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The Jester ... A Poem

Updated on January 28, 2017

The jester laughs and mimics grace

To join the house of fools

Where candor pales

In clichéd tales

And self-indulgence rules;

Our gardens fade in shifting tides

That rush the distant now…

While storms pervade

Through truths portrayed

The jester asks us how;

For wars of peace this blood was shed,

The past’s ignoble cry…

As fear divides

And greed decides

The jester asks us why;

As wisdom sought to find its place

In hungry minds of men…

While answers came

And still remain

The jester asks us when;

The trodden lands of ravaged souls

In poor and famished care...

While kings debate

And children wait

The jester asks us where;


Could the jester’s image be….

Mirrors that our conscience sees?

Poetry Copyrighted © 2011 Genna East All rights reserved.


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    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Self-refection (as in the mirror of our conscience) is difficult. I think one has to be strong to even attempt it. As a society, we have much to answer for. Blessings to you, my friend. Thank you for the visit and thoughtful comment.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      Genna, this is a superb piece.

      I cannot say more

      It is great with premonitions galore

      As our constitution is shredded upon the floor



      Blessings my friend

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello Nellieanna;

      My sincere apologies for not responding earlier. My work and personal life keep me so occupied that I don't have the time to write and comment on Hubpages as often as I would like. Your wonderful comment has truly made my day -- if not not my week. Comng from someone as talented as you, this is indeed praise. Thank you so very much! :-)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      I must confess that I measure poetry by its internal 'music' first of all, and then by its lyrics' message, flavor, authenticity and sheer beauty. This totally takes the prizes on all counts. It truly 'sings' and contains such amazing thought and clarity, delivered in beautiful words from your heart and soul. Truly one of my favorites, Genna!

      I'm shocked that I hadn't become a fan long before! Will tend t that now!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, KittyMack!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have to agree with Maggie-May.

      A masterpiece!!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you Maggie; I value your comments.

    • Maggie-May profile image

      Nadine M AuCoin 

      8 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

      A beautiful masterpiece!!!


    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Thank you...I think there is a bit of the jester everwhere. I have faith that we will do the right thing, ultimately. Thanks for your lovely and thoughtful comment.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      You pack so much punch into so few words and they carry such meaning. The Jester is a wonderful poem. Hopefully we can face the real truths in the mirror and not behind disguises. Sometimes the world seems so topsy turvy!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Cal You are always so kind to me. I thank you. :)

      @4elements Thanks...I appreciate your comments!

    • 4elements profile image


      8 years ago

      love it!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I am always in awe of your talent!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Chris Thank you! I like to use words that are simple and disarming in rhyme poetry but that carry more complex meanings and interpretations. You are spot-on...The Jester is many things but we cannot hide from him for long. :)

    • Chriscwarner profile image


      8 years ago

      YES! So much to relate to. I feel like we all have a jester inside us. Who we portray ourselves to other people may or may not work in cohesion with our true selves, and sometimes the two can become completely blurred. Amazing rhythm and imagery! A very fun thought provoker for sure!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Ann!

    • annmackiemiller profile image


      8 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      nicely done

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @arb Thank you. :)

      @Doc Thank you, Doc; I appreciate the visit and your kind and thoughtful words.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      8 years ago from UK

      This is truly awesome. Your command of words, the profound insight this poem represents and the dramatic sweep of using the Jester to illustrate the ' house of fools where self indulgence rules ( should we have this as the subtitle for Hubpages;-)) are all magnificent. I really admire the craft(wo)manship of this work, Genna, you have surpassed yourself.

    • arb profile image


      8 years ago from oregon

      Just going from read to read. But I'm going to stop leaving messages. the score is holding though.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Wayne: Thank you! Interesting interpretation, Wayne, and one I had not considered as the truths written about in this poem are not hidden. We can also blame our leaders for shortsightedness and call them jesters as well but we place them in their positions in response to our wants and needs. Thank you for your supportive comments; it is always such a pleasure to see you here!

      @arb Thank you, dear Arb; you are a treasure.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @arb; vocalcoach & Gus: Just stopping by for a few minutes. I want to thank you for your thoughtful comments and gracious support; I am so truly grateful.

    • arb profile image


      8 years ago from oregon

      just checking in!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Very nicely done...I find myself wrestling with the idea that the real truth of the world may be hidden there somewhere behind the smirk of our foolish pride. Thanks for sharing. WB

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      8 years ago from USA

      Howdy Genna - I had missed this one earlier on... Nice one, that "distant now." How very true and accurate that is.

      Gus :-)))

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      A brilliant poem written by a brilliant lady. I'm so glad you published this. Ah- the jester. I know him all to well. Or, should I say her? I am humbled by your talent, but also inspired. I am now eager to read more of your hubs. vocalcoach

    • arb profile image


      8 years ago from oregon

      Genna, this is not good, it is spectacular and a favorite that I will come back to read often. You weave from the thread of word and rhyme and beat a fabric deserving of the title, poetry. How I wish you had time to write more. All buttons up!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Yes, we hesitate. But I have always said that we should not fail to write about what makes us feel uncomfortable...especially, during our darker days, as they reveal words that can shed light on the darkness. Thank you for your wonderful words of support and understanding; you are, without doubt, one of my favorite poets, and continue to honor us with your brilliant and astonishing words, thoughts and exceptional creativity.

      @ Epi

      Thank you, Epi. You always brighten my thoughts with your candid and delightful words; your poetry continues to, and will always, enlighten my days. You are such a treasure. :)

      @maven 101

      Thank you! I haven’t read Donne in some time; but I remember his brilliant use of metaphor. I am honored that this poem would ring such a bell. I appreciate your kind words and votes of confidence.

    • maven101 profile image


      8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      The Jester answers the questions of where, when, what, and how...And then, finally, asks and answers the question of who...

      As I was reading this thoughtful and inspiring poetic plea, a distant bell was ringing in my ear...John Donne's bell, which I have answered many times in my life...

      Voted up and beautiful...Thank you, Larry

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      ......well you received my commentary about The Jester yesterday in a letter when I couldn't comment here in your hallowed hubspace so here I am - back in epi-man

      3-D lol ...... and it's the marvelous 'storyteller' in you and the way you have presented this poetic allegory which definitely captures my heart and mind .... and that is not the 'jester' in me talking that is your humble reader who is just so very glad and honored to rate you as an esteemed and noble colleague , a creative muse, and an outstanding and revered peer, that you are!!!!!!

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 years ago

      I have those days to Genna and my poems become darker than they usually are, I have written similar pieces. The mask we wear in our lives is often changed as Laurie Dawn wrote about in one of her most recent poems.

      I have peeled back a few in my day and fell between the Jester and often felt the fool. This is a wonderful work you penned out here and to think you were not going to push the publish button, why do we poets hesitate?

      We are the worst critics of our work don't you think? yet receive raves when we least expect it. Bravo, I applaud this brilliant scribe. I hope your day improved, a glass of red wine or two generally does it for me.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Micky One in mine too, Micky. Thanks for the visit and the comments; always a pleasure.

      @What is Q Well, you are one of the best writers on the Hub. :) Thanks for the supportive comments!

    • What Is Q profile image


      8 years ago from Tennessee

      This poem was awesome. I love it. Teach me how to write poetry, Genna.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      There's definitely a jester in my mirror. I like this very much. God bless you Genna.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Chspublish; AA Zavala; Bobbi; Sunnie

      Thank you for your time, and your kind and thoughtful words!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      8 years ago

      Wonderful poem! Thank you for sharing.


    • BobbiRant profile image


      8 years ago from New York

      Great poem that to me, is talking of our greed and our sometimes inhumanity we show to others, the cliched tales we all believe from times past or even today. Love it.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Outstanding poem! Thank you for sharing.

    • chspublish profile image


      8 years ago from Ireland

      Jesters...a centrefrugal force? Well versed Genna. Well done.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Laurie Very perceptive, Laurie. Yes, there are times when most of us don that mask...some much more often than others. Thanks for your thoughtful and kind words of support too. :) Hugs!

    • LaurieDawn profile image


      8 years ago

      That was beautiful Genna, and very profound. I believe at times that we don that jester's mask in the many tasks that it would provide, or in some cases, hide. Just one of many masks we wear to keep the outside world at bay.

      I loved it! But am sorry you are having a bad day.



    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Dahoglund Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to read this poem; I appreciate your visit, as always. :)

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Maya; Amy and Chatkath

      Very perceptive; that is exactly who the jester is. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words of support; they truly mean a lot to this humble writer who is always trying to improve her skills.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Erin Hello my friend. I appreciate the visit and for taking the time to read this poem. Thank you!

      @Create I am pleased you enjoyed the poem and truly appreciate your support.

      @Eidddwen Thank YOU. I aim to please as the saying goes, and am thankful that you enjoyed this.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @BreakfastPop & Kashmir Thanks so much for your supportive comments and votes; they are very much appreciated.

      @Fay I can’t thank you enough for your kinds and thoughts; always a pleasure to see you here.

      @Pooh Hey there pooh! Thanks; I wasn’t going to publish this at first because I thought it was too dark. But my rule is to write what you feel and not to be uncomfortable with it.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Ghaelach Thank you. Yes, they certainly are. Thanks for the comments about the photos as well.

      @Hyphenbird Hi there; good to see you, and thanks for your comments.! :)

      @Dio Thanks, Dio. You are spot-on about Emily. This Libyan affair is just one more gasoline on the fire, so to speak, in this Middle East tinder box. I keep holding my breath and pray that cooler heads prevail.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Will That is real praise coming from you, Will. I am honored, thank you.

      @mckbirdsbks Hi there; good to see you, and I appreciate your comments.! :)

      @DanWW Well hello, my friend. As usual, you make be blush but I am humbly grateful for your support.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I think that was the jesters role, to be sort of an unofficial adviser.

    • Chatkath profile image


      8 years ago from California


      This is superb! I am not familiar with how you used to write but I truly appreciate the concise depth & thought-provoking nature of this poem - The jester forces us to question the hypocricy present in all of us, by simply looking in the mirror?!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I wish my bad days, or good days, resulted in something as stunningly brilliant as "The Jester". Words escape me as your words in this visual cornucopia are so rich with meaning, I am awed. Magnificent poetry, Genna, from your vast and endless talent.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent! Genna you write so well – good days and “bad days” you mentioned in your comment. The how, where, why and when, you covered them all. As the jester mirrors our own vanities and humanity’s foibles while the world spins and man rushes towards his destiny in increasingly troubled times refusing to see tragedies he creates for himself. He is unable to see the how, where, when and why, yet alone understand, help or correct them in time? The Jester is the foolish and capricious side of humanity.

      (I hope your days are better Genna.)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      Beautiful and thanks for sharing your talent with us.

      Take care


    • CreatePerfection profile image


      8 years ago from Beautiful Colorado

      Genna, this is so beautiful and thought provoking. You are a true talent. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us.


    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 

      8 years ago from Maryland

      Genna, a beautiful poem and the jester, yes. The wisest for he hears the secrets of kings and yet seems to be the lowest of the court. All the while mimicking the pageantry to make them laugh, its such a fine line he treads between truth and the comedian. Well done, my friend. Voted you up, beautiful and awesome. I love this genre.

    • Poohgranma profile image


      8 years ago from On the edge

      What could I possibly add to what has been said? I agree with every word. Simply incredible!!!

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      8 years ago

      Genna, I kept trying to find the stanza I liked best, to pick out a favorite was impossible. I love every word!


    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Genna, an excellent poem and very beautifully written !

      Awesome and vote up !!!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      Fantastic, engaging and awesome and I will vote it that way!

    • diogenes profile image


      8 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Yes Genna. I like this simple, 4,3,2,2,3 meter. I have used it and so have many famous poets, including Dickinson. It is very effective for telling a philosophical short story like this.

      Oh, well, back to fighting Libya! Bob

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Jesters, the therapists of old and keeper of secrets of kings. You have caught that feeling. Bravo!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      An exquisite piece of work Genna. Jesters are clever people and hard to understand.

      Excellent chioce of foto's. lol


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well Genna I didn’t think Ocean’s Child could be surpassed. But you do it every time. This is stunning beyond words. You are extraordinarily talented.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      8 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      I predict, 'The Jester...A Poem', once discovered, will be read for a hundred years.

    • WillStarr profile image


      8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      This is one of the best pieces I've ever seen, Genna.

      Up, beautiful, and awesome. It’s brilliant and I'm dazzled. Congratulations on a splendid work.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Noclue Thank you. I usually don’t write this type of verse (I used to write more like this years ago), unless I’m having an extremely bad day like today. Thankfully, I do not have these very often.

    • No_Clue profile image


      8 years ago

      Genna, an excellent, thought-provoking, complex piece of work here! I love it! Your photo choice is excellent as well...delicious read, indeed!


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