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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

Category

Narrative Poetry

The Ancient War (Rain in Korea)

The boom, the charging call,
And forth the water droplets go!
To wage war with their ancient foe
The Earth, to which they fall

A crash, the crack of light,
Their ally leaves but ash around
As, speeding passed, he smotes the ground
With streaks of burning might

But Lightening flees as fast
And leaves the Rain to wage her war,
As endless hordes of soldiers pour,
Each fighting to the last

The Rain remembers when,
Just once, she beat the prideful stones,
And swallowed up Earth’s battered bones
To cleanse the race of men

And since, she cannot yield.
The Rain will rest when she has won,
And only retreats from the Sun
To storm another field

– s. Clark

Encounter on a Plane

“That would be me,” I told him,
Pointing to the seat beside,
He stood and held his hand out
Offering it as a guide.
“I saved it for you, highness,”
He said, twinkle in his eye,
“Though so many pretenders
Claimed your throne within the sky!”
I thanked him for his valiance
In defense of my good name.
He laughed his gratitude, for
No one else would play his game.
So I scoffed and looked affronted
As we took off into flight,
Lamenting that the world could so
Ill-treat a gallant knight.

– s. Clark

The First Day: The Roman Invasion of Britain

In massive ranks they form upon the sand
The Romans, each behind his golden shield
In perfect lines, in majesty of war,
They march in eager order for the field
And on the far side of the silver beach,
Emerging from the rocks as insects freed,
The Britons, in a mass of swarming swords,
That fly to death in reckless warrior’s need.
For death it is, and at the battle’s front
The soldiers with their gleaming armor press
To run through their aggressive enemy.
The bold blood stains the fur upon the chest
Of each barbarian lord who falls before
The teaming onslaught, groaning at his fall,
While over lifeless forms one Briton flies
To face his foe, the largest of them all.
And each wears on his wrist a broken chain
To say he will be free at any cost,
Yet, still, two ragged natives turn their backs
In fear, for they can see the battle lost.
The brightly colored robes of roman guard
Stand yet unstained by wounds to make blood flow
And on the shoreline of the violent sands
Are ships neatly aligning in a row.
Yet while the Romans fall upon their prey,
While, pierced by spears, the Britons by and by
Submit to death, the land stands looking on.
The silent stones, the peaceful sea, the sky.

– s. Clark

Leif Shadow-Sword

Come, and I will spin for you
A tale of long ago
You may know legends, strong and true,
Who slayed an evil foe
Or heard you tell of mages fair
Whose power came to grief?
But not a legend can compare
To lore of valiant Leif

In Terratarn, the Land of Swords,
Where war seems not to cease,
In fields removed from brawling lords,
Our hero lived in peace
Leif felt not of wealth bereft
Nor need to conflict raise
In patient silence, gladly left
The fools their wicked ways

But he could turn aside no more
The day, within his glade,
A fighting band made blood to pour
From townsmen, helpless slayed
They laughed, and riding, burned the woods
That Leif called friend and home
Scarred and stained the earthen good
He loved, and lived to roam

In rage he dashed into the night
Beneath a raven cloak
The hateful band knew not their plight,
What force they had awoke
So when Leif came upon their camp,
Stepped boldly in their midst,
Some brutes began to laugh and stamp,
Their comrades smirked and hissed

“What fool is this, approaching now,”
They snickered in their pride
“With fury etched upon his brow?
We’ll flay your skinny hide!”
Unheeding of the stranger’s ire,
The raiders leapt to fight
By magic’s will, Leif took their fire
He would not need the light.

The only sound ever betrayed
The dogs to coming doom
Was ring of drawing ebon blade,
Unseen within the gloom
Their cries rang out into the air
And listeners could not tell
If pain and torment they heard there
Came up from earth or hell

The moon looked on in silence, and
The stars shone bright, but still
As though in judgment by the land
For all the men had killed
When dawn revealed the scene that day,
A score of rogues lay dead
And crimson rivers ran, to pay
For blood that they had shed

Now ever if you walk within
The land called Terratarn
You may hear whispers, tense and grim,
From those who would bring harm
The lords have fallen, in their wrongs
Received their dark reward
Let villains fear, for night belongs
To Leif, the Shadow-Sword.

– s. Clark

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