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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

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war

Call to Open Arms

Friends, in response to my previous post and in light of all that’s happening in the world right now, I offer you my humble reply.

Call to Open Arms

Grandad’s Knife

grandads-knife

Theme Week: Christmas – 1

I know that I am so late in posting this, I got caught up in the holidays! I hope you can all forgive me, and that you are having amazing holidays of your own. Love you, my dears, thank you for reading!

This poem “Christmas” is a VERY non-traditional Christmas poem, meant to speak to the reason for the season. I hope you still enjoy!

 

The air tastes sharply of iron
As the dust is tainted red
Frantic shouts across the valley
Rise in notes of mounting dread.
For though we may fight with fervor,
We have met a fearsome foe
Creatures, jagged, black, and snarling,
Tearing through us row by row.

Not a man has stood before them,
They have slain both swift and strong.
In the hundreds we have fallen
To the fury of their song.
For the song was one of darkness,
Draining all our will to stand,
And it soaked into the soil
Like a poison in the land.

Now we pause, bloody and broken,
Some have quit their post and flown,
And the brave are few in number,
While their ranks have only grown.
Faces turn to watch the castle,
Voices cry out for the King.
But with all the length between us,
Who could hear our suffering?

All our swords have fallen heavy,
Trembling, we cower back,
As the monsters roar and cackle,
Setting for the last attack.
Then a shout upon the hillside
Draws our eyes across the land,
Silhouetted by the sunset
Is the figure of a man.

He lifts up his sword, defiant,
Hulking shadow, edged in light,
And he spurs his stead to gallop,
Charging down into the fight.
Raise your heads and see, my brothers,
Shrink away in fear no more,
For we have not been abandoned,
And the King’s son comes to war!

– s. Clark

You Were There

You have been there. The fight has grown so long,
I have lost count of all my battles fought.
My blade is bloodied, and my flesh is torn.
This war that we call life has made me strong,
and each success has been so dearly bought
beneath the weight of struggle and of scorn.

Though there are many crowded at the line
to watch me win the race, you shared the road.
So in the times I fell and lost my heart,
or knelt with broken knees and twisted spine,
you reached to raise me, shouldering my load.
You walked the weary wasteland from the start.

And there are always those who claim the win,
who show up for the trophies made of gold,
but you have been there for the grueling climb.
You offered faithful words and cheering grin
through all the pain, the tears, the biting cold,
through hateful words that rained like acid slime.

So let them come and boast with puffing chests,
and let them list me in their accolades.
The straws they grasp are empty as the air.
For in the times the haggard line was pressed,
I found you at my shoulder in the glade.
Through hell, with all its heartache, you were there.

– s. Clark

Worthy of War

I remember
Gazing at your smiling face
Soft, round cheeks
That soaked in all my kisses
Bright, wide eyes lit with wonder
As yet untainted
By all the cruelty of the earth
And I heard
Your gurgling, squeaking voice
Pure emotion, not yet twisted
With the sounds of explanation
Or curbed by bitten tongue
Tiny, grasping fingers
Reaching for the world
And I thought, so ironically,
“This, if anything at all,
Is a thing for which
I would go to war.”

– s. Clark

When the Call Comes

You don’t have to fight this battle,
You don’t have to face the pain
If you will not risk the failure,
Then you cannot take the blame.
It will all happen without you,
You will just be left behind.
You will only miss the victory
And glory you would find.
In this war, there will be martyrs,
And the ash will be their shroud.
And some also will be heroes,
Rising from the smoke, unbowed.
We will raise, and fall, and conquer,
Facing, fearing our defeat,
But how hard-fought is the battle
Will make triumph twice as sweet!
At the moment our Commander
Calls the cry, “The war is won!”
And each voice joins in, resounding,
And each man is named His son,
Will you risk to miss that moment,
When the fight is worth it all?
At the chance to meet your purpose,
Will you cower at the call?

– s. Clark

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

Theme Week: Adventure – 1

Give Me the Hills

Give me the hills where the giants are!
Give me the river that rages
Send me to reach for the furthest star,
Upon the road that extends too far
Don’t leave me to my cages

Give me the battle that can’t be won
Give me a fire still burning!
Tell me the course that I cannot run
The place where others have come undone,
Help me to fill this yearning

Send me to fight in the hopeless war
To shatter unbreakable chains
Send me when others can fight no more
To storm the deepest and darkest shore
Choose me, and I will not wane

I will stay true when all others fade
I will stand, bold and defiant
Only through pain are warriors made,
Yet I will still seek the endless raid,
Give me the hills with the giants!

– s. Clark

Hold the Line

Hold the line.
Because every battle is decisive in this war.
And every inch of ground worth bleeding,
Even dying for
And should the blood you spill
Fall to water seeds you will not reap
And grow up to bear fruit you cannot keep
Does it matter?
I challenge you
To move upon this blood-soaked battleground
And let the horn of victory, your battle-cry, resound
And fight!
Against the most cunning and dangerous of foes
For the most priceless and important of prizes.
No one knows
The blood you spill, the grief you bear, the pain you withstand
And the battle will be far uglier than you have planned
So ask yourself
How far are you willing to go for a stranger? A child of earth?
Loss of sleep? Fervent prayer? Lack of food? Self restraint?
How much is one soul worth?

– s. Clark

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