Location: Shire of Trisel, Trimaris

I am in my late forties, a proud husband, father, and a bard. I am a book pedlar by trade and a bookman by vocation. I am a romantic, a realist, and a Believer. I like a good joke, and a bad one even better. I admire all ladies for the innate beauty that is in each one, but my heart is sworn to the fair and gentle Lady Lorelei, who has consented to share my life and my name.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sonnet: She Walks in Corridors

She walks in corridors built of her regret
O’er past occasions marked by pain and grief,
Cursed to know her truth and not forget
Each step she took, and never find relief
From all the sorrows that she bears within
The ruins of her anger and her pride.
Nothing left for her but to descend
Into despair, for all her hopes have died.
And yet, for all her loss, her head is high,
Although the void wants to consume her soul.
She will not give in to the urge to die,
But rather, she embraces her grief whole.
Although defeat is bitter as the gall,
It’s still her own, and she will claim it all.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Said Alice to the Dormouse

Why yes, I was a philosophy major...

Said Alice to the Dormouse,
Who lay head downward in the teapot,
Losing the pat in his hair
And spoiling the tea,
“It is not rational to think
Of pigs having wings when
Common ordinary eyesight says
That such a condition does not exist.”
“But ah,” said the Dormouse
From the hollows of the teapot,
“Who invited reason into our considerations?
When reason has proved irrational, and
The obvious a lie,
Existence is no longer measured by
What the senses claim, but
As a synthesis of knowledge and speculative theory.
The fact that a winged pig
Appears to hallucinatory does not
Necessarily prove that the concept is false.
Indeed, do we even know which reality
Is the real reality,
Whether hallucination be true or false
In the quest for metaphysical being.
But the question was whether pigs have wings,
Not epistemology. Please stick to the subject.”
“But you’re making no sense!”, cried Alice, alarmed,
“There’s no reason here, only nonsense!”
“If it’s reason you wanted”, the Hatter replied,
“You would never have come into Wonderland.”

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dedicated to Jeff Pond, Who Took the Freebird Route

There is, of course, a story behind this, but it is long and unhappy and I won't go into it here. This poem appeared in the GSU Review, and thus, is my only oficially published piece.

Dedicated to Jeff Pond, Who Took the Freebird Route

Guitar riff sounds across soft summer night.
Johnny Van Zandt reaching out across water
For one last ride.
Lift a glass to his memory,
And toss the beer bottle behind you
Before opening another.
Talk is low, measured,
Keeping time with the crickets,
And the drinking,
And that freebird bass,
Thumpin’ out rhythm
For good ol’ boy blues;
Where all that matters
Is the beer in your hand
And the girl beside you
Who’ll be what you want,
And burnin’ out before you get old;
Before you are one more redneck never-was,
Used up on the assembly line beer-joint
Circle, spinnin’ round and round
Without goin’ nowhere.
Drink to that guitar run
Runnin’ for freedom, freebird, escape,
Risin’ to crescendo before that final
Grand slam.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Don Quixote

One of my very early pieces.

Don Quixote is tired of windmills.
He’s looking for dragons.
Tired of claiming empty victories
Over enemies of straw,
Yet still desirous of heroic deeds,
Will no longer talk loudly
Of battles he never fought.
He discards the useless armor
That shields him from nothing,
Lays down the general’s sword,
And takes up a private’s bow.
Now on the front lines,
The enemy approaching,
Admits to himself he is afraid.
He’s found his first dragon,


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Valentine Verse

This was the first thing I wrote as a member of the nest. Not much, but it got me going again.

The training lists stand empty and bare.
No sword rings on armor or shield.
No knight stands ready for challengers there.
A silence reigns over the field.

Where are the warriors who lately here fought?
Why have they taken their leave?
They are caught by their ladies in Valentine's knot,
None willing their sweethearts to grieve.

For tonight they study the gentler arts
To avoid couch-sleeping and pain,
Their sword arms apparently ruled by their hearts.
Mars loses to Eros again.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lady Rowena

If I were not a believer I probably would be a pagan. The ritual,the mysticism , and the cultural undertones appeal to me. As with many Believers, however, I wonder if many Pagans really understand what they profess to have faith in, and why their ancestors believed as they did. But that is a matte for a long essay, not the introduction to a poem.

Lady Rowena

Lady Rowena, in your robes and your beads,
With your potions and powders, feathers and seeds,
Playing at magic you don’t understand,
Heedless of what you hold in your hand.

Modern-day wise-woman channeling power
From earth, rock and field, fountain and flower,
Unleashing the forces that one ruled with might
In a past age of fear and dread of the night.

The old druids acted with caution and awe
Of the power they wielded, and heed the law
Of sowing and reaping. They tempted not fate;
Knew better to close than to open such gate.

Power has no color, not black and not white;
Cares not what it touches, destroys without spite;
Flows out like rough water, seeks its own ground,
And utterly alters whate’er it finds round.

Yet you in your hubris seek out the old ways,
Thinking you turn back to honester days.
Hearken before you read lore that was lost,
The first law of power; uncountable cost.

The old power smiles at your covens and rites.
Your offerings amuse; supplication delights.
You’re tempted with whispers of knowledge and lore.
It knows who serves who; you’ll crawl back for more.

The oak trees grow twisted in ancient groves now,
And poisonous mistletoe clings to each bough.
The old magic’s locked away where it belongs,
In earth stone and tree, and remembered in songs.

Rowena, your pentagrams, candles and bells
Illumine a portal bound up with strong spells.
Before you hasten to open such door,
Ask yourself hy there are druids no more.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Fight Rapier

Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Fight Rapier

Fencers aren’t easy to fight
Cause they’re hard to pin down.
They won’t stand still when you try to hit them,
They circle around.
They don’t wear full armor, they never get knighted,
Their tourneys are background affairs.
Though they fight with real steel
With dashing appeal,
The Royalty just doesn’t care.

Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to fight rapier.
Don’t let them wear trigger, or gorgets or masks.
Lock him in his bedroom if he even asks.
Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to fight rapier,
Cause they can’t fight for crown and the king puts them down,
And the heavies get all the best press.

Fencers like ruffles and feathers, and shirts made with laces,
Baggy short trousers and boots that come up to their knees.
Their garb’s “Lizabethan, but don’t make fun of them,
Or suggest their virility’s iffy.
Cause they’ll stab with their swords
until they get bored
And then shoot your with their RGBs.

Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to fight rapier.
Don’t let them have bucklers or daggers or cloaks,
Or speak in Italian like weird foreign folks.
Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to fight rapier,
Though they fight like all heck,
But they get no respect,
Cause the stick-jocks get all the best press.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Harboring Dream

This one is definitely out of period, but I think we can all recognize the urge to escape the mundane for a life of adventure. This is a stream of conscious, free verse poem.

Harboring Dream

That’s the S.S. Cape Hudson, out of NorfolkVirginia
Tonight she sails for Abu Dhabi on the Persian Coast;
Another journey of ten thousand miles,
Answering the call of deep water,
To see what’s on the other side.
I’m reminded how, once in Savannah,
I watched the Sierra Cargo steam down the channel,
Making for open sea.
Five foot letters across her stern
Proclaimed her port of origin.
Singapore: queen city of the South Pacific’
Old and dirty, and wicked and alive;
Where junks and sampans that line the harbor
Float a bootleg economy from ship to shore,
And olive-skinned sirens tempt young sailors
With eyes that promise a night in heaven
In exchange for a sailor’s pay;
And I imagined myself walking those streets and back alleys,
Exploring this city from the dockside up;
The bars and the brothels, and the quayside dives,
Behind a mocking old chinaman
With a scar on one cheek, and two fingers missing,
And a knife as long as my arm thrust into his belt.
And I laughed at myself,
A middle-class white boy
From a land-locked county,
Never in salt water over my head,
And well past the age of adventure,
Still dreaming of brine-soaked decks
And sinful old cities,
And cynical dark eyes
That size me up,
And promise me heaven.
Yet sometimes, I wonder,
Were I to loose my hawsers and
Slip free of my obligations,
Would I sign myself on
With the good ship, Cape Hudson,
Purely from desire to watch
And Arabian sunset?
Singapore calls me,
And Rangoon, and Capetown,
And all the backwater ports
Where driftwood washes ashore.
At night, as I lie, my good wife beside me
In our comfortable bed,
I whisper their names to conjure my dreams.
I’m a barbary prince, and a middle-aged pirate,
And I think that tomorrow
I’ll buy me a parrot.
And over the miles
The sea hears my whispers,
And the sea keeps my secrets,
And the sea whispers back.
Her waves gently rock me to sleep cross the distance.
And come morning, I rise
To face freeway and office
Through a sea-blue haze
Of a dream half-remembered.
I hear seagulls in the traffic
And taste salt on the wind,
And the receptionist has dark foreign eys
That promise me heaven
For a sailor’s pay.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Woman Who Haunts My Eyes

While this is not in period, it is not really out of period either. I'm still working on a melody for it.

Woman Who Haunts My Eyes

Are you flame-haired or dark-eyed,
A creature of light,
Lithesome or winsome or wise?
Do you find where I wait out the hours of the night,
Woman who haunts my eyes?

Do you call me in languid words
Measured and slow?
Do you reach me with half-whispered sighs?
Do your tears fill the place where my memories go,
Woman who haunts my eyes?

I see round each corner a glimpse of your face
Just enough to draw me further in.
Yet I turn to find I’m alone in the place
Where you were, and I begin again.

I follow your echoes down un-remarked streets,
Though it’s useless, as I realize.
You dance in the corners my vision won’t reach,
Woman who haunts my eyes.

Woman who haunts my eyes.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

And Now a few brief words from the Daughter

The Princess Reanna makes her first foray into verse. (She informs me that violets are actually purple.)

Roses are red
Bluebells are blue
Words can be false
But the heart is true

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Bustyd Beake Inne

Had I been up to speed at the time, this would have been perfect for Newcomers Collegium. Oh well, we'll have it next year.

The Bustyd Beake Inne

There is a tavern in this town
That’s called the Bustyd Beake
Where all the fighters of renown
Their ease and comfort seek.

The tables groan with food and drink,
All of the finest fare,
In quantities to make you think
The King’s whole army’s there.

There’s lasses there so fair of face
They make the roses blush.
And when they dance about the place
The loudest braggarts hush.

They have a clearing out the back
Where warriors show their prowess.
Their mighty blows land whack-kerack
As they combat before us.

Within the hall wise scholars share
The knowledge they have gained
From hours-long study, and all who hear
Are taught and entertained.

And last, but certainly not the least,
There’s poetry and song
To raise the spirits of our feast.
Join in and sing along.

When mundane cares have got you down
And revelry you seek,
There’s pleasures of stomach, sight and sound
Down at the Bustyd Beake.

The Minstrel's Extortion

Hmmm. I'm having a fairly productive month.

The Minstrel's Extortion

I'm a minstrel of talent, repute and renown,
Known the length and breadth of the realm.
I've sung my verses for lordship and crown
In the finest courts of the land.
I've ballads and ditties to charm and delight
The angels, and devils to grieve.
For a tankard of ale I'll sing you a song,
But if you give me two tankards, I'll leave.

I've satires rendered in elegant verse
Of iambic meter, or prose,
Describing life's foibles, profound or perverse.
Would you care to hear one of those.
To grant you these riches, I merely demand
A glass of fine ale and I'll play.
But I can't play my tunes with a glass in each hand,
So I'll merrily take those away.

Long have I studied the poetic art,
Crafting my words into song;
Tunes that would melt the stoniest heart,
And make all who hear sing along.
To enlighten your ears I simply require
A mug of a tasty brown brew.
But excessive drinking makes my throat to tire,
S o I'll go off if you give me two.

There's naught I love better than to perform
For the crowd at revels or feast.
My greatest pleasure is to see my words warm
All hearts from the great to the least.
To gather at evening by welcoming fire,
I happ'ly stand to entertain.
A tankard of ale is the cost of my hire,
But with two I will sit down again.

So what's it to be, good gentles and friends?
Shall my melodies dance in your ears?
If my song doesn't please, I will quick make amends
With one that will bring you to tears.
A glass of fine ale will set my voice ringing
In the shade of this mighty oak trunk.
But if you've no taste to hear your bard singing,
Give me two ales and keep your bard drunk!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Old Knight Prepares To Ride Out One Last Time

The Old Knight Prepares To Ride Out One Last Time

My war blade is scarred with battles long past;
The sword of my father, and father before.
Though I fear that this riding is most like, my last
The scabbard I’ll hang on my belt once more.

My helmet is dented, the crest shorn away.
No time to restore to its previous pride.
‘T will serve me once more in the coming affray,
A practical helm for one final ride

My breastplate and armor betray their hard use,
Friends and companions through many affairs,
Much-mended, but rust -free, comfortably loose,
But heavier now with the weight of my years.

My faithful destrier prefers his stall
To a cold morning’s ride with a battle to come.
He stamps and complains as he answers my call,
But his ears still prick up at the sound of the drum.

My shield needs repainting, it’s battered and marred.
The herald might strain to tell my device.
The colors are faded but the surface is hard,
And for this final hosting, I think ‘t will suffice.

I feel the old aches in my scars and my bones,
Limbs heavy with age, but muscle still hale.
I’m not what I was these forty years gone
But what’s lost is replaced with cunning and skill.

My lady stands at my stirrup and weeps.
As always she fears she will lose me to war.
Though I’ve always come home, her worry she keeps,
Knowing that some day I may come no more.

My sons mount their horses as armored as me,
Proud in their youth and the strength of their arms,
Grown to fine manhood, a credit to see,
Yet still I pray God, that he keep them from harm.

At my word we move out, and onto the way
To join in the hosting with master and lord.
My banner flies freely, I enter the fray.
Be gone, now, reflection. Tis time for the sword!

And who is to say, at the end of this ride,
Should I return or should I be slain.
As long as tis said twas with honor I died,
My life is my own, undefeated, unstained.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Thank God I'm In Meridies

Filking is fun.

Thank God I’m In Meridies!

Well, life in this kingdom is kind of laid back.
It’s nothing that a stick-jock like me can’t hack.
Cause I don’t have to take too hard of a whack.
Thank God I’m in Meridies.

When morning comes and I hear the horns blow
I armor up and off to the battle I go.
I watch for the cup-shot if someone swings low and
Thank God I’m in Meridies!

Well I’ve got all my gear to be safe on the field,
With duct-taped rattan to make my foes yield.
And I shouldn’t need to carry Blue Cross and Blue Shield, cause
Thank God I’m in Meridies!

Atlanteans hit like the kick of a mule.
A lot of fighters think, “Hey! That’s mighty cool!”
But my Momma didn’t raise me to be a bloody fool, so
Thank God I’m in Meridies!

Well, I got me a helm with a mask like a griddle.
I got duct tape to hold my armor in the middle.
Calibrations nothing but a funny, funny riddle.
Thank God I’m in Meridies!

I’m glad I joined with the S.C.A.
Stick and board is the way I like to play.
If you don’t rhino-hide join with me and we’ll say…..


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rapier Dancer

Sometimes friends give me an idea for a poem. That is not to say that the poem is about them, but that they present me with an image or a concept that I can develop into a more dramatic story arc. Which is a roundabout way of saying "Thank you, Celeste."

Rapier Dancer

She’s jaguar-smooth as she steps in the light,
Blade liquid steel in her hand,
Circling her prey
With an elegant sway
‘Gainst which he’s unable to stand.

Milady Rapier Dancer,
Dancing with dagger and sword,
Slipping her weapons in past your guard
Before you’re aware what’s occurred.

Her movements suggest hidden music,
The rhythms of Spanish guitar,
Dancing by feel.
A tango of steel.
Her weapons her dance partners are.

Milady Rapier Dancer:
The melody sings in her head;
Beats out a cold-steel fandango
Dance to her tune and you’re dead.

Does her blade seek the blood of a lover gone wrong?
Is she fencing with some secret pain?
As I seek ‘neath the mask
Questions better unasked,
Her blade strikes my heart and I’m slain.

Milady Rapier Dancer,
You bleed where the scars do not show.
I’d share your pain if you’d let me in
To where your inner wounds go.

She’s armed against me within and without.
More than one mask hides her tears.
Dancing and spinning,
Striking and winning
To the music that she only hears.

Milady Rapier Dancer;
Dancing with dagger and sword,
Slipping her weapons in past your guard
Before you’re aware what’s occurred.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Crofter's Retort

Yes, I know this one is out of period. I wrote this one last Fall before I joined the Shire. I had been reading histories of the Scottish regiments, and of the Highland Clearances, which incidently were particularly rough on my own Clan Mackay. Most of the things said in this are reputed to have happened, just not necessarily in the order I have them here. That's called poetic license, which allows the writer to never let the facts get in the way of a good story. I also have a good tune for this one, so just ask if you want to hear it.

The Crofters Retort

When Lord Gordon rode into the Highlands
To recruit him a regiment of men,
He said, ,
“I’ve whisky and gold
For braw Scotsmen bold.
Who’ll answer the call of the clan?
Who’ll answer the call of the clan?

But when he came to the place of the gathering,
Not a highland warrior he found
For the summons he’d sent,
But an old greybeard gent
Leaning hard on his cane by his hound.
Leaning hard on his cane by his hound.

Then Lord Gordon, he flew up in anger.
:What is this insult?” he cried.
“There should be hundreds here!
Are they quaking with fear?
Is this all that’s left of Scots pride?
Is this all that’s left of Scots pride?

Then the old man, he answered him, gently.
“You must understand ,Sir,” said he.
“The men would have come
Were this land still their home.
There’s none now to answer, you see.
There’s none now to answer, you see.”

“I remember the days of your grand dam,
When a thousand men answered her call.
Each recruit got a guinea,
And a kiss from the lady
To serve in her regiment so braw.
To serve in her regiment so braw.”

And when we followed the Clan to Culloden
To fight for the Bonny Young Prince,
Our sons, brothers, cousins,
They fell by the dozen.
We’ve been subject to English law since.
We’ve been subject to English law since.”

“For years they proscribed our bagpipes.
They banished our broadswords and plaids.
A man could be hung
If he spake his own tongue.
King’s justice rained hard on our heads.
King’s justice rained hard on our heads.”

“But of all the misfortunes we’ve weathered,
This last is the worst that we’ve kenned.
To make room for your sheep,
Our homes we can’t keep.
Your clearances have emptied each glen.
Your clearances have emptied each glen.”

“So your kin have been cleared from your highlands
While you lived in your London house fine.
They’ve gone over the sea
To find lands for the free,
Leaving you with your sheep, and your kine.
Leaving you with your sheep, and your kine.”

“But if there’re no men in your highlands
To go off, and fight foreign wars,
You’ve plenty of meat;
Beef and mutton to eat,
For any who’ll serve in your cause.
For any who’ll serve in your cause.”

“And since there’re no men in your highlands
To fight in your Queen’s wars abroad:
You’ve preferred sheep to men,
Go recruit amongst them.
Let sheep form your regiment, my lord.
Let sheep form your regiment, my lord.”

Sunday, July 16, 2006

In Hoc Signo Vincere

This is another older piece with a very nice "Eve of Battle " feel to it. The latin title is taken from the story of the conversion of Constantine and translates roughly as "With this sign you will conquer." It's about what motivates a warrior to fight when defeat has real consequences, and victory has true rewards; something to remember during our attempts to recreate medieval combat.

In Hoc Signo Vincere


You stand in the gap
Between all that you love
And that which would destroy.

What you do today
Will make the difference
Between success and failure,
Life and death.

There is no tomorrow;
Only this moment
And the steel in your spine.

Be strong, hard, steadfast,
And sing your battlesongs
With the grim joy of courage.

For you fight not for glory,
Though glory is there,
And not for reward,
Though rewards are abundant,
But for what would be lost
If you do not fight.
And the tears of regret
Are more bitter than
The deepest wound.

Today you are a man
With your foe before you
And your sword in your hand.

You are a warrior,
A fighter,
A master of battles,
And you cannot rest
Til your duty is discharged,
Your enemy slain,
And your victory secure in your grasp.

Then bathe your wounds
In the love of your family.
And wear your scars like medals;
The marks of a warrior
Tempered in fire,
And worthy of honor.

Then when you pass in review
Before your commander,
You will receive your accolade
From his own hand
As he says to you,
"Good job soldier.
You have fought the good fight.

Well done!"

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Raid on Bryn Madoc/When the Owls Fly East

Another fun one with some neat imagery. I think it works good as a chant.

When the Owls Fly East

Old warriors know the way of the sword;
To be strong with the shield, to serve well his lord,
That great deeds of valor are honored at feast,
But that all is for naught if the Owls fly east.

The bravest of knights, with his sword and his shield
Fights the good fight, refuses to yield.
But the mightiest knights, from the great to the least
Know to seek shelter when the Owls fly east.

The Lords and their counselors gather in thought,
Debating the crisis. Strong wisdom is sought.
Their confidence fails, their bowels seek release,
For who can stand firm when the Owls fly east?

They watch on the passes. They guard the frontier.
Make fast their defenses ‘gainst all who draw near;
Arm themselves strongly as for some fell beast
And search anxious skies lest the Owls fly east.

The beacons are lit. The warning’s gone forth.
No more time for planning or measuring worth.
They cry from Bryn Madoc down to Tyr Briste,
“Take to your heels, the Owls fly east!”

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Raid on Talmere/Bring the Prize Home to the Nest

This one wrote itself pretty quickly. I've tightened up some of the more awkward lines for reprinting here. Incidently, I've got a rudimentary melody worked out for it. Let me know if you are interested in hearing it sometime.

Raiding Talmere

The owl is a raptor that hunts in the night.
On moon-silent wings it glides in its flight,
Tracking its prey with unerring sight
To bring the prize home to the nest.

To bring the prize home to the nest.

You may think in the evening, to see the bird soar,
That feathers are soft and unfitted for war.
But that’s what the beak and sharp talons are for,
To bring the prize home to the nest.

To bring the prize home to the nest.

To the lords of Talmere our boasts have been made.
We’re challenged to meet them within their own glade
To back up our words with armor and blade;
To fight for the pride of our nest.

To fight for the pride of our nest.

Let fly our black owls to Talmere away.
Let those who would dare come and meet us to play.
Let honor and courage of arms rule the day
As we bring the prize home to our nest!

As we bring the prize home to our Nest!

Pine Woods, Red Clay, and Chivalry

So how do you explain to the uninvolved what we do and why we do it? Again, I was showing off when I put this together. Another sonnet, with some nice imagery.

Pine Woods, Red Clay, and Chivalry

Acknowledging the incongruity of the thought
Of knights and ladies walking ‘neath the pines
That echo with the mundane world’s assault,
More genteel sensibility opines
That our mode of retreat is more preferred
To modern remedies for daily stress,
Uninspiring both in deed and word
And lacking in recuperative redress.
So we gather here among the red clay hills
To re enact our games of chivalry
As balm against the press of modern ills
And to amuse and fill our souls with glee;
Escapism as we readily admit,
With full intent to make the most of it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A few words on my avatar. The tartan is Ancient Mackay, of which McKee is a variant spelling or sept. I got the motto from reading a book explaining Japanese culture called The Chrysanthemum and the Sword. Rather than saying that the pen is mightier than the sword, I believe that both have their purpose and work together, not against each other. There is no need to say that one is mightier than than the other. When properly used you would not want to be skewered with either one.

Greetings All (Check your rotten tomatoes at the door)

Since I joined the lovely Shire of Owls Nest a few short months ago, I have really been having fun reconnecting with the poetic skills I had been allowing to atrophy over the last decade or so. The things I've written have mostly been for my own amusement, but I have been truly grateful for the kind expressions of praise that several folk have made in response to my efforts. (Yes, writers love to have their egos stroked.) Consequently, I thought I would create a place on the web to deposit my creations so that the body of my (hgm, hgm) work could be reviewed without having to go searching through the bulletin board. This would also be a repository for pieces not done for any specific events and maybe some of my older items that I don't find too embarrassing now. Happily the blogger format is made user-friendly enough for my meagre web talents.

Note: If there is among you, any with sufficient musical ability to want to discuss collaborating on an Owls Nest Songbook, please feel free to contact me. Now that our little shire is growing, I would love to see us developing some more bards and minstrels to complement our fighters.

And now, to start off with something you haven't seen before. This is an older piece I did while reading a lot of Arthurian fantasy. It also is one of my earlier experiments with the sonnet form. I don't think Billy Shakespeares rep is going to suffer any in comparison, ..but hey, I like it.

Dragon Rising

Amid the refuse of an empire’s death,
With scavengers gathering near to pick the bones,
The warrior wakes on bier of ancient stones
His wounds new-healed, new strength in every breath.

Clad in old-forged mail and armor plates,
His purpose known, his labors new begun
He rises out into the morning sun
Toward nearby water where the sword awaits.

The dragon comes, his warblade in his hand.
He utters up once more his battle cry.
Once more his banner stands against the sky.
The standard of the Dragon flies again.

The Dragon rides, blood -sunlight on his helm.
The promised king returns to claim his realm.

Pendragon rides, blood-sunlight on his helm.
Arthur, returns to claim his realm.