While a Kingdom Falls

Actors and fools perform in the crumbling halls,
kings of little power haunt corridor portraits
while knights tilt at phantoms beyond the broken walls.

Jesters distract from things of import with their dance and gall,
the court bows and fawns at the throne of the once great,
actors and fools perform in the crumbling halls.

Decadence is an event they can no longer forestall,
mothers shield children –cover eyes and ears — and wait
while knights tilt at phantoms beyond the broken walls.

The elite of academia rewrite a history few recall,
oblivious to the reality beyond the golden gates,
actors and fools perform in the crumbling halls.

The free warrior is outnumbered by the willing thrall,
who abdicates all thought and liberty to monarchical dictates
while knights tilt at phantoms beyond the broken walls.

What was once magnificent has become small,
an ideal replaced with the remains of a royal estate.
Actors and fools perform in the crumbling halls,
while knights tilt at phantoms beyond the broken walls.

.

Loosely inspired by Margo’s posting of the Danish
Royal family portrait, which is both fabulous and bizarre.
The  form is a villanelle, because Viv said I could.
I still do not care for the rhyming much, and this feels
rather choppy. As always, a work in progress.

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8 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

8 responses to “While a Kingdom Falls

  1. Your repeating lines give a tumbling and deconstructive effect which works very nicely, I think, given the topic. Nicely done on the Villanelle!

  2. I am honoured that you attribute this lovely poem to my urging! I looked at the portrait and could think of nothing. You, on the other hand, have made a jewel from it.

  3. Mark, I am very impressed with your ability to write a villanelle. Very nice!

  4. for a second there i thought this was a political poem..ha…it fits

  5. What an impressive villanelle! The refrains work to great effect. I think society likes to feel secure so they’ll stand behind anyone who shows even a semblance of strength, choosing to ignore the ground realities. Even the king wants to ignore the fact that his kingdom is crumbling. It’s just convenient for him to fight a losing battle by being distracted from worries tat bring sorrow. Him and his kingdom are just an air castle. It’ll get blown up when reality touches it.

  6. Smarty! So, do you feel the urge to make it work more smoothly, or will you chalk it up to ‘Yep. Done one’?

    • Some bit of both actually. I would like to smooth this one out, see if it has potential. It needs an action word at the beginning of the 1st line…I think. The transition where that line repeats is a big part of my “choppy” issue.

      I don’t know that I would do another with the end rhymes, I feel the same as you about them, but a variation using repeated lines could be worth a go.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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