I don’t often write poetry; I just don’t have a poetic mind. This, however, is basically a story with regular rhyme and meter. Like most of my shorter-than-novel-length work, it’s from a prompt. A friend gave me ‘Winter is coming’, expecting a rude joke about Game of Thrones. Instead, this (somewhat foul-mouthed) cautionary tale emerged.

If I wanted to make this poem meaningful, I could say it’s about the importance of a free press in a functioning society.

This poem is about the importance of a free press in a functioning society. Ahem.


“Winter is coming,” so the proud lord spoke,

Upon the frost-bitten heath of his realm.

Around him, pyres and columns of smoke,

A field of rent shields and cleft helms.


“Winter is coming,” he announced once more.

Upon his lips clung the taste of blood red;

His throat still ached from his victory roar,

Most of the men he had battled were dead.


“Of course winter’s coming, you utter twat,”

Muttered the fool, ever stood at his flank.

“It’s December. I’m certain you know that,”

He said, “So why do you spurt out such wank?”


“I’m being portentous,” the king did say,

“Tis a necessary part of my role.”

The jester scoffed in an obnoxious way,

“More like pretentious, you pompous arsehole.”


“Hang on,” cried the king, “you speak to the crown,

“Curb thy foul tongue or I’ll have it cut out!”

“My lord,” laughed the fool, “Are my trousers brown?”

“No. You ignore what a jester’s about.”


“The gods have decreed that you be the king,

“But that I am also blessed with this gob.

“For when my lord says ridiculous things,

“So will this jester’s lips brand thee a knob.”


The boil of the king’s pomposity lanced,

The jester took his leave of the field.

Returned to the camp, the little man danced:

His master’s humility was healed.


The king considered the dark clouds above,

It was time to leave another clown dead.

Though the fool had acted only from love,

Much too far: “Winter is coming,” he said.



The header image is Knight and Jester, by Charles M. Russell, 1896.


2 thoughts on “Poem – The Privilege of Fools

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