“The Sleazy Politician’s Tale (in the style of Geoffrey Chaucer)” by Heather Chamberlain

For years he’s lived in confusion,

unable to escape the delusion

that he doesn’t belong here; he never did.

Despite his efforts, he’s unable to rid

himself of this sour cognition:

that something strange separates him

from the people he’s been with all this time.

Something’s permeated and poisoned his mind.

Whatever it is, it’s gamy and sweet—

replete of exhilarating self-conceit—

that seed of malice born of the core.

Like a user, he yearns for more.


From amongst the shadows he emerged one night,

wandering in a dark forest and in quite

a curious predicament he was in—

not knowing where he was or where he’d been,

or who he was. He thought, how odd,

when the ground began to rattle and out of the fog

appeared a circus caravan brilliantly lit,

and they welcomed the drifter—a fellow misfit.

Virtuous people will do all that they can

to lend a fellow man a helping hand,

but ahead, bleak Destiny awaited;

that fearsome Huntress had them all baited.


He was as blissful as they of the depth of his nature,

but one’s heart can often be fooled by behavior.

The man’s goodness and honor were surely fictitious,

but his companions never became remotely suspicious

of his mysterious arrival that was quite dismaying.

They all had pasts not worth relaying.

In fact, they found the man extremely enchanting:

young, charismatic, and commanding.

They wanted his leadership and made up their mind.

They devised a plan and in no time

the old ringmaster was executed,

and the disease of power was rooted.


Photograph made available by Lukasz Szmigiel via Unsplash

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