Champions but not Heroes
The swordsman points tempered steel,
eye and eye fixated front
while eye and eye strikes him real
beneath that helm a foe grunt
in the midst of no-man's-land
where many felled men lie far
from their country's homely sand
seen by the voyager's star.
Here a man against a man,
longsword against the halberd
not like their brothers who ran
out of ranks marching forward.
Neither one steps defiant
nor movement as if stone touched.
Stand resolute, the errant
at the ready, handles clutched.
In grime and filth stained armor
punctured and beaten like glass,
one a lord, one a farmer,
both along a stretch of grass.
Midday when the sun is hot
on a conflict's aftermath
when corpses begin to rot,
but blazed unwavering wrath
when blood had not yet turned black
and robbers still in the hills
while footsteps still marked the track
that goes by ushering rills.
Like a bedsheet flung at ghosts,
double edged swings 'gainst spear thrusts
both through many clashes boast
before they splinter and rust.
And lost souls within death's grasp,
whoever will fall at last
to show the hare and starved asp
in a fight that shall end fast.
Honorless fought feral might
unleashed for self-serving oaths,
drawing devils in the light.
Mano-a-mano, each loathes
the other who bars his way,
to contend for glory's sake
and turn sanguine the noonday.
But the hitching horns could rake
and in moments the blade slowed
as the footman kicked the side,
piercing after a feint's goad
before the noble lord died.