Thank you very much for the generous comment, Miel. Yes, I can certainly highly recommend the book.

Miel Reyes from Philippines on September 13, 2019:

This is such a poignant poem. I'm convinced it's a great book to read :-)

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 13, 2019:

It is great that you found it MsB. Ok, actually audio books aren’t bad. My wife listens to a lot because she can work at her craft etc and listen to them at the same time. If one sounds interesting to me, I’ll sit and listen as well.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 13, 2019:

John, it is available from our public library. Good thing because it's kind of pricey for an ebook. I just downloaded it, then I discovered I'd made a mistake and downloaded the audio book. LOL I plan to start listening to it in a day or so when I finish my current book.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 13, 2019:

Wow! Thank you Liz. I am so glad you got more than you expected with this poem.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 13, 2019:

This is a skilfully written poem. From the title I was expecting a light hearted piece with a deeper message. Little did I know what was to come. This is a classic from you.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 12, 2019:

Hi Mary, yes if you like any of Patterson’s books I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by this one. It is different from the rest, mainly due to the medieval setting, but I enjoyed it the most. Thanks for reading this.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 12, 2019:

Thanks MizB, yes the plot is loosely based on the book. I hope this is available on ebook so that you can read it. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 12, 2019:

Hello Venkat, thanks for your generous comment. I am sure you will enjoy this book. I have so many on my reading list it is difficult to choose which to read next. I am currently reading The Martian by Andy Weir.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 12, 2019:

I look forward to reading this book after your introduction. I have read some of Patterson's books and you claim this is his best so far. Enjoyed your poem. I love the narration and the story.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 12, 2019:

Great story in your poem, John, but you said you borrowed your plot, so I'll just say "great poem!" This sounds like a book that is just up my alley, and I've just about finished a thriller I borrowed from the Kindle Owners Lending Library. If this one is in ebook form, maybe I'll break down and buy it.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on September 12, 2019:

A wonderful poem with some appealing story. You are really great at spinning the stories based on off-the-shelf books. Enjoyed it a lot.

I would like to read that book by James Patterson after completing my present book on the Shiva Trilogy. I will be reading the last chapter of the second book tomorrow. And, then, the book in 15 days roughly. I will place the order for the Jester in the meantime.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 12, 2019:

Thank you for reading this, Besarien. The jester character has always appealed to me for some reason. A clown persona often hides a much deeper individual and shouldn’t be underestimated. I like a few Patterson books and not others, but I can say the same with Stephen King. I don’t know the book Saboteur but if it is by Andrew Gross I would probably like it. Those I have read of his haven’t disappointed.

Besarien from South Florida on September 12, 2019:

I love your poem, John. I've been the court jester in life long enough to know I'd make the worst knight ever. I do like to read about them in historical fantasies though. Your recommendation for The Jester makes me want to give Patterson another twirl on the dancefloor. I haven't cared for the couple of his books I've read.

I loved The Saboteur possibly written by Andrew Gross (or Michael, Matthew Gross, maybe?) I read it what seems like yonks ago and am very bad with names. It was a fictionalized account of a mission to delay Hitler's atomic weapons program. Nicely written and researched, not so heavy on the fiction as to take away from the history but packed with intrigue and derring-do. Providing the same guy wrote it, I'd recommend this Andrew Gross book!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Aww, Devika, what can I say in reply to that? Thank you so much for reading and appreciating what I write.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 11, 2019:

Your poems amaze me and this is no exception

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on September 11, 2019:

James Patterson is one of my favorite authors. I am now reading "The Texas ranger." It's a page turner but all of his books are. I might just try the one who inspired your off the shelf series.

Is it really that good? I always felt the books he co-writes, are not as good as the ones he writes alone.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Glad you enjoyed the read MsDora. Who doesn’t love a sword fight?

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Thanks a lot, Lora. I couldn’t put this book down. It is an exciting read, and yes inspired my poem.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Ruby, I am hoping you find a few books to inspire you too. No, I haven’t heard of Edgar Cayce but I may have to investigate. Maybe use one of his for your inspiration.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Hey Shauna, so glad you enjoyed my version of the story, and I am always surprising you it seems :)

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Thank you SARA, I greatly appreciate your comment and thoroughly recommend the novel.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

I concur, Bill, in everything you say,

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Hi Pamela. I am glad you enjoyed this poem, and yes the book is great.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 11, 2019:

A good-read narrative! The clear intentions and sword fight keep our attention.

Lora Hollings on September 11, 2019:

Your poem shines like the knight who brought down this ruthless king! Such an excellently crafted poem grips us in its story. You certainly must have been inspired by this book, "The Jester." Will certainly have to read this one. Thanks for sharing!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 11, 2019:

I loved this poem! I'm looking over my books to see if they inspire me enough to write. Have you read Edgar Cayce's books? I think I have them all. He inspires me. He was a remarkable psychic.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 11, 2019:

John, I should know by now, but I'm always surprised to find your poems are "off the shelf".

This was beautifully written. While I'm sure the book provides suspense and support for the shining knight to find his damsel in distress, I love the twist in your poetic version.

Just desserts have been served!

SARA from Islamabad on September 11, 2019:

How beautifully you have written this poem...epic

It's holding audience attention...I must say..

Can't wait to read out this thrilling novel.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 11, 2019:

I would support Gross...not Patterson. :) I think I would have been the court jester back then...the mask would have protected me, me thinks! Loved the poem, John!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2019:

I loved your poetry today, and I did know you used your books for a bit of inspiration. I thought this poem was especially good. I may read that book also as it sounds good.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on September 11, 2019:

I concur, John, What is called by many names want the messages out concerning the times we are living in.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Hi Rafia. Nice to see a new name. Welcome to HubPages and thank you for the kind comment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Elijah, I have noticed the same thing a number of times here. I have just published something and read someone else’s hub with practically same message in a different way. It is though a greater power (maybe God) is determined to get that lesson out there to as many as possible. Thank you for reading and I am on my way to read your Sophy 15.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Hello, Ann. Thank you for your comment. I really enjoyed this book and glad my poem didn’t disappoint.

rafia from lahore pakistna on September 11, 2019:

hi john .. i am new ..but i read your poem ..it is excellent .i am loving your pieces of poetry .

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on September 11, 2019:

John, if a Jester (Joker) is dressed in many colors he is the sum of all things any human can manifest as - Today's Sohpy 15 - so his being a Knight was how he was camouflaged to take down the unjust King who was, metaphorically speaking, a white Joker. Thus, you have said the same thing I did in 15. It is interesting how what someone else say in one way can be said in so many other ways. I believe that is why so few people understand the scriptures, they don't recognize the similarities between stories.

Magnificently done, my friend, it kept me glued until the end.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 11, 2019:

Wonderful poem, John, telling a gripping story. The book sounds like a good'un too.

This is well-paced and exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ann

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Thank you Eric, glad it kept you in suspense. Yeah, I really like Robert Ludlum's collaborations especially his Covert One series.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2019:

Very cool. Very exciting. I could not even imagine where this was going. I like callaboration work better now. It just works for me with Patterson, Clancy and Cussler.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

I greatly appreciate your comment Shaloo. I am glad the scene was easy to visualize. Thanks for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Thank you, Lorna. I don't know what the fate of the jester would be if he read this poem to the court :) Glad you enjoyed the drama.

Shaloo Walia from India on September 11, 2019:

What a lovely poem! I could visualize the drama being unfolded in front of my eyes..scene by scene...brilliant!

Lorna Lamon on September 11, 2019:

I love the drama you have created in this poem John which I imagined being read in court by the Jester.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 11, 2019:

Thanks a lot, Flourish. You were quick today :) I am glad you are enjoying this series.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 11, 2019:

Well done! I enjoy this series and you have done it again with this one! Very exciting!