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Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Truces
by Michael R. Burch

Artur took Cabal, his hound,
and Carwennan, his knife,
and his sword forged by Wayland
and Merlyn, his falcon,
and, saying goodbye to his sons and his wife,
he strode to the Table Rounde.

“Here is my spear, Rhongomyniad,
and here is Wygar that I wear,
and ready for war,
an oath I foreswore
to fight for all that is righteous and fair
from Wales to the towers of Gilead!”

But none could be found to contest him,
for Lancelot had slewn them, forsooth,
so he hastened back home, for to rest him,
till his wife bade him, “Thatch up the roof!”

We must sometimes wonder if all the fighting related to King Arthur and his knights was really necessary. In particular, it seems that Lancelot fought and either captured or killed a fairly large percentage of the population of England. Could it be that Arthur preferred to fight than stay at home and do domestic chores? And, honestly now, if he and his knights were such incredible warriors, who would have been silly enough to do battle with them? Wygar was the name of Arthur’s hauberk, or armored tunic, which was supposedly fashioned by one Witege or Widia, possibly the son of Wayland Smith. Legends suggest that Excalibur was forged upon the anvil of the smith-god Wayland, who was also known as Volund, which sounds suspiciously like Vulcan. Keywords/Tags: King Arthur, armor, sword, Excalibur, spear, Lancelot, wife, domestic chores, war, peace, homework
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
It Is Not the Sword!
by Michael R. Burch

This poem illustrates the strong correlation between the names that appear in Welsh and Irish mythology. Much of this lore predates the Arthurian legends, and was assimilated as Arthur’s fame (and hyperbole) grew. Caladbolg is the name of a mythical Irish sword, while Caladvwlch is its Welsh equivalent. Caliburn and Excalibur are later variants.

“It is not the sword,
but the man,”
said Merlyn.
But the people demanded a sign—
the sword of Macsen Wledig,
Caladbolg, the “lightning-shard.”

“It is not the sword,
but the words men follow.”
Still, he set it in the stone
—Caladvwlch, the sword of kings—
and many a man did strive, and swore,
and many a man did moan.

But none could budge it from the stone.

“It is not the sword
or the strength,”
said Merlyn,
“that makes a man a king,
but the truth and the conviction
that ring in his iron word.”

“It is NOT the sword!”
cried Merlyn,
crowd-jostled, marveling
as Arthur drew forth Caliburn
with never a gasp,
with never a word,

and so became their king.

Published by Songs of Innocence, Neovictorian/Cochlea, Romantics Quarterly and Celtic Twilight. Keywords/Tags: King Arthur, Arthurian, Merlin, round table, knights, stone, sword, Excalibur, chivalry, Camelot, Uther Pendragon, England
Cassidy Caliburn Feb 2020
On the day he died
King Arthur ordered his knights
told them to prepare to fight
and maybe even die;
He was brave
and so was Mordred
who put a sword through his father,
the once and future tyrant.

At Camlann, the day was hot,
yet so cold; the air was misty
and the sea boiled;
The trees tilted away
looking scared and ashamed;
The prophets were quiet,
tight lipped, they sat up high,
chain-smoking on the peace pipe.

Mordred's head was pins-and-needles.
He clawed at his sword in stress,
looking at the opposite camp.
He thought of his mother at Avalon,
wondering if she'll bury him there
or his father. What will he do upon
arriving with heavy steps
on the fields of Camlann? He feels lost.

King Arthur was brandishing Excalibur,
lost in thoughts of murderous
sons and treacherous friends
and cheating wives.
He was reminiscing of his sister
and the ***** secret that lay,
all his shame, out in the open.
“'Tis long overdue.” He pondered.

Then came the hour, the minute,
the second; On the plains of Camlann
an ordinary soldier
saw the heavens through the clouds,
while the great knights were busy
with bloodbath and sacrifice.
He screamed with joy and terror
as the swords clashed with each other.

In the midst of the bloodthirsty,
confused horde was Mordred,
a ****** smile on his face
and his ragged blade
tore a gaping hole
in his father's abdomen.
As soon as he hit the floor,
Lancelot came from beyond.

He was too late; his king dead,
his queen devastated, banished;
she fled unwilling, but obediently.
There was only one thing left
to do; Lancelot knew well.
So King Arthur met his end at Camlann
and died with his son, Mordred.

That was the day their lives ended;
The lake Avalon took them in
and swallowed their bodies whole;
Lancelot watched the fire burn away.
Nimue, at the bottom of the lake,
broke the sword in half and wailed.
The world got quiet and moved on,
carrying the weight of forever lost
Camelot.
i got an excalibur tattoo yesterday, so i figured i would post this poem today
Mysidian Bard Nov 2019
He's the only one
who pulled out the sword and could
cleave her heart of stone.
Dedicated to one of my favorite poets, who always adores a cute little love poem. Go check out her work, she's amazing!
https://hellopoetry.com/mmg/
fraudelle Oct 2019
So here I go
At the hill of Camlann
My Death will arrive soon
I can't talk nor walk.
Due to severe wounds I've got
So i asked Bedevier
To bring this sword
Back to the real owner
To take my immortality
And tell Merlin to bring me
To the garden Avalon.
How
Sometimes there is nothing
Nothing but the pain
Of looking in the same old eyes
That never seem to change

Over and over and over again
The shadow shifts the flame
From your source of power
To a prison for your brain

What does it mean to crawl in life
When destiny's uphill

What does it take to learn that fate
 Is woven out of will

You are the only one
Who can stand tall and fight

You are the only one
That knows which wrongs are right

You are the only one
Mechanic and machine

You are the only one
Who can master all your dreams

One day in the silver
You will choose to see
The ghostly wreckage of you
Handing you the key

There's no pecking order
If you step out of line
There is nothing there to break
When you can't be defined

You have to reach inside yourself
And work through the grind

To pull free the excalibur
From the stone within your mind

You are the only one
Who can stand tall and fight

You are the only one
That knows which wrongs are right

You are the only one
Mechanic and machine

You are the only one
Who can master all your dreams

Now you play the kings game
Now you understand

The enemy of humankind
Is the fear in the heart of man
Wrote this song while having a heart to heart with a dpressed image in a mirror
Ylzm Apr 2019
Sword of Ishmael, robed in Assyria's mantle,
Consecrated of God, Prince of princes,
A Destroyer: the executioner of judgements.
A thorn driven deep into the heart of Jerusalem,
Tempting violent men, who pride in their strength,
as Excalibur and the Gordian Knot challenged
Arthur and Alexander.
Tsunami Dec 2018
Your mouth fumbles
When you call me baby
The word is foreign.
You are afraid.
A mouse caught in the gaze of a snake.
Will it slice your tongue if you say it too hard?
Or too soft?

It rolls up your throat
Pushes past your teeth with great strength
Awkward and sounding slightly out of breath
You mumble it between "hey' and "how are you"
Squished and small
Like it doesn't deserve recognition or even its own space.

You've wrapped it in fear
Hoping that if you say it nicely
Maybe somehow it will be less like a missile
Maybe this time it won't hurt.

It is exotic to that mouth of yours.
A rare commodity,
A precious rock we have to excavate
Our own romantic version of the sword in the stone
J M Surgent May 2014
One time, when I was ten or eleven years old, for a holiday or something my uncle bought me a model set of a scale V-8 engine. He knew I was into cars, but without kids himself, had no idea that this kind of gift was worlds beyond my preteen intellectual abilities. It fell to the wayside that year, useless in comparison to the easy to open, assemble and operate toys my parents bought me instead.

I had completely forgotten about this model until one night in college when I couldn’t sleep because I was too wrapped up in my own existential crises of the time and too nostalgic looking at all the old car posters in my room. I remembered the V-8 engine, and how even at 21 I couldn’t name a single part in a car engine, let alone assemble one, which was sad because I had been driving them five years at that time. So, with some sort of unexplained sense of unfinished accomplishment, I felt a need to finish it. Or really, to start it.

I got out of bed and started to tear apart my closet, piece by piece, coming across old articles of clothing I never wore, a few aging airsoft guns and even a few smaller models I never assembled, but alas, no V-8 engine. With my labors unyielding, I grabbed a flashlight and headed quietly to the attic, hoping that would be lend a more fruitful search. It took me a little digging and a lot of splinter avoiding in my bare feet, but finally I found it. I blew most of the dust off the box, removing more with my hands, and held the box in my hands like a treasure. It was smaller than I remembered, and the age on the box said 12+, which now looking back on it means I should have been easily able to complete it when I got it.

I worked these thoughts out of my mind, instead turning my attention to the plastic wrap around the box which came off with ease. I pried the color-aged box top off to find a colony of loose parts, of all colors, alongside a small screwdriver, which at that moment gave me a sense of Excalibur in it’s placement. I touched the blue handle lightly, almost afraid to accept its reality at first. Then I just stared at the parts for a good five minutes before I remembered there was an instruction manual. I opened it to page one, and I began to build.

I must have worked on that model for five hours, by the light of my flashlight and the streaks of full moonlight that snuck in through the skylight above. Hours of part maneuvering and placing, losing, then replacing small screws and setting them into place with a tool made for hands half the size of mine word my fingers out. By the time I was finished, my fingers were a little sore and my flashlight was running low on batteries which didn’t matter because the sun was beginning to peer it’s eyes over the horizon. I looked at my creation before me, a lot smaller than I thought it would have been when I first received the box, and felt a sense of nostalgic victory. For years, this project taunted me from the dust piles and cobwebs of my attic, and now, too distant from my childhood to remember anything all too vividly, I completed a milestone that was meant for years prior. I thought about how, at age eleven, I would have proudly shown my father to gain his five minutes of fame for the day, and he’d ask me the name of a few parts of the engine as a quiz before asking me to grab him another beer and I’d feel like I was on top of the world. He’d tell me I could be a mechanic someday, or better year, a car designer. I’d smile and walk away accomplished.

That’s what I would have done then. Now, ten years later, I folded the pieces of the box and put them in the trash can, with the plastic wrap on top. I took my finely tuned engine, my product of nostalgic victory, and brought it back to the confines of the attic. I turned my flashlight back on, moving past splinters and upturned nails to the back, farthest corner, where a lonely black shadow kept all light from entering. I took my prized engine, which seemed even small now in my hands, and wiping away some of the cobwebs, placed it into that dark corner, displacing a slumbering daddy longlegs in the process. I placed the small blue screwdriver next to it, then thought better of it and wedged the sharp end into the wood in between two planks, with the crystalline blue handle glowing in the light of my flashlight, sticking straight out like the tool of Excalibur that it truly was to me.

I took one last look at my creation, then turned and left, knowing that, like my childhood, I’d never return to it. I locked the attic door on my way out and checked the floor for loose parts, covering up any traces of my journey back into one of the aspects of my childhood that I forgot to partake in.
It's really a short story, but I wanted to share it nonetheless, and have no other way to.

— The End —