Poor Poet's Scroll

"No sword
Of wrath her right arm whirl'd, [6]
But one poor poet's scroll, and with 'his' word
She shook the world." - Tennyson, 'The Poet'

I may not shake the world, but I do believe in the power of words.


16. Maid of Orleans

Caught in a stream of heavenly ray,

the ambrosial servant kneels

bathed in a seraphic light,

Eyes aglow with passion divine,

cloaked in rapturous hope.

Joan of Arc, a saint who will lead the lost.

Heretical angel, fighting for feminine cause.


Tresses of golden hair unfurl on the floor,

the silver blade severs effeminate locks.

Cascades of the gown are replaced by mail,

robust armour for a stallion’s heart.

Hands grip pommeled hilt,

knuckles white, lips hard as nails.

Strength of the wavering sex elucidated.


Banner fluttering, men rally, subservient,

the Maid of Orleans inspires hearts with passion,

leading her flock to victories in bestial battles.

Prowess unquestioned, leadership exalted.

She purges France, reclaims seized land,

upholds the name of Dauphin and God.

Valiant efforts bring respite to a troubled land.

A king is crowned in splendour.

But the cruel wind is fickle

and Joan’s aura of glory ebbs and dies.

Once saint, now sinner,

condemned to die a criminal’s death,

a just reward.


Rich flowers of purple and blue blossom,

over a battered body, kicked and fed with hate.

Red rivers flow from her mouth and nose

as tormenters jeer and gibe.

Lawless trial, voiceless defense.

Heretic, witch, whore.


Some sad, some glad to watch her burn

as snaking hands of flame caress her skin.

Plumes of choking smoke smother her lungs,

tugging her soul away, inviting death to claim his prize.

Not dead, not forgotten.

Centuries will revere her name.

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