Faith crisis poetry

The Castle on the Hill

  1. A castle sat upon the hill, where all the power lay:
  2. The storehouse, armoury lay inside, the treasury, every day.
  3. The ruler and his dozen knights would tax the peasants poor,
  4. Would take a portion of their food and money for their store.
  5. They promised safety from their foes, protection from the night,
  6. But told them when to build a wall and when to run or fight.
  7. They the makers of the swords, the helmets, belts, and shields
  8. They the holders of the keys, the oil, and the seal.
  9. The town, in time, began to grow, too big to keep control,
  10. And people died or wandered off or fell in empty hole.
  11. It soon grew clear the ruler dear cared not for every one,
  12. For those who died or became lost, the ruler mourned but none.
  13. In fact, the ones he thought to save were those who knelt before
  14. In adoration, loyalty, allegiance evermore.
  15. From these he chose his guards and chiefs and up the ladder climbed,
  16. And if they worked and kissed enough, they, too, were knights in time.
  17. But there were some who did not die or wander through the mist,
  18. Nor did they bow or heed the beck or betray their heart with kiss.
  19. They stoked their fire and scraped for ore and forged their own sharp sword,
  20. And shaped a shield, a helmet, too, a breastplate for the war.
  21. They pressed their oil, and cut their keys, and carved out their own seal.
  22. Then walked away, just one by one, to find a place to heal.
  23. They were free now of the tax, the burden of the knights,
  24. Their own heads high, their own hearts sure, and ready for the fight.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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