• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 03

The Toppling of Henry VIII

A king, a jousting legend,
rarely challenged or beaten,
topples tragically from his noble steed;
his back twisting in gnarled reins,
depleted of steely support;
horses’ hooves panic and stomp,
maiming him further;
bystanders look on, aghast,
torn to anxious shreds.

Perhaps, this one pivotal moment
changed all?

A loving king to a cantankerous one;
an adept lover to a lazy, lascivious husk;
a respected King of England to a tyrant;
from this day forth, his blighted injury,
caused his light to stutter and dim
as coal miners submerged in cavern darkness,
forgetting the warmth and heat of candle flickers.

Affairs, mistresses, wives,
sex, (more sex), poor decisions,
breaking with the church,
dividing a nation, seduction, gluttony,
gossip, scapegoating, betrayal, miscarriages,
treachery, executions, infant deaths, beheadings, hangings, imprisonment, divorce,
bloody-handed murders followed.

What could have been if he had just stayed upright?


The Toppling of Henry VIII

Charging forthright and fast
upon his jousting mare –
lifting a goblet to toast winning success.

Instead, he fell from grace…

Jousting, a nemesis:
one that cost him his life.