at http://dversepoets.com/this-is-us/ today we’re writing about a medieval tourney with knights, costumes, games, art, courage … so this is my take
Light is falling through branches
and the knight’s horse is all muscle and nerves.
It shifts and twitches,
hamstrung by the joust field hum
where colours and sound are swirling around.
In his corner tension shreds the edges,
the groom constantly pouring whispers
into the destrier’s ears, patting it flanks,
wiping off sweat as it pin-pricks the flesh.
He puts on its heraldic caparison, blood red and gold
flowing off its back, places the chanfron
over its head, while the knight
is armoured by his squire.
Breastplate, gauntlets and hauberk
swallow him up.
He fills his vision with the endless sky then
puts on his helmet. Crowd noise is reduced
to distant surf; the day reduced to a slit.
Everything framed in a rectangle:
a mailed fist and the butt of a lance,
his charger’s head,
an opponent at the end of the line.
A storm blows up. A ton of metal,
horse flesh and humanity unleashed.
After the crashing and splintering there is
for the knight
a moment of no weight in all that plate,
as if gathered up by a breeze.
Then he recalls a shudder and pain
before hitting the ground.
Somewhere light is still falling through branches,
he stares at the letter-boxed sun,
watching it fade,
knowing it will shortly be gone.