Posts Tagged ‘battle’

(a Mayberrie poem – this one was begun weeks ago and belongs in the story before “By His Side”.)


Not everything’s a sign,

‘tis true –

she knew this from experience.

But now the meadow

seemed to hold its breath

in strained uncertainty.

Birds stopped flirting through the trees,

there was no hum of bumblebees

rolling in the phlox.

She listened for the rustle

of a rabbit in the brush

but nothing moved

save for the cutting shades

of ravens on the path.

And then there came a rumbling

of thunder from the dunes.

An approaching storm –

or were those drums?


© 2012 Betty Hayes Albright


(For links to all poems in this series, please click on the Mayberrie tab at the top of this blog.)


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( a Mayberrie poem)


There were rumors in the village

that the king was dead.

Black flags hung

from every tower,

thunder foiled the sky.

Royals would be fighting,

their anger boiling out

across the land.

She wondered what would happen

to the rightful heir,

and she, the banished servant –

would she ever be welcome there?


He heard it from a messenger,

the final battle was at hand

and he must either flee the land

or quickly claim the throne.

He rode the night

through forest and fields

heading for the coast,

his sword glinting moonlight

at his side.


Tomorrow she would lock her door,

catch the raven’s wings and soar

over mountains,

into valleys

till she saw his face.

Her hair unbraided, flying free

they’d find their secret willow tree –

she’d kiss his face

a thousand times

their heartstrings

ever intertwined,

and maybe in the morning dew

she’d waken

to a wish come true.

Or would he choose the crown?


© 2012  Betty Hayes Albright

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(a Mayberrie poem….)


It was just a little wren

in song outside her window.

She pulled back the shutters

and he flew into her room.

Without fear he looked into her eyes

and held a steady bead

from just a reach away.

What sign was this?

A message from the battleground?

Was he near, or had the front

been pushed beyond the bay?


He should have worn the crown –

the fighting would have ended long ago,

but no, the reigning king was obstinate

and in his cups.

He knew where her loyalty had lain

and banned her evermore

from the castle gate.

And so she lived her days

between the river and the sea

while her beloved led his men

to fight the current guard.

The many months wore on and on,

or was it centuries?


She found some bread crumbs

in the pantry,

spread them on the table

for the wren.

He pecked at them

(to be polite, it seemed)

while peering at her face

as though to etch a memory.

Take me to him now!

she cried out suddenly –

take me to the bloody fields

to where he fights this war !

He fluttered ‘round her head three times

then through the window fast away.

She watched him till he disappeared

and wished that she could fly.


©  2012  Betty Hayes Albright

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(a Mayberrie’ poem)


He commanded her to flee,

the troops were near,

a bugle called.

One more embrace,

one last locking of their eyes,

then go!  he cried,

mounting his steed

and in his voice

she heard the heat

and so she fled into the forest

never looking back.


Tears stung her cheeks

as wild roses tore her skirt

and branches of the trees

reached out

grabbing at her arms.

She stumbled over coiled roots,

weeping thorns caught her hair

but on she rushed

away from shouts of boiling thunder,

to the castle wall –

knowing that before he rode away

he stopped

and silent, watched her go.


© 2012  Betty Hayes Albright

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Part II


And through the storm

he rode his steed

with dark-filled flask

of dungeon red

and there were no medallions

‘round his neck.

But all who were bespoken

of his sword

would fall again.


They scoffed beside the river

where the maiden

wrung her dress

as if they couldn’t see

her salt-stained breast —

as if there were no threads

to mend a secret

torn in half.


When by the lantern light

he found

the maple-hidden cave

there came to him

from crackled hands

a Bible wrapped in leaves,

with words inscribed

in ancient ink.

“Now Be!”  it said,

and so his quest was led.


They tore her silk

and stretched the veil of cotton

‘tween the world outside

and feather beds

where roses spread

the color of her name;

and all who came

would press her heart

and steal her breath.

But still she smiled…


There were none so calm

as the king that night.

They beseeched him go!

to rant the knaves

who dared to steal

the arch of gold

from ‘neath his nose.

There was ne’er

a glance of fear

to shine on his disdain

and so he slept

within emboldened dreams.


And lo! There came a roar

from out the woods

of broken trees –

and horses without saddles

and men who had no swords.

The fog sunk low

behind them

and there was no retreat

beneath the moaning

of the moon.


But one reached high

and played his hand

against the devil sworn

until the hills were shaking

beneath the sky replete

with echoes of the river

they dared cross.


Who braids these willows?

Ties them up in ribbons?

She splays the branches

o’er the path

and smooths the grasses

with her hand

and weaves the daisies

‘cross the hill —

for when he rides

in robes and capes

across the moor

she’ll know his cross

was borne at last

and seven doves will fly.


(c) 1995, 2012  Betty Hayes Albright


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