Light is Falling

Posted: February 24, 2015 in history and art

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:
the ground,
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.

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Comments
  1. Paul, I just love the description of all the details of a medieval armor.. what a great vocabulary.. and that letterbox sun.. fading there at the end.. really vivid and sad. There were always losers, not just winners.

  2. Gabriella says:

    I lkie the atmosphere in your poem and bow at the use of ‘equine’ vocabulary.

  3. claudia says:

    we tend to see the glory and winners – but in every fight there’s a loser as well… really like the sensitivity you describe the scene with

  4. Mary says:

    I can really picture this medieval event vividly from your words… The ending kind of brings down the curtain on the scene.

  5. brian miller says:

    I can not imagine the brunt force of taking a lance to the shield…or even tot he plate…and what that must feel like…amidst that weightlessness….or the crash down…I might wish that sun down than to feel the welps come morning….nice details….

  6. kanzensakura says:

    Excellent details. This was like watching a silent, black and white movie – thrilling but yet, sensitively filmed. A most enjoyable read.

  7. Written so vividly, I could see it all, even the light soon fading. Wow! Great write!

  8. dkirkstokes says:

    The description of the view from the helmet took me inside it with him, a nice touch that carried through to the end. Like being in a car wreck.

  9. Grace says:

    Wow, love the details specially this part:

    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:
    the ground,
    a mailed fist and the butt of a lance,
    his charger’s head,
    an opponent at the end of the line.

    You put us right there in time ~ Well done Sir ~

  10. great details… we see the glory of the winner all the time, it’s a big change to feel the weight of the loser…

  11. ” Crowd noise is reduced
    to distant surf; the day reduced to a slit.” and “letter box sun” is a great line. I am not a huge fan of these violent games – but I am of your poem.

  12. Great visual imagery here inspired by words.. and truly not always the ending one wants.. but losers are important as they too.. have stories to tale.. in knight of light or dark..:)

  13. Sumana Roy says:

    such picturesque words and detail work…amazing

  14. kelly says:

    This is wonderful, I love the way you ended it, I felt like I could see it through his eyes.

  15. Very nice…I like how you included the horse in this poem…their strength and stature.

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