Posted by: Ron DuBour | May 16, 2017

Palio di Siena~by Paul F. Lenzi



Palio di Siena


“Siena Palio Race” by Juan Felix Campos

gothic Romanesque backdrop

a rich-storied city-state

kissed by the Renaissance

settles low hills warm in

Tuscan penumbra of Florence

unchanged of aesthetic physique

since the plague of Decameron

keeping with cultural ritual

secular pageantry dresses

contrada identities vivid with

colors of deep-seated rivalry

atmosphere dripping with intrigue

elaborate scheming for slightest

advantage of horseflesh and post

madly flaunting the flutter of silks

in a set piece of modern medieval

contention arranged as a primitive

organized melee a battle-drawn race

for the prize of parochial pride

from ten precincts ten pennants

ten riders ten mongrel-bred horses

no saddles no stirrups no quarter

three times through the courses in

no-holds-barred bareback abandon

crops wildly flail at the flanks of

opponents no less than of steeds

in the end it’s a horse who will win

whether mounted or lost of its rider

to acts of aggression or accident

much to the jeer and the joy of the crowd

as in life harsh with circumstance

such are the perils of Palio





  1. thank you for sharing my poem with your readers

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