of jakes, dragons&the magic//of a kiss

“in these houses” i say
“lived knights– close to the city wall &–”
we walk
towards basel

cathedral, stories//
stories connect fragments of the things
i’ve heard&read

tsshhhk //tkssshk/sLLshh
a set of axes//knives — in front
of him a pendulum
across the parcours,

he stops
to their rhythm, stePs through
his eyes//betray him
as he bows to kiss//
———————her hand–

my daughter says
“and they were emptying onto the road”

“that’s true”
—————-“the pest”

“they had to sign a code of honor”

“deep wounds but–
—————–they were resistant”

“so, how do you know?” i smile,
“a fear of dragons?”

all of him,
————spread open
——————-on his face,

&i don’t dare//     move

in my hiding place,
————-up on the tree

the flickering of a lance,
spectators shout with pumped lungs

“LaN-ce-Lot //LaN-ce-lot”

they chant
———when they’re gone,

i sit in silence
this odd sense of electricity
as moonlight pours itself over rooftops,
on a basilisk’s sharp claws carrying the coat of armor,
cobble stones,
my toes

they both knew
from that first day in the rain–

“they peed in bowls” my daughter says
“and someone had to empty them”

“you never knew if they’d come back”

my fingers run across the branches,
gargoyles with stoneblind eyes
—————-keep watch above the sundial
&i close//my lips,
the magic of the kiss

still on me


we’re celebrating our change over week at dVerse with a medieval tourney – so the prompt is to write about knights, costumes, games, art, courage – all that fits the frame of the time back then… doors open at 3pm EST…


33 responses to “of jakes, dragons&the magic//of a kiss

  1. it is a rather exciting time // a time we much romanticize…love earned with honor and daring…facing the trials, being resilient…i envy you at times, your proximity to history far deeper than my own…i would love to see the castles and dream…smiles.

  2. It must be exciting to live in an area where there were (are) real castles and were real knights and ladies. I don’t envy them though, would rather live in the modern times, but there is still something magical about those times.

  3. I wonder whether the idea we have of knights and knighthood is close to what it really was like or totally modified by our modern perception. They have certainly survived in our mythical understanding of the Middle-Ages and are still present in many ways.
    Your poem reminded me of an evening walk in the old part of Basel.

  4. This def captured the feel of those times, and the feel of visiting the past by strolling through castles. When I lived in Germany, I went to many castles and cathedrals in Europe. You brought back those memories.

  5. How lovey and I felt transported back in the past ~ Love this part:

    i sit in silence
    this odd sense of electricity
    as moonlight pours itself over rooftops,
    on a basilisk’s sharp claws carrying the coat of armor,
    cobble stones,

  6. Just wonderful imagery here and takes you right back to those times …the stanza beginning ‘I sit in silence’ is particularly cool. Evocative stuff 🙂

  7. Ha, I just KNOW that in that lifetime, I was the one emptying the pee bowls. LOL. I have come so far in life. Now I pick up dog and horse poop. I love how your poems are conversations, disjointed, the way people really talk. Very cool.

  8. What fun! I travelled to that part of Europe years ago and was just agog. How magical it all seemed – the castles, the cobblestone narrow streets – so easy to imagine and here, you have brought it to life again and that kiss! That magical kiss!

  9. You live among the magic… and the ghosts of that time so long gone. I love the juxtaposition here of the romanticized version with the “but this is what it was really like” answers… Very effective.

  10. “gargoyles with stoneblind eyes
    keep watch above the sundial”

    Trees – I get caught up in the old ones at historic sites – imagine their secrets and this whole poem is a wonder of admiration and a wish to hear those voices… I like the reality of the potty bowls and the imagine kiss (talk about extremes 🙂

  11. I love your daughter’s slightly disgusted remarks interspersed throughout, bringing the flights of fancy very down to earth… ah, yes, nostalgia isn’t quite justified…

  12. I have always wanted to visit a castle..a fantasy of mine to hear the stories within those stone walls. Ah, you daughter is in touch with the reality of the times, but they didn’t know any other lifestyle so it was normal for them. We live in a modern world. Love listening to your conversations.

  13. You capture the visual imagery of the medieval days here well in words.. and i am taken to one of the many medieval like movies that are the new westerns of theater way..

    Interesting how medieval days are so much a part of popular culture now… and i think it is the video games and the desire to live vicariously in a more ancient way of life.. that brings it to the big screen..

    and of course eventually in poetry again here.. so the cycle goes on now in vicarious living ways… as old comes new and new comes old…:)

  14. When those pockets of history leak into the present and we are caught up in them it is delightful, scary, magical. This one, punctuated by the present captures my experience in a poem! I particularly like the of basilisks and gargoyles. The moonlight pours dangerously, but bedpans and practicalities bring me back to earth.

  15. it’s the personal – ‘they had to pee in bowls’ – that really grabs me. we take so much for granted, now, and yet there are some who would have us return to the days of serfdom and lords ~