Write a poem using the word clown or a word – real or created – with clown as the root.
I am not at all a fan of clowns. I find them quite frightening.
Some poets decided to go the horror route with this prompt. Some went political. (Clowns and politicians just go hand in hand don’t they?)
Mine went a different direction. The Fool fits loosely under the clown category. I have always been intrigued by the archetype of the Fool, and in particular the Holy Fool.
There are many representations of the Fool throughout literature. Shakespeare’s plays feature these types of characters. There’s a Fool card in the tarot. And of course there were many saints who were honored with the title within the Eastern Orthodox Church. (In the Western Church we have St. Francis of Assisi as an example.)
The Holy Fool was known to do outrageous (and occasionally humorous) acts. Many had colorful or controversial pasts.
The concept of the Holy Fool is based, in part, on scriptures such as:
God chooses “the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27).
A world without mercy
is like a room with no windows—
all painted walls,
and closed doors,
with only the power you can purchase.
A young woman limps
out of the 7-Eleven…
bone thin, blowin in the wind,
carrying a squall—an infant by hip.
Where is your brother Abel?
How can it be?
Sheep outnumber the wolves
a billion times over.
Do you see what I see?
Mercy is a window
with slatted blinds,
light beaming through—
morning sun or moonlight,
pelting rain with lightning,
birdsong, hints of green
and blue— hidden in part,
but still within view.