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Sestina of the Court Jester

Here, reverence dies.

By Mackenzie DavisPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 1 min read
Sestina of the Court Jester
Photo by Rachel on Unsplash

I face you, king, and hope my knees don’t quiver.

Your leg rests skittishly before your throne.

Your crown jabs the ceiling, a vicious ornament,

but I am smitten with its teeth! I face you

and swiftly I fold, a bow, my hat giggling—

bells too gentle beneath your thundering majesty.


Here, reverence dies, splendiferous Majesty;

Here, I encroach to capture your frown’s quiver

and send it dancing, for I shall see you giggling!

Only knaves could juggle a crown and throne

as hands propel a dozen eggs in the air before you.

Unshakeable are your lips and gilded ornament.


My hat flies past candle clouds—vibrant ornament!

Poised to catch, I look up, aghast! Vacant majesty

brags the jester. A hunter’s smirk ensnares you

as a parachute kisses my palm. Quivering,

your headdress releases the hand of the throne;

I reach out ambiguity and you eye it, giggling.


Such mystery (and my secret sends me giggling),

such suspense exceeds the royal ornament;

how courtiers bleed from ruby knives throned

upon pillows of silken velvet. “Majesty!

I announce, “A crown of ether!” Quivering,

virginal lust blinds your sagacity; of fancy you


knew a different kind. All eyes fix on you,

yet mine tantalize the crown, silently giggling.

Your hands defrock your head without quiver;

with papal pas de chat, my form shadows ornament.

Sparing gluttony, palms enfold the crest of majesty!

Kingly burden I lay atop a pillar—an impermanent throne.


With glee I face your end, spectacle! for on his throne

a man is lost in youth’s idyllic play. I face you,

coronet; charmed courtiers face the Jester Majesty.

I face you, unnatural fog, and spring forward giggling

as hands that juggled for the royal now swipe his ornament.

The pillar in mist seats a belled hat, slightly aquiver.

* * *

I see you adorned with a new bejeweled ornament,

O juvenile majesty. Sometimes I see it quiver,

unanchored, and remember you giggling upon the throne.






What is a sestina poem? Poetry foundation explains:

performance poetry

About the Creator

Mackenzie Davis

“When you are describing a shape, or sound, or tint, don’t state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint. And learn to look at all things with a sort of mental squint.” Lewis Carroll

All work is owned by Mackenzie Davis.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (7)

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  • Gigi Gibson3 months ago

    Oh, tender Lambkin, love’s labour is not lost! Thy words are lovely and gamesome. Well done!

  • Gina C.4 months ago

    Wow, this is a brilliant and wonderfully formed poem! Such an awesome story in here. I have never tried a Sestina before, but now you have me intrigued! 🤗❤️ Also, I love jesters ☺️

  • Andrei Z.4 months ago

    Nicely done Mackenzie! Do you know why this specific words pattern? I tried to analyze it from math point of view, couldn't make much progress with it. Ofc I guess I can google it though😊

  • I've heard of Sestina but have not tried it yet. But it's on my to try list. Yours was so brilliant! I loved it!

  • Love me a good jester poem. I live for the jangly boys.

  • Brenton F4 months ago

    That was a very enjoyable and articulate read!

  • Kendall Defoe 4 months ago

    A very difficult form I have only tried once here. Good work!

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