The Jester and the Monk


The Jester and the Monk



The jester and the monk went walking

The winter moon

hung like a skull above their heads

Two before midnight

prayed by the river

laughed in the apple orchards

holding hands

they circled a forest of dreams


The jester poked a tongue at the sky

the monk dripped tears on the earth

nailed to absurdity

locked in serious sainthood

campfire burned

children linked arms

close to their love


If not for the living thirst

If not for the agonized fascination

and the ignited chill

no blue bird would they have betrayed

no house would they have entered

like wings

flapping in an undecided wind.


A thousand hours

counting many dawns,

nights of humour and holiness

Anyone could feel the connection

resting in their smiles

Anyone would have swam an Artic sea

to soothe the burn

blistering the strength of their hold.


What they wanted

neither dared to understand

only a bridge

mouthfuls of truth

handfuls of lies

drove them together




Copyright © 1989 by Allison Grayhurst


Joshua’s Shoulder was published  in 1989 by The Plowman, written by Allison Grayhurst under the pseudonym of Jocelyn Kain.

Joshua's shoulderimg157


Published in “The Peregrine Muse” April 2018



First published in “The Plowman: A Journal of International Poetry” 1989


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