Tag Archives: sword

Mini-Poetry of Many Flavors


 

 

dress

Mischievous

Her dress unraveled

Falling slowly, suddenly,

clothed now only  in a grin

to mirror my own.

****************

tenor

Perspective

Circling,  ever circling

around and around

eyes shaded to what is, what was,

what might be.  When all

we needed do was to stop and leave

this fun house to truly see , and never

buy a ticket again.

**************

cookiecat

Cookie Cat

Oh fat cat, where

did that last cookie go?

Do you suppose

it went down

that big  mouse trap of a mouth?

I’m thinking so.

************

shadowplay

Shadow Play

Kill your shadow

before it kills you.

Your shadow doesn’t lead.

You lead you.

The Five Tenets of the Sword – A Poem


 

SwordA

 

 

The Five Tenets of the Sword~

 

Strength~

Once light as a dead bird’s body in my hands,

this weapon now weighs more than the collective souls

of a million men,

sweat glistens on  muscled forearms strained

drained,

needles in legs drive deep,

yet I stand.

Conditioned for this in every cord, tendon, and bone

that runs through.

 

Skill~

Hours upon hours,  Days upon days,

Years to master myself,  then years to follow

to master this weapon.

The placement of the foot just so,  hands balanced

sword poised at the perfect angle.

Advance, retreat,  first position, second position

third, and on and on and on,

an endless dance until the music stops

with a myriad of outcomes at its end,

and I know every step in the

countless tangle of each encounter.

 

Instinct~

I am steadfast in my defense and attack

yet, I let the mind drift into that nether

region between thought and the what-if.

Never thinking I  know my  opponent

for he will do what I  least expect and I

must expect the least expected in the blink

of an eye, for it could be my eye that is lost.

Ignore your sixth sense at the cost that

only fools pay when they are finally put to

rest in a shallow lonely grave.

 

Courage~

My line of sight  travels down my sword

to an opponent that only wishes me a quick death

I see all my years to come, laid out bare for

him to snatch from me, like a breath from

a baby as he sleeps deep.

I am no newborn! Swaddled and waiting.

But born to this moment in time.

So come. Come!

And I will share you a secret

as I whisper your own death in your

ears.

 

Will~

The hardest of the tenets to maintain,

for they drive all the rest in me.

Fail this one and I fail them all.

Be steadfast you ask of your soul,

Be steadfast you implore of  your heart.

Be steadfast you command of your mind.

Find a focus to compel the body forward.

Find a focus to awake each day.

Find a focus to believe in you

when no one else ever will.

Find that will

Simply find it

For there can be no other way.

 

by Philip Wardlow 2016

 

 

 

The Crow Waits ~


crowwaits

The Crow Waits~

I see it on high sitting in a tree, a Crow amongst the sparse fall leaves
that yet hang to the branches, even though winter fast approaches,
no one told them it seems that they are dead and should already be on their way.

The crow with its pitted black eyes knows me it seems, for it calls my name
across the wind while I languish on the ground in my own blood which spills
from my body and forms around me like a macabre picture frame.

Funny thing, how the crow knows my name, a simple carrion bird waiting for
this warrior’s death so it can pick me clean and leave nothing but my bleached bones,
rusted armor, and a forgotten sword as my only legacy.

Long has the battle been gone from this place I now rest in, the victors have gutted me
like a fish on a stone and left me to the flies and the maggots to fester inside.

But yet shall I live, ever stubborn to die and only the Crow truly knows why.
I hear it laughing at me, calling me a fool for an adventure I sought full of folly
with only death to be met at its end.

It has seen many a fool I am sure and feasted contently before the sun has set.
But still I live! You will not have me fool or not!

So sit your perch and wait for you shall not have me this day or the next,
for even if I should pass these earthly bounds so shall my shade pick up
my blade and strike you down!

The sun has set and the night grows cold, the crow sits in his tree and
waits;  for it has seen many a warrior born and bred and knows full well their
strength, courage and the valor which fills their head, but it knows when dead is dead

by Philip Wardlow

 

 

 

 

Something I do in my off time


WMFA_FencingGroup2014A

 

 

Here’s a little a something I started doing earlier this year. FENCING!…It’s something I have always wanted to try. I just finished my last class this last Thursday in June and I loved every minute of it. The people I trained with at West Michigan Fencing Academy there were great and the instructors were awesome.

I went for about 14 weeks non-stop and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I learned so much  and  sweated a lot at times.   I hope to go back come September in the Fall when classes resume.

I love the friendly competition that it brings about and the support of your classmates and teachers…All in all a fun time.  Now I can write what I know as they say in regards to some sword play in any of my stories….:)

 

Flash Fiction Story – ‘Flight through the Forest’


Marek ran hard through the thick underbrush, wary of outlying limbs or wet patches of dew covered  grass. No need to go down in a tumble, then he would should surely be dead. Almost there, he thought wildly.  Almost there, was still not near enough.  Do these things ever tire? The gods know I am, he thought.

He could hear their caterwauling screeches all around him as they communicated  to each other in some inane language he couldn’t began to understand, cooperating, trying to box him, trying to trap him. Intelligent little bastards, he wouldn’t have thought as much. Out the corner of his eye he saw a flit of shadowed forms appear and then disappear suddenly out of the darkened mists which collected in clumps on the forest floor like a rolling wispy snake crawling across the ground.

They were gaining on him.  If they surrounded him he would be hard pressed to fight through them.  One creature no problem,two no problem,hell not to boast but ten would probably be no problem for his strong sword arm,  but to his estimation there were hundreds. So he ran like the dog he was.

It didn’t help that as he ran he was hindered, with one hand having to hold the large package that he was hired to steal back from a temple of zealots buried deep in this god forsaken forest he now ran in. Half his job was done, now he was entrusted to return the package to its rightful owner, King Erris; whose contract he had  foolishly taken on. The second half of the deal was looking to be harder than the first had been.

Knowing of his reputation as a cunning fighter and fearless warrior they had offered him a payment of  twenty thousand in gold, literally a Kings ransom indeed! How could he refuse! The few meager coppers he had in his pouch along with the pitcher of ale in his hand when the King’s men approached him in the bar had been his only possessions besides the sword and the clothes on his back. The meager coin and ale looked more inviting at this moment, not to mention the big hipped serving  wench who had been giving him the eye all through the night while he drank his weight in spirits.

Let this be a lesson learned if he survived. Some jobs were just to big for any amount of gold to be had.

The King said the treasure stolen by the religious fanatics was more priceless than anything, worth more than a thousand kingdoms he had told him. If this treasure was not returned, kingdoms would fall, men would die, destinies would be denied. What was this treasure that the King had stolen from , Marek had asked. The King would not say even when Marek had pressed him. Only that he would know it  when he came upon it. Four other contracts such as him had already failed, some individuals like him, others who had went in teams of three or four.  Only one man had returned of them all, empty-handed and had died three days later from his inflicted wounds but not before giving them the valuable information of where the treasure was being held inside the temple.

Know it Marek soon did , as he had crept into the inner sanctum of the black veined marbled temple after scaling up the almost vertical walls to the uppermost parapets where he was told it would be housed in a circular chamber guarded by the blackest of demon dogs you never would wish to encounter. The three dogs surrounded its circumference , all clad in steel mail over their entire body with the color of the darkest pitch stealing the  light as it hit its surface.  Sharp canines dripped spittle from their massive muzzles to burn like acid upon the stones they walked.

Marek had quickly rushed one catching it by surprise sending it  over the edge to tumble and bounce against the hard stone far below.  The other two well, they had been a little tougher to deal with not being caught by surprise.

Luckily they had never been trained to work together against a common foe. As they advanced on him they actually more than once snarled and bit at each other to see who could get to kill Marek first.

He had used their dislike for each other to his  advantage by keeping one always in front him with the other behind its companion  causing the rear dog to lash out at the other dog’s heels in frustration.

He had  taken the front demon dog in the eye with the point of his sword when it was distracted sending it into a wild spasm as his sword entered into its brain and scrambled it like eggs in a frying pan.

The other dog had advanced on Marek slowly, weary now that its two companions had been so  quickly dealt with by this new adversary.

Marek knew he had to dispatch this thing soon before any others came along, but he didn’t dare go in for a strike to the thing’s mailed body and risk the creatures bite or even drippings of its spittle on him which could cause him to lose the use of his arm in an instant. So he did what he was good at, he ran.

The creature thought him scared and running for his life so it had become emboldened and ran after him. Marek ran faster and gained some distance on him and then he suddenly stopped. The creature’s momentum carried it forward and with blade held at eye level, Marek jumped high into the air toward the creature as it came in its headlong rush at him. He came down in a stabbing arc to the top of the creature’s head to bury his blade in deep dead center between the dogs ears punching through  the black mail covering its skull. It quivered and died.

With the last of the beasts dispatched he had entered through the bronze doors to the inner chamber.  There inside on a raised dais made of white marble inside a crystal bowl of the palest blue was a baby wrapped in a red silk blanket. Nothing else had been in the room chamber save that. So he knew what the treasure was as the King said he would.

These creatures that chased him now were different than the foul dogs he had faced. These things seemed almost human in nature but twisted with thin whip like bodies and elongated distorted  limbs propelled them through the forest after him. He only caught glimpses of them as he ran but that had been enough to spur him to a faster pace.

Through it all the baby had been as  quiet as a mouse not saying a word. It just looked up at him as he had run with its deep blue eyes with all the confidence in the world it seemed, that Marek would carry him from out of this place, safe and sound back to his home. For very personal reasons  one being his own neck, Marek didn’t want to let the little imp down.

The day was coming up fast as the sun was just breaking the horizon ahead through  the trees. Soon he would be able to see clearly what was chasing him. The trees were becoming more spread out and the vegetation less dominate in places. He was nearing the edge, he may yet have a chance. These creatures he was told, feared the desert, that was why the other man had made it out and back to tell the tale. He just had to get there first.

Then the thing happened he did not wish to have happened, his right foot caught the edge of a wet moss-covered rock throwing him off-balance. He instinctively rolled into the fall across the ground smothering the baby in a loose  but tight protective cocoon with his arms and hands as he did so. Marek ended up on his back looking up at the nighttime sky  through the forest trees, it was a dim blue with a wisp of white creeping in.

He heard the chattering of many voices draw near. Marek tried to stand but was met with pain in his left ankle. It felt like he had twisted it. Gods that ale would taste good right about now, he thought idly.

They drew in closer, from behind, to the left, right and now they closed the circle, in the front. His exit to the east was closed.

He forced himself to stand. fighting through the pain and drew his sword, leaning against a nearby tree for support. He saw an army of them crawling over the ground to him. Their eyes started to glow gold in the burgeoning light of day as they neared.

He looked down at the baby he held still with its eyes blue and confident in him. The treasure to topple Kingdoms the King had said, for destinies to be lost or made.  What will they say of me little one?

Marek reached out a finger to touch the little one’s cheek. The babe held up its to  little hand to grab it. Marek noticed a tattoo, better yet a birthmark it seemed on its small forearm in the shape of a Crescent moon with a pale mist of cloud passing in front of it.

Marek made a sharp intake of breath. Could it be. The Redeemer?

He had heard the prophecies but he had never thought to see it come in his lifetime.

He gripped his sword tighter in his hand and looked out at the horde. They were all but twenty feet away in tight circle about him. They had stopped. They were waiting for me to turn him over to them.

They stood motionless shoulder to shoulder. A hair could not have slid between the space they allowed.

Arms ending with three sharp talons rested on the ground twitched occasionally, perhaps in anticipation of his imminent death at their hands and the fulfillment of their task the creatures had been sent for..

They did not chatter at each other or at him.  They just looked at him with cold dead stares. Their thin slit likes mouths were all closed tight in a devilish grin as if to say game over my friend.

He did the only thing he could. He tigtened his grip on his sword and the little one and grinned right back and said,

“Come on.” He whispered softly.

The babes tattoo began to burn bright against its  flesh, the moon glowing on its skin as if set high in a nighttime sky.

The pain in his ankle was gone, his strength had returned tenfold.

He raised his sword high and came at them with a growl…

At my side – A poem


At my Side –

I carry this sword at my side.

It shines bright in the morning light

it reflects.

I have made it so,

for ne’er will you see it pitted or dull

while it lays in my hands.

Ne’er will you not see the blade as

keen of edge as when it was first cast

that fateful day from the folded metal within.

I count it a true companion for you will

ever see it at my side.

More faithful than the rest ever have been

from days forever gone and treacherous roads long

ago tread.

Ours is a pact forged of conflict,

Where we have both stood together

and tasted the promise of another

day as the blood dripped from both of

us to soil the ground beneath.

I will wake and it will be there.

I will live while it still shines,

for we have each other

My sword and I.

 

By Philip Wardlow 2012

This poem is about more  than a sword. It’s about what’s in us all. The will to to fight when hope may be lost but we fight and struggle and continue to climb out of it no matter what the odds. May you always keep your sword close by your side my friends…