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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

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legend

Theme Week: Adventure – 3

Shadow and Flame: The Last Battle of Leif Shadow-Sword

In Terratarn they took their stand,
Two armies fought across the strand
A demon came to to claim their land,
They fought to reach the morning

Leif danced through the brawling horde,
And stood to face the demon lord
Atop a hill, he raised his sword
And shouted out a warning,

“Let the devil come to me!
A fiend of fire he may be,
But ere this night is done, I’ll see
Him laid down low and writhing!”

The creature roared, and spread its wings
But Leif laughed, and began to sing
He made his spinning blade to ring
And sent it darkly driving.

They met, and fire sparked with shade,
Fearsome claws with ebon blade
They flew– advance, assault, evade
A storm of frenzied fighting

Up and through, and quickly glancing,
All the hordes about entrancing,
Blades of flame and darkness dancing
Each one deadly biting!

Then a cry sent soldiers turning,
Soaring spirits fell to churning
Saw a razored claw come burning,
And their hero reeling

As Leif was bowed upon the field,
His warriors all rushed to shield
The demon flared, and thundered, “Yield.”
And grinned to see him kneeling

Leif’s spirit seared and charred within,
It curled like smoke up from his skin
But still he met the monster’s grin
And laughing, rose to meet it

His limbs weighed down like molten stone,
His blood boiled about his bone,
But Leif would not be overthrown
While still he could defeat it

So forth he flew, and met its fire,
Drove blade through flesh with black desire
Made the creature his own pyre,
He could not leave it living!

For those who fought with him so brave
He would not leave for demon slaves,
So, with his final breath, he gave
All he had left worth giving.

Those looking on heard only laughter
That echoed with them ever after
Piercing through what seemed disaster
As Leif and fiend fell spinning

And as dawn came, the warring masses
All ceased in their fervent clashes,
Saw two bodies midst the ashes
One twisted grim, one grinning

The demon army ran, retreating
All their fearsome boldness fleeting
And Terratarn pursued them, meeting
Victory with raging

For though their land stayed free and strong,
They mourned their friend, lost to the throng.
So, weaving him into their songs,
Leif lived on, never aging.

– s. Clark

Dragon Maid

A Dragon Maid must show no fear
If she would bring the dragons near.
If she would tempt that daring fate,
They must not sense her hesitate.

A Dragon Maid must not be frail
She may not stand by, meek and pale
The dragon rules the sprawling skies,
He must see fire in her eyes.

A Dragon Maid is strong as steel,
For she was made to fight and feel
And cannot falter under pain
She only grows through heat and strain.

A Dragon Maid cannot grow cold
Her life is lived of passion bold
Her heart must always burst with flame
Just as the dragons she would tame.

– 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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