Monday, October 10, 2016

Gist Of Why I Must Act

Gist Of Why I Must Act
© Surazeus
2016 10 10

Crouching tense among jagged rocks, Jacques grips
long wood spear he broke from dead oak, and glares
at long-haired Viking warrior who stands
blocking sunlight which blinds his blinking eyes.

Trembling in terror as his shadow looms,
dark shape suffused in rays of beaming light,
Jacques gasps for breath, and twirls around his head
oak spear that he honed sharp all night long.

Remembering gleam of stars in peaceful sky
of infinite blue strength, Jacques plants both feet
firm, and looks around small narrow ravine
where he hid for years, safe from haughty king.

I felt so safe and secure in this haven,
protected by steep rocks from eyes of thieves,
but now Sigmund, king of my apple vale,
traps me now in my false security.

Since Sigmund killed my father years ago,
and placed crown Frank forged on his own big head,
that Viking struts among my apple trees,
eating my fruit and feasting on my sheep.

My sister Josephine lives trapped in tower
my grandfather built to protect our clan
where she raises four children of his seed,
while I hide cowering in dark ravine.

I am the King of Broceliande, yet
I hide terrified in ravine of rocks
and drink from puddles after mocking rain,
while he wears my gold crown of sparkling gems.

How many times in purple evening haze
I snuck on hands and knees from cold ravine
and stole apples from my own trees to eat,
then stared forlorn at tower of glowing hearth.

Now that you found me, Sigmund, I must fight
to stay alive, but your sharp polished axe,
that glitters rays of light blinding my eyes,
will sever my head and secure your reign.

Since I must die at your arrogant hand
that stole my land, my crown, me trees, my hearth,
then I will die fighting you to the death,
and that is the gist of why I must act.

Howling in defiance, Jacques hurls spear,
projecting angry fear that burned his heart,
and launches projectile of fierce objection
that soars toward shadow of spine-chilling terror.

Terror-honed spear pierces his throbbing heart,
and Sigmund staggers from bright blinding glare,
falling to his knees, then stares in mute shock
as blood gushes from spine-shattering wound.

"Why did you stab me with your spear of hate?
Your sister Josephine, my gentle wife,
sent me to find you, and bring you to her,
because she wanted you to live with us."

Convulsing in confusion and sharp pain,
Sigmund falls over and bleeds among rocks,
blue eyes staring blank at endless blank sky,
and gold crown rolls clattering from his head.

Sobbing in shock, Jacques snatches crown from dirt
and hurls it, howling in rage, at blue sky,
where it vanishes in flash of red rays,
and sun sets bleeding sorrow down bleak hills.

Staring at stars that drip rain in his eyes,
Jacques lies flat on ground of essential truth
at base of tall tower where his sister sings,
weeping as her voice charms sweet tune of love.


  1. Thinking of the meaning of gist inspired me to write a poem about defiance of bullies, a Hamlet of the ravine.

    Gist, the substance or essence of speech.

    From early 18th century: from Old French, third person singular present tense of gesir ‘to lie [on the ground],’ from Latin jacere, which means 'to throw'.

    The Anglo-French legal phrase cest action gist ‘this action lies’ denoted that there were sufficient grounds to proceed; gist was adopted into English denoting the grounds themselves.