Saturday, June 26, 2010

Battle

This is a poem I wrote maybe a year or two ago. It was a requirement for Clean Place (online writers' critique group I'm a member of). The first line was given us and we had to write poems from there. It's a little rough in some places.

No moon, it took an hour,
as thin mists played gently ‘round
the feet that tread the soft, moist ground,
heading quietly toward the tower

through darkened night.
On they went,
and never was their courage spent,
though fog now cloaked their sight.

Sweat beaded
on broad foreheads, ‘neath their helms,
as they walked past trees, past the elms,
wishing the humidity to go unheeded.

And now they’ve reached
the tower high,
reaching up toward clouded sky,
and pray t’will soon be breached.

Sentries guard the doors,
tall, silent danger,
unaware of each hidden stranger
as they gaze across the misty moors.

Swords hang at armored sides,
providing comfort as they surround
the great stone tower, without a sound.
On this their captain prides.

Soft lantern light
creates dancing shadows on the ground.
Flickering, disappearing, rising o’re a mound,
breaking through thick dark of night.

They smell the sweat
that drips down brows
as they take care not to arouse
enemies not yet met.

At a signal from a stealthy hand
hearts pound, excited yet wary.
And now no longer do they tarry,
as forward moves this intrepid band.

Swords are taken
from sheaths, by gauntleted fingers.
Nowhere is one who lingers
as fears must be forsaken.

Breaking through the silence’s reign -
a great shout to intimidate.
Soldiers no longer have to wait,
praying courage will not wane.

Guardians start.
Alarmed, they reach for hilts.
Complacency wilts,
leaving each heart.

The first blood falls
to marshy land,
and its owner will no longer stand
as others are haunted by his calls.

Opens the door
to the tower’s insides.
And sword collides
with sword, now harder than before.

Silver blades
glint in firelight
from lanterns bright
as another life fades.

Sweat mixes with blood
as they fight, tenacious.
Their spirits stand firm, audacious,
but flinch as life pours out, a flood.

They will not be swayed,
and move in, closer to their goal,
each hardened soul,
as swiftly moves each silver blade.

Now guards lie prone -
life gone, spirit fled,
and warriors file past the dead,
and walk upon the stone.

The tower is won,
a step in war.
But hearts are wounded by the gore,
and many hope it has not merely begun.

Haunted eyes -
witnesses to the truth,
many still not past their youth,
as in their ears echo death’s cries.

Now they take care
to choose their fights,
to weigh the worth of bloody nights,
and shiver now in humid air.

The lives of those
who fell that night -
did they not feel they were as right?
And now each life no longer glows.

Take care to choose your battles.

~*~*~*~*~

Here's an almost entirely unrelated video that makes me laugh every time.

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