Sunday, April 10, 2011

Poetry Train Monday - 186 - In Medieval English Woods

Day 9 - the A to Z Challenge.

For new visitors, Monday is poetry day.

So I've rummaged through my archives for a poem that starts with I.

I is for In Medieval English Woods

In Medieval English Woods

The pound of hooves beginning
Bodies crouching
In the waiting

The hiss of leaves
And popping branches - torn
The rip of moss from earth
The thud of hearts
In night attack

Demon shadows leap
A fear-stained man
His arm to swing at air
While one who sees his moment
Their faces kiss
The slipping sliding for the stance
On blood-slicked rocks

The knights astride their mounts
Heavy spathas hacking
Stopped with wrenching force
By parries
Or the shield of breastbone

The sword sucks from the wound
The dying form
Slumps from his horse
And falls

Spirits linger
Cold tendrils hanging
From the shoulders of
The ones still fighting

Weary with the clotting blood
With steaming breath
The horses strain to bolt
Each head dragged by the bit
In the leaving

The knights canter from the scene
Indifference flowing from them
Like a billowing cape

The others slog
Exhausted through the mire
In confusion

© Julia Smith, 1986

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Sylvia Ney said...

Very Powerful! I'm stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look foward to reading more from you.

lucychili said...


Travis Cody said...

There's quite a bit of active imagery in this piece.

Melissa Bradley said...

Wow! This is amazing. I could see , hear and smell everything. I was right there, like a movie in my mind's eye.