At the Renaissance Festival

clothes may one day make a man
or so the old saying goes
this head gear from another time and place
just beyond the world that we know —

what voices may it channel
to converse inside your head?
what secrets might it speak to you
of that era long since dead?

let its tales of adventurous quests
and the sort of man you might become
bounce in a seductive whisper
off your listening ear’s drum

let me search through my treasure store
—ah! this jester’s cap should do
who knows but it was once worn
by a bigger fool than you?

Shelly Bryant splits her time between Singapore and Shanghai, working as a teacher, freelance writer, researcher, and student of Chinese language and culture. Her first volume of poetry, Cyborg Chimera, was released by Sam’s Dot Publishing in October 2009, and her second volume, Under the Ash, followed in December 2010. Shelly loves to read, write, cycle, and travel, and enjoys the opportunities for all of these that her present migratory lifestyle affords. You can visit Shelly’s website at

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