Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Will's fighter poem: Rudolph Fekter

THLord Rudolf Fekter
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XLIV

(virelai - Smith’s Song)

Heart of the furnace give weight to my hand
Glowing before me the shape I command
Fashion a fate from the bones of the land
Gage for the dolphin’s crown.

Stand fast fortune is bountiful
Strike sure victory’s sting
Heart’s oath honor in flowering
Hand’s craft raises a king

Breeze on the battlefield lifts me to wing
Clothed in the fruit of the favor she brings
Gifts of the Lady whose grace I will sing
She of my soul’s remand.

Heart of the furnace give weight to my hand
Glowing before me the shape I command
Fashion a fate from the bones of the land
Gage for the dolphin’s crown.

Cold bite blades overpowering
Blows fall darkens the field
Head bowed grace at the boundary
Knee bent bested I yield

Quenched my ambition, my anguishes healed
Spirit resounds in my duty revealed
Honor the kingdom and stand as its shield
Rising to serve the van.

Heart of the furnace give weight to my hand
Glowing before me the shape I command
Fashion a fate from the bones of the land
Gage for the dolphin’s crown.

-- Lord Will Schuyler the Younger

... is a 15th century Englishman of uncertain destination: apprenticed to the wit of arithmetic, he still at times endeavors to court the muse.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

THLord Bryan Gard Yale

THLord Bryan Gard Yale
fallen in Summer* Crown Tourney, A.S. XXIV

(awld gywydd)

Day dawns hot and clear and bright.
All delight in pageantry.
Colors bold and pennants rare
Fill the air with bijoutry.

Ericward strides Bryan Yale
Fighter hale with sword and shield.
Like his namesake beast of old
Makes so bold to claim the field.

Warrior maiden, duchess, knight,
A fighter hight Kolfinna
Smiles yet declines to move
And proves to be the winner.

Bryan rises from the dust.
He must continue questing.
His eyes alight on Miriel,
His swelling heart attesting.

He challenges Sir Ragnar,
Their sparring proves a good brawl.
He fights well, but takes a hit.
Alas it is his downfall.

Bryan Yale and Miriel
A fond farewell accord all.
Jubilant without a care
Repair now to their great hall.

--Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

...a weaver of words and wadmal.

THLord Lorccán hua Conchobair

THLord Lorccán hua Conchobair
fallen in summer* crown, A.S. XXIV


Swirl of green and flash of gold:
Lorccan takes the tourney field.
Wind the warp with colors bold,
Thread the cards with strands unreeled.

Lorccan takes the tourney field,
Honor for Svetlana sought.
Thread the cards with strands unreeled,
Dress the loom and keep it taut.

Honor for Svetlana sought:
Rosemary to crown her head.
Dress the loom and keep it taut,
Turn the cards and clear the shed.

Rosemary to crown her head
If he makes it through the lists.
Turn the cards and clear the shed,
See the pattern in the twists.

If he makes it through the lists...
First he has to face Francisc.
See the pattern in the twists,
Pass the shuttle and release.

First he has to face Francisc:
Lorccan hands the Count defeat.
Pass the shuttle and release;
Tug and turn and clear and beat.

Lorccan hands the Count defeat;
Dante proves a stouter foe.
Tug and turn and clear and beat:
The shuttle flies fast to and fro.

Dante proves a stouter foe.
Andrew falls to Lorccan's blade.
The shuttle flies fast to and fro;
This is how a band is made.

Andrew falls to Lorccan's blade,
Gareth now brings Lorccan's doom.
For this is how a band is made
By nimble fingers on the loom.

Gareth now brings Lorccan's doom;
Svetlana sees her champion die.
Nimble fingers on the loom
Weave a binding by and by.

Svetlana sees her champion die;
Battles rage 'til setting sun.
Weave a binding by and by;
Lorccan ends his shuttle run.

Battles rage 'til setting sun.
Another's victory is sealed.
Lorccan ends his shuttle run:
A thing of wonder is revealed.

Another's victory is sealed.
Wind the warp with colors bold.
A thing of wonder is revealed:
A swirl of green, a flash of gold.

--Mistresss Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler
...an empty vessel for the Muse

Sir Dante Lizza de Benvento

Sir Dante Lizza de Benvento
fallen in summer* crown tourney, A.S. XXIV
(terza rima)

The wood is dark and perilous.
Sir Dante picks his way with care,
His mood is somewhat querulous.

A horseman with a baleful stare
Hight Richard Clerke holds fast the way.
The battle that ensues is rare.

Sir Dante leaves him where he lay
And travels out the wood to spy
A swordsman with a vert cachet.

Now Lorccan proves a plucky guy.
They weave their way across the ground
'Til Dante cuts him down to size.

His will is strong, his skill profound,
And Dante thinks he may just make
It through this trial with corpus sound.

'Tis honor for Johanna's sake
That moves Dante to face Mansur.
They close and cause the earth to quake.

The fight is somewhat of a blur,
And Dante shakes his head to clear
The fog as he begins to stir.

Wait! Bearing down a bull austere
Meets Dante as he gains his feet.
The clash this time is quite severe.

It ends for Dante in defeat.
His noble run is now complete.

-- Pippin Skylark
...always tart and crisp

*fall crown is now held in aug. -- does that make it summer crown?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Christmas QED

Christmas QED


Clippity-clop! Is it reindeer on the roof?
Just branches a-scratching at the shingle.
The skid of the sleigh, the prance of each hoof;
Clippity-clop! It’s reindeer on the roof!
Santa is coming – there’s no clearer proof!
A trick of the wind sets icicles a-jingle.
Clippity-clop! Hear the reindeer on the roof.
Scratch go the branches against the shingle.

--Philippa Schuyler


I wrote this for Kyrieth's poetry project in '03, where there were monthly assignments, sometimes with parameters of form or subject matter. This one was for a triolet, but it was Christmastime, so I went with a Santa theme.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Problems with my blog ;- \

I'm having a problem with this blog. It started yesterday, just after I added my last (and ironically first) fighter poem. Now just about every other time I view my blog I get that "Internet Explored has encountered an error..." message and it shuts down the internet.

WTF?! I've never encountered this problem with blogger before -- and I have 18 blogs. I've only ever encountered it occasionally when a site I'm trying to access doesn't work for some reason. So why is this blog in particular acting that way now?

I'd think perhaps I've made too many entries, but in poking around the settings, I think that's more like a limit of 500, not 100. So what gives?

My experience with blogger is that they have no way to contact them with a question. They have generic questions that will be answered generically, but none of them seem to fit this problem.

Bill doesn't have any idea. Perhaps Will will have a clue.

Now to see if this post will actually load, or bring my blog down again. ;- \


Yep, it brought the blog down, but at least it took the entry first. Now let's see if it will accept this addition.


It took it, but it came down again. I can do this all day. I think I've made my point. Now to figure out why....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lord Blaine de Navarre - Fighter Poem - my first

Lord Blaine de Navarre
fallen in Caid's Crown Tourney
16 Avril A.S. XXII (1988)*

What brings a lad bedecked in chain
To win or die in drizzling rain -
xxxxHis art along?

Or is there one whose beauty fair
And gentle ways belie compare -
xxxxHer heart to own?

They say that Lord Blaine de Navarre
Espied Cassaudra from afar -
xxxxAnd favor sought.

He plied his sword against the best;
And 'though he fell, it was with zest -
xxxxThat Lord Blaine fought:

Earl Edward Ian Anderson
Who bested Blaine, and sent him on -
xxxxTo fight again.

Then Baron Sir Richard of Blackiron threw
A blow that cut poor Blaine in two -
xxxxAnd he was slain.

But when a one as Blaine does say:
"I did for you my best this day" -
xxxxTo claim the crown.

Honor and Courtesy as one
Pay homage to this Erin's son -
xxxxWho gained renown.

-- Philippa Schuyler

*Natalya was the editor

Here it is at last: my first fighter poem. Not knowing the first thing about writing poetry, I cheated and copied the pattern of a song: What Is a Youth? from Romeo & Juliet

Christine Ariadne of Gwenedd - Fighter Poem - ballad

Christine Ariadne of Gwenedd
fallen in September Crown Tourney, A.S. XXIII*


Hast thou laid eyes on the maid
With dusky tresses flowing
Whose tempered charm and strong right arm
Bespeak a blade worth knowing?

From Gwynedd's height with gay delight
This lass makes battle merry.
And stronger foes fall to her blows
Should they bethink to tarry.

But every blade - be lad or maid -
Must one day meet a better;
Or fight awry and know not why
The Fates choose to beset her.

She drew by rights two gallant knights
Whose prowess on the field
Soon put to rest in mortal test
The sword she donned to wield.

The peerless maid with practiced blade
This day saw dreams forsaken.
Yet for her part with steady heart
Her spirit soars unshaken.

The die is cast - the crown is past -
The new prince we have seen.
Yet may it be that one day we
Shall crown Christine our queen.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

*Edward and Eichling edited this book

Davin Kinnard Macailean - Fighter Poem

Davin Kinnard Macailean
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXIII*

The meadow green was tinctured red
Where Davin laid his noble head.

Esquired to one whose fame was known
Young Davin chose to seek the throne
But youthful dreams were overthrown
Where Davin laid his noble head.

His lady wept and dried her eye
As Davin chanced the wind to try
Which struck him numb and sailed by
Where Davin laid his noble head.

And then a lord from Hunting came
Who quickened to this better game
The battle brief did neither shame
Where Davin laid his noble head.

Great deeds were done e'er fighting o'er
As many good men fell before
The blows of fighters known of yore
Where Davin laid his noble head.

His gentle lady knelt to weep
And rock her lord in final sleep
His memory vouchsafed to keep
Where Davin laid his noble head.

-- Lady Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

*No credit on the book, but probably one of the ones edited by Edward and Eichling

Sir Colin Wynthorpe - Fighter Poem - sonnet

Sir Colin Wynthorpe
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXIII*


Lady: Pray, my Lord, what makes you so down-hearted?
XXXXXThe very sun doth pale to see you frown.
Lord: Good Lady, I had hopes when first day started
XXXXXOf placing on your head the silver crown.

XXXXUnto this end I took up sword and shield
XXXXAnd would have held my ground 'gainst all Caid,
XXXXBut Fate stepped forth at last and bade me yield.
XXXXAlthough I tried my best, I failed the deed.

Lady: Good Sir Knight, trouble not on my account,
XXXXXFor I would have your heart above all things.
Lord: My heart, dear Lady, never was in doubt.
Lady: What matters, then, this talk of queens and kings?

Lord: You do me honor, Lady, on this day.
Lady: 'Tis only but your honor I repay.

-- Lady Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

*The book doesn't give credit, but I believe this is one of the books edited by Edward Ian Anderson and Eichling

Eichling von Amrum - Fighter Poem - sonnet sequence

Eichling von Amrum
fallen in September Crown Tourney, A.S. XXIV*

(sonnet sequence)


When martial skills and regal zeals collide,
Then one must hold dominion o'er the rest,
And make of him whose victory betide
A prince to bear the crown beneath the crest.
Many a doughty fighter plies his sword
To test his fellows with alike display,
And lays his case before the Fate's accord,
But Fortune casts her gaze another way.

Such a one was Eichling on the field,
Who strove with grace the kingdom crown to clasp,
Relying on her gifts with sword and shield,
Although the reach exceeded yet her grasp,
So bear in mind when answering Caid's call:
'Though you would win, to play the game is all.


Though you would win, to play the game is all:
The Lady of Amrum holds this thought dear
And shows her worth to others, great and small.
For equinamity, she has no peer.
This lady seeks not honors to receive
But would convey them gladly on the lord
Who bears her favour, by his lady's leave.
True friendship shows itself by act and word.

Mayhap one day Caid shall know a queen
Whose grace and chivalry may claim the throne
And then shall be an age as none have seen:
Queen in her right for all Caid to own.
When that day dawns, may Fortune grant this boon
To Caid's daughter, Eichling von Amrum.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

*Dietrich was the editor

Kyr Yaroslav the Persistant - Fighter Poem - ballad

Kyr Yaroslav the Persistant
fallen in Crown Tourney, September, A.S. XXV*

A fierce wind breaks against the door
In gusts to split the wood.
And shrieking zephyrs claw the panes--
T'would enter if they could.
xxxx"Unquiet night! It gives me fright.
xxxxWhy, such a din might raise the dead!
xxxxBecalm thy nature, cease thy airs
xxxxAnd greet my lord with peace instead."
Thus speaks the lady of the hearth
To still her flighty mood.

A knock, a knock, and thrice a knock--
The door departs its frame.
And there before her stands a man
Alight as if by flame.
xxxx"My lord!" cries she and makes to rise
xxxxBut wonder checks her in mid stride.
xxxxAs he advances on the hearth
xxxxHe does not walk so much as glide.
"I've come to see thee once last time,
And to a-quit my claim."

"What talk is this?" She feigns a laugh
That hits the flags like glass.
"You've but return'ed from the fray.
My vigil ends at last.
xxxxI've set your chair before the fire--"
xxxx"I'll no more feel it's rosey glow
xxxxNor watch its embers fade to ash.
xxxxOne moment more and I must go."
He shrugs his spectral shoulders as
The light of life burns fast.

"How can this be?" she cries aloud.
"No knight's your equal, Kyr!"
"Indeed, it took a brace of knights
To fell one bogatir!
xxxxAnd now I hear the call-to-arms
xxxxThat draws all fighters in their time.
xxxxFarewell, dear lady. Fare thee well."
xxxxHe lifts his arms in eldritch mime.
His mortal raiment falls like flame-
Bright feathers on the air.

"Farewell, my lord," she whispers as
His spirit lifts o'er head
Like some bright bird that takes to flight
In whisps of gold and red.
xxxxIt makes a circuit of the hall
xxxxThen seeps like mist back through the door.
xxxxNo more contained by walls of stone
xxxxThe soul of this brave knight must soar.
Yet Catriona can but weep
Kyr Yaroslav is dead.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

*Thoron was the editor


I seem to recall searching for some Russian form or folk tale to hang this poem upon. I must have found one, tho I don't remember any details.

Sir Corwin du Mont - Fighter Poem - Petrarchan sonnet

Sir Corwin du Mont
fallen in Crown Tourney, April, A.S. XXIV*

(Petrarchan sonnet)

A knight did ride forth from Abbey of Leng,
With the Hammer to stay him in his pose,
And to show him the way, the compass rose.
Black was its visage, and bright was his mien.

In silver sunlight link'd ring on ring
As if 'twere forg'd by some elvish hands
To gird him safely through these troubled lands
That foundered since the passing of the king.

To try his sword, Sir Corwin did depart
His bless'd Abbey where his soul might rest.
A higher purpose called him to the deed.

But 'though he had great spirit and pure heart
A knight with strong clain did win the test,
Think well on one who strove for fair Caid.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

*Thoron was the editor

Vicount Sir David Morgan - Fighter Poem

Vicount Sir David Morgan
King's Champion
Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXIV*

Into the hall the Lady sweeps
She does not weep
Nor duty slack,
She stood her ground when first she heard,
And took the word
With stiffened back,

"She's cold," some say, and turn aside.
"The Vicount's bride
Doth serve him ill."
They cannot know the strength it took
To wear that look
By force of will.

A final task she can't forestall
A dismal pall
Has gript the room,
As little babes she gathers 'round
To hear the sound
Of life's brief bloom.

"Red as the dawn, black as the night-
An awesome sight,
All will concede.
Thy father fought with head held high
To win or die
For fair Caid."

"Nine warriors fierce he did engage
And battle wage
To gain the crown.
But two did deal him grievous blows,
And in death's throes
He was brought down."

"Think never that he loved ye nought
Nor thee forsloth
To seek this thing.
But know thy father had a plan;
He was the man
Who could be King."

And now she kisses each in turn
And aches to learn
They understand.
At last she can let fall a tear
For one so dear:
David Morgan.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

*Thoron was the editor

Eadric of Mansfield - Fighter Poem

Eadric of Mansfield
fallen in Crown Tourney, September, A.S. XXV*

The lady loosed her milk-white dove
To scour the plains of woe,
And watched it scale the silver clouds
And dither to and fro
In search of news of her true love
Somewhere ensconced below.
To lift the corners of the shrouds
If need be - she must know.

She watched the light of day grow dim
And ember into night.
And still she waited on the bird
Whom she had given flight.
Her cheek against the window rim
Grew cold from stone, and fright,
Yet stay she must to hear the word
To make her heart delight.

"He's tarried with his Abbey friends
To lift a cup in cheer.
Or mayhad he has stopped awhile
To stay another's fear.
My lord is like to give amends
When once he does appear,"
The lady told herself to while
The time that cost so dear.

The dark took on a rosy glow
That kindled into dawn,
And found the lady at her post
Now wearisome and wan.
She spied a speck and watched it grow
As to the window drawn
The dove returned with what she most
Desired to dote upon.

"What news! What news! My messenger?
What word do you bring me?
What keeps my Eadric from my heart,
Now duty's set him free?"
With flutt'ring wings the harbinger
Of sorrow made to flee,
But her cool hand was quick to dart
And catch what she must see.

Her fingers closed upon the prize
The bird loosed as he fled,
And raised it to the light of day
To see it streaked with red.
And stark the truth banished all the lies:
A lock from Eadric's head,
Once-tender heart now turned to clay.
Toline's true love lay dead.

-- Lady Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

*I wasn't the editor, Thoron was, 1990 (before he conned me into doing it) ;->

A Fallen Bard - For Lord Goldwyn of Britain - Will's Poem

A Fallen Bard
For Lord Goldwyn of Britain

There is a place inside the soul
Where hope and dreams can start-
The lights of deeds shine down upon
This stage upon the heart.

For on this stage our dreams are born,
And from it they take wing;
We all can say it shapes our thoughts
'Tis true, "the play's the thing."

The one who walks the stage must be
The one who touched us all,
Who made us laugh, and gave some joy
To elders and the small.

On Hastings green, some years ago
The dream first on you laid-
Since then you've proved with words and deeds
Its flowing accolade.

For small I as when first I heard
Your boisterous voice ring out
You told the world your lesson
And we heard without a doubt.

We heard you chart and plot new worlds,
Our thirst for laughts to slake:
Where Butch and Studley demonstrate
The Laurel's secret shake.

You were an institution
Of a time and place apart:
So true it is, you graced the stage.
The stage upon the heart.

You taught us well, your tricks, your trade
You gave us in our trials.
When we performed your skits and plays
Your wit made people smile.

We gave you ninety-nine percent
Then strove to give your more;
Directed by your wit and skill,
An actor to the core.

Your cloak is draped across a stool,
Its vacant folds lay bare...
But still your spirit gives it weight-
We know your warmth is there.

And though the curtain's weight has come
And gone's your final part-
In all our dreams we know you've won
The stage upon the heart.

-- Lord Will Schuyler the Younger

...who learned from Goldwyn to "make it fun"

(c) Fall 1999

Considering the Prose Poem

Found a new form recently, a Prose Poem. It's like a concise essay. My Potrero essay is almost a prose poem. With a little more editing, it could be. It's a one-thought mini-essay with extreme word pictures, a totally enjambed poem with no line breaks. Instead it calls on alliteration, assonance, feminine rhyme, metaphor, etc.

Lately I've been reading - and writing - poetry with enjambment in mind.

Star*Line is calling for prose poems for an up-coming issue. I want to try my hand at a speculative-themed one.

Zombie Haiku

So Lin threw down the gauntlet, and this is what I came up with. Talk about deathly prose...

How can I convince you
I only love you for your brains?
The zombie's lament.

What a dish!
Life is a movable feast
To a zombie.

Tall and wan and young and jerky
The girl from Ipanema does
The zombie bassa nova.

"Drill here! Drill now!"
The energy savvy zombie
Gets with the program.

Tangle on the turnpike--
Drivers gambled with their lives;
Zombie jackpot.

Blood on the gridiron--
Zombies lurch across the field.
Hey, who moved the ghoul post?

Zombies on the rise!
The world is coming to an end!
Film at eleven.

A Hail Mary pass--
The quarterback has lost his head.
The zombie found it.

Heads will roll:
The ghoulie ate the ball.
Zombie soccer.

The zombie lolcat
Ivites the loldog to lunch:
Nom, nom, NOMMS.

I'll lose my mind
If I have to write one more
Zombie haiku.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Count Sven Orfhendur - Fighter Poem - Haiku

Count Sven Orfhendur
Victorious in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XLII


Grinning through the leaves -
A slice of pizza in his paws:
It's good to be the king.

-- Pippin Skylark

...always tart and crisp

Sir Kolfinna kottr - Fighter Poem

Sir Kolfinna kottr
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XL

Kottr, kottr, burning bright
In the tourney's morning light
Sister of the Chivalry
Hang your list shield on the tree

Call to action: hunting horn
Kottr faces Einar's Bjorn
Dancing 'round his battle axe
Leaves him paws-up in her tracks

Viscondesa modest maid
Strides forth with her bloody blade
With a swish of stripy tail
Jimena turns deathly pale

Challenge next is al-Mansur's
Kolfinna seems moons and stars
Swept up with a blow that's neat
Twisting, she lands on her feet

Fiery phoenix flickers near
Charmed, enchanted cat pays dear
Birds and cats are seldom friends
Korwyn kottr's day now ends

Kottr, kottr, eyes agleam
Basking in Orfhendr's beam
She and Sven will sit the throne
Some day, she will on her own.

-- Pippin Skylark

...always tart and crisp

Alexander de Toulon - Fighter Poem

Alexander de Toulon
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVI

A horseman rode the crest of waves
On Neptune's own, a milk-white steed,
And stepped to shore with manner grave,
His vision set on fair Caid.

Onto the tourney field he strode
Bedecked in armor fit for war,
And hailed a knight with challenge bold -
They clashed in combat sear and sore.

The bold attacker faced his fate
And fell to Sir Arion Buck.
Though rising with a limping gait,
He sallied forth to test his luck.

Caius of Umber heard his call
And joined in battle hot and fierce.
But soon the fighter felt a pall -
Though brave and stout, his heart did pierce.

The lovely Caitran does not morn
For Alexander de Toulon.
They ride together wave-crest borne;
The sea has swallowed up its own.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Thomas Blackkeep - Fighter Poem - sonnet

Thomas Blackkeep
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVI


The hourglass lies canted on the field,
Its ruby grains escaping through the cracks.
Just so the blood of Thomas Blackkeep spilled
To pool upon the earth in twain attacks.
Attila dealt an injury at first
That surely seemed to stop time in its flow -
Then Timothy drove home with one far worse
That smashed a fragile hope with killing blow.
Marina cups her true love's head with hands
That strive to stay the flow that stains her gown.
As likely might she stem the tide of sands
That spill unhindered to the hard, cold ground.
A gallant fighter's time has come and gone.
A soul departs, a memory lives on.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Charric van den Vliet - Fighter Poem - sonnet

Charric van den Vliet
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVI

(dactylic sonnet)

Many a minstrel has sung of brave deeds.
Done by great warriors in service to kings -
Riding the high road wherever it leads,
Seeking and taking whatever fate brings.
Such is the business of any good bard
Gifted with talent to spin a good tale;
Able to capture a court with his word,
Trading his skills for a tankard of ale.
Think how more worthy is Charric's display:
Shifting his talents from string to the blade,
Throwing himself in the thick of the fray,
Living the stuff of which ballads are made.
Truly impressive the list, though not long:
Charric can champion his exploits in song.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Mahmud Ali ben Sinan - Fighter Poem - sonnet

Mahmud Ali ben Sinan
fallen in Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVI


Where hailed this son of Islam come to fight
With blade that stirred the wind like a scirroco?
Mahmud Ali ben Sinan he was hight -
Wither of Sahara or Morocco -
He graced Caid with quiet, gallant stance,
And caused many a head to turn his way;
The fighters took his measure, sword and lance,
The ladies, his fine raiment did assay.
With dervish style and flashing crescent sword,
He strove to reach his goal by dint of will.
Three doughty fighters by his blade were gored;
Two knights it took the desert wind to still.
Courteous both off the field and on,
The kingdom would have prospered had he won.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Njal Grimmsson - Fighter Poem - Norse verse

Njal Grimmsson
fallen in Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVI

(Norse verse)

Frigid-water rigger, / Rider of the tide-foam,
Seeking after vict'ry / Satisfied in battle.
Grimm's son come to landfall / Claiming right of fighter,
Njal, weapon-wielder, / Warrior ripe for glory.

First to face, Valkyrie: / Vanquished fondest Bronwen -
Odin's daunting daughter - / Daring wrath of Asgard.
Risked the gods' displeasure; / Doubtless, won the bouting.
Called to plague his progress: / Kinsmen-fighters, writhing.

Now Njal knew vengeance, / Visited blades-bristling.
One and then another / Angry, knight and mighty,
For the maiden maddened. / Fought though over-wrought were.
Skills esteemed in killing, / Each sought best to teach him.

Rooted tree of battle, / Rocked and cleaved by grievers.
Whittled as they whetted / Appetites untiring.
For his part right-hearted, / Rents he gave aplenty.
One and then another / All sent to Valhalla.

Ferried to their reck'ning, / Four good knights misfortuned.
Two more blades were broken - / Brothers to the others.
Njal a dozen after / Heartsblood, struck no art'ry.
Hale, they did not kill him; / Hewed but cut not through him.

Mighty Viking fighter, / Fearing nothing, clearly!
Lone wolf facing all whom / Angry gods have sanctioned.
Smelling ale of victory, / Sensing happy ending.
Thins the pack attacking - / Two more fights till glory.

Comes to fore Sir Tim'thy, / Sister-fighter missing.
Keen his blows, unending: / Bends his will to killing.
Fierce his foeman, aiming / Artful wounds to heartwood.
Tree of battle feels it, / Injury enduring.

Last avenger, Ivan, / Illustrated killer.
Lone wolf bares his sharp teeth. / Thinking not of shrinking.
Brave in battle living; / Goes to death unfettered.
Odin's wrath is ended. / Welcome warrior-fellow.

Frigid-water rigger, / Warrior bent on glory,
Seeking for your fortune - / Finds Njal Valhalla.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Robyn Ryadh Mac Aonghusa - Fighter Poem

Robyn Ryadh Mac Aonghusa
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVI

All is lost! all is lost!
The world, once green, is rimed with frost,
Loved ones and friends decry the cost,
Robyn Ruadh is dead.

Sir Caius of Umber -
Sent Robyn soon, soon to slumber,
To join the host without number,
The kingdom of the dead.

Far too soon! far too soon!
Robyn Ruahd was made to swoon,
The nether world would grant a boon:
Robyn back from the dead.

Then came Jared Blaydeaux -
To wield, with might, a final blow,
That brought Robyn at last to woe,
And commune with the dead.

Rest in peace! rest in peace!
From all your struggles find release,
The flesh must yield, the spirit cease,
"Robyn lives on," 'tis said.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Jared Alexandre Blaydeaux - Fighter Poem

Jared Alexandre Blaydeaux
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVI

For Selene you did your best
The mettle of Caid to test
But Fate played you a heartless jest
And laid Jared Blaydeaux to rest.

Mahmud Ali bore down your sword
And drove your body to the sward.
To Selene you'd pledged your word
And so you rose to face the horde.

Robyn Ruadh next faced your steel;
You brought the doughty lad to heel.
Then Sir Caius was made to feel
The temper of your fighters' zeal.

Karolyi Attila then met
And caused your lady love regret:
Upon your life his sword to whet;
Upon the field your blood to let.

But even heartless Fate be moved
By protestations of true love.
To Selene your heart was true -
So life and love Fate gifted you.

-- Pippin Skylark

Knight of the Burnished Carapace - Fighter Poem - sonnet

Knight of the Burnished Carapace


The sun is wont to bake him in the shell,
This creature of the hot embattled plain,
While salt seas burst their dikes to course and swell
In rivulets of sweat that fall like rain.
His arms and armor drag on flesh and bone
Until he thinks his legs must soon give 'way;
And only force of will is strength alone
To carry him to victory in the fray.
But when the tourney's o'er and court anon,
(If he be champion or contender just)
He still must ply his chamois e're he's done,
Intent on thwarting...incipient rust.
'Though single-minded warrior he must seem,
This fighting knight of Holland likes to gleam!

-- Pippin Skylark


I wrote this poem and held it awhile, until William was knighted, which happened between this Crown and Coronation.

William Schuyler - Fighter Poem - sonnet

William Schuyler
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVI

Sweet William


I deamt a lord attained for me the crown
By virtue of his prowess on the field:
As fast as knights advanced, he brought them down,
Until the best save one was made to yield.
He clasped the scepter with a steady hand
And bade me sit beside him on my throne
Attended e'er I went by ladies grand;
Arrayed in jewels and gems to match my gown.
And 'though I bore a crown upon my hair
And gathered gifts of every stripe and hue,
I dreamt a lie of sadness and despair...
The lord who made me queen -- he was not you.
Nor all the world nor all it's richest prize
Can match my gaze reflected in your eyes.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Gavin Malcoeur - Fighter Poem

Gavin Malcoeur
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVII

Nip and tuck and press and sew;
Measured stitches to and fro;
Gathered pleats, a cuff to roll;
Many parts to make a whole.

Tailor's eye and fighter's heart
Fashion sword craft into art.
As the needle darns the tear,
Gavin plies his sword with care.

Arianna holds her breath
Watching Gavin dance with death.
Dags that fly as fast as steel
Cause his lady's head to reel.

Gavin Malcoeur, tailor-made,
Cuts a swathe with shears or blade.
Though the tourney runs its course -
Gavin makes a dashing corpse.

-- Lady Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Wulfric Thjostolfsson - Fighter Poem - Drottkvaet hattr

Wulfric Thjostolfsson
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVII

(Drottkvaet hattr)

Out of icy waters / Wulfric stands, legs planted;
Tree of battle, rootless / Traversed trans-atlantic.
Now he's come to Caid / Questing mighty fighters;
Warrior whet for glory / Wielding weapons aptly.

One thing he lacks only / Heart's-ease of an evening;
One to share his hearth-stone / Salve his wounds and bruises.
Viking seeks Valkyrie; /Spies the Grey-clad Lady.
She to him well-suited / Holding herself boldly.

Prize he sets his mind to; / Seizing it to please her:
Gifted with a kingdom / Can she turn with spurning?
Warrior sorely tested / Tempted past his tempering;
Sword so battle-hardened / Breaks instead of bending.

Back he comes, crown-lacking / Braves the Grey-clad Lady.
Bitter ale is fitting / For his heart's-loss, mourning.
Wonder at the fashion / Which her greeting meets him!
Robynne, Grey-clad Lady, / Love she holds above all.

Wulfric, come to fullness / Keeps to home, done roaming;
What can far lands offer / Liking to this Viking?
Heart's-ease he won't part with: / Wander-lust mistrusting.
What can take the place of / Wulfric's own Valhalla?

-- Lady Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Sestina for a Crown - Fighter Poem - sestina

Sestina for a Crown


Well shaded from the vernal heat
And dangling on silken thread,
The leaf-bright tree worms sway and dream -
Oblivious to passers-by
Who pluck them off of breast or crown,
Intent upon the tourney field.

Assembled on the sun-drenched field
A host of fighters brave the heat
Presenting consorts to the Crown.
Entwined in one unbroken thread,
They stand that all might know them by
Their dedication to the Dream.

The least of fighters has his dream
Of besting on the battlefield
Each hapless knight who happens by;
He might be addled by the heat
Or following a Norn-spun thread
That leads him to a kingdom's crown.

The king who bears the crescent crown,
Acceding to his fondest dream,
Will weave it with a common thread
That binds contenders on the field:
Cool heads that temper battle heat
And trust to skill to carry by.

The consorts silently stand by
And try to dwell not on the crown
That shimmer wraith-like in the heat -
To all but one a hopeless dream.
Well-wishes they try best to field
While through murk woods their thoughts do thread.

In tattered cloth or silken thread,
The populace will know him by
His chivalry upon the field
That brings to one a princely crown:
The culmination of a dream
That finishes with evening's heat.

Rosemary thread into a crown;
Good will for-by the one whose dream
To win the field transcends heart's heat.

-- Mistess Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler


My first sestina.

Sir William Schuyler - Fighter Poem - sonnet, acrostic

Sir William Schuyler
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVII

(double acrostic sonnet)

What geas was laid upon your head 'er now;
xxWhat spirit - sprite or demon - rides your brow?
Is there some driving force you must obey,
xxImbuing you with strength to sieze the day?
Lest it grow weak, is there some valkyrie
xxLends shoulder to your shield in victory -
Likewise, can you, when trial weighs your sword,
xxListen...and draw courage from a word?

I marvel at the skill with which you play,
xxImagining how far you'll go this day;
And though I make a pretense of protest,
xxAs you progress, I wish you all the best.
Mayhap one day you'll click and win the thing:
xxMy dear, I would be proud to call you king.

-- Philippa

Fionnabhair Kyriath INghean Vi Niel - Fighter Poem - Englynion

Fionnabhair Kyriath INghean Vi Niel
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVIII


Kyrieth, your hour has come -
xxConfident, you faced the day
Flew your griffin at the fray.

Kyrieth, your hour has come -
xxLoosed your griffin on the air
Snatched away to dragon's lair.

Kyrieth, your hour has come -
xxTaken to the sky once more,
Griffin pierced by arrow sore.

Kyrieth, your hour has come -
xxNoble beast to give its all
Owned the sky until its fall.

-- Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Luke of Caerleon - Fighter Poem - Rondel

Luke of Caerleon
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVIII


The sweep of wings that brush the sky -
The passing of an Argent Loon.
A brave young fighter felled too soon
Who took the field to win or die.

The Queen's own captain let sword fly
And Luke of Caerleon did swoon.
The sweep of wings that brush the sky -
The passing of an Argent Loon.

Then Saracen took up the cry:
The Moor did to his eagle croon:
"This noble bird shall be your boon."
But not without a valiant try.
The sweep of wings that brush the sky -
The passing of an Argent Loon.

-- Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler


The Argent Loons were what the Volksloff team called themselves. They ran the Tustin Marine Base Volksloff in '93 in armor!

Conner Thornhill - Fighter Poem - Englynion

Conner Thornhill
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVIII


Conner lifts his horn no more --
xxKnight of Umber tested him,
Made the light of life grow dim.

Conner lifts his horn no more --
xxViking stranded far from home
Conner sent no more to roam.

Conner lifts his horn no more --
xxTerrible his battle foe;
Tino's sword has laid him low.

Conner lifts his horn no more --
xxSunlit hills he will not stride
'Til he's called to Arthur's side.

-- Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Sir Donald Cathchern - Fighter Poem - Celtic buried rhyme

Sir Donald Cathchern
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVIII

(Celtic buried rhyme)

Whose grave is this but newly marked,
Estrewn with bark and blown leaves?
Midst columbine and campion
What champion, and who grieves?

A fellow warrior and a Celt,
A lady knelt on cold earth,
And driving blade into the silt
Up to the hilt, claimed his berth.

"Rest well, good knight, Donald Cathchern.
In battle stern, in heart bold.
You made the very woods to sing;
With clash and ring, the steel tolled."

She rises with the fall of night
And sets to flight small beasts near,
Who'll make their bedding in the loam
He calls home, whom she called dear.

"Slumber away, my great black bear."
She turns with care, head dipped low.
And wond'rous sight: the moon casts down
On grave mound...a wolf's shadow.

-- Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Eichling von Amrum - Fighter Poem - limerick

Eichling von Amrum
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVIII


There once was a fighter named Eichling
Who always rejected that knight-thing.
xxTo accept as a gift
xxWhat she'd much rather lift
Goes hard 'gainst the grain of a Viking.

-- Pippin Skylark

Ragnar of Sandcastle - Fighter Poem - Anglo-Saxon verse

Ragnar of Sandcastle
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVIII

(Anglo-Saxon Verse)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxRagnar questing:
Sea-foam skimmer / seeking his wierd,
Riding swan's road / ripe for glory,
Comes to Caid / cresting ridges.
Eager earth-stepper / striding to battle,
Mien unmeasured.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxMaid of the Greymist,
Heart's ease, hopeful, / hears the clamor -
Steel bites steel hard, / sparks are flashing,
Bright the battlefield, / brave the contenders -
She waits and watches.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxWoe to Ragnar,
Bested, battle-weary. / Bold of spirit,
Luck-only lacking. / Lost to Tino,
Tried and tested. / Terrible outcome:
Fierce the fighting, / fair encounter.
Heart-horde heavy.

xxxxxxxxxxxxHopeful Katherine,
Greymist maiden, / much enduring.
Brave, unblushing, / bent on paying
Hero's homage / to her consort,
As best she's able.

xxxxxxxxxxxxAnd forth goes Ragnar
Once-killed, undead, / Arab-seeking.
Husam harkens, / hearts are gladdened.
Blood-thirst building / blades are eager.
Flashing fire, / foes are well-met.
Desert-dweller / dread doom-bringer,
Sand-skimmer strikes; / Sandcastle topples,
Death-blow delivered.

xxxxxxxxxxxxDoleful Katherine,
Maid of the Greymist, / moved to tears, she
Woefully wishes her / warrior good-journey.
Valhalla-bound Viking, / Valkyrie-greeted.
Ragnar, sea-steed rider, / roams no more. He
Heads for heart-home.

xxxxxxxxxxxxHealth resored them,
Well-met warriors / Valhalla are liking:
Death-blows daily / deal in battle;
Rise each, rested, / ready for feasting.
Merry the mead-hall!

xxxxxxxxxxxxMeeting nightly,
Eased of earth-bonds, / aerie-dwelling.
Brave in battle, / bouts unending,
Tall the tales are / told of Ragnar!

-- Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Sir Caieth of Umber - Fighter Poem - Englynion

Sir Caieth of Umber
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVIII


Sir Caieth of Umber sleeps -
Gilbert Rhys fought for Morann,
But he died by Caieth's hand.

Sir Caieth of Umber sleeps -
Baron Thurston tried his luck;
Caieth set him in the muck.

Sir Caieth of Umber sleeps -
Baron Joseph had his way;
Bested Caieth in the fray.

Sir Caieth of Umber sleeps -
Sir Padraic faced him next;
Sent this baron to his rest.

Sir Caieth of Umber sleeps -
Came Sir Donald, doughty Celt;
Caieth gave him quite a welt.

Sir Caieth of Umber sleeps -
Alas, this Knight of Umber
Jarl Ivan sent to slumber.

-- Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

Sir Gar of Loch Carron - Fighter Poem - limerick

Sir Gar of Loch Carron
Victorious in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVIII


Sir Gar, Loch Carron, gaunt and stark
Pledged his sword for the Crown on a lark.
xxRistil smiled, called his bluff,
xxBut his skill proved enough;
He just needed a litle aard-vark.

-- Pippin Skylark

...always tart and crisp

Jacob Maxamillion of the Balck Forest - Fighter Poem - Tagelied minnesong

Jacob Maxamillion of the Balck Forest
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXIX

(Tagelied minnesong)

Fast within our leafy bower,
Nestled 'til the fateful hour
Dawn must tear me from your arms,
Heedless of your ample charms.
For the moment, banish sleep;
Nestle closer in my keep.

Cruel fate to play us so!
Why is it you have to go?
Stay with me and tarry on;
Give no credence to the dawn.
'Thought the sun should streak the sky
Tarry longer, by and by.

Would that I could, dearest one.
Yet I depart with the sun.
See, it paints the shadows lighter -
Quickly, kiss your ardent fighter.
Do not weep! You'll see me soon.
And I'll return with such a boon!

What care I for crown or throne
If you leave me here alone?
You say you mean to make me queen -
I'd settle for this bower, e'en,
If my pleas you'd only heed;
'Tis all the kingdom I would need.

Alas! Her words fell on deaf ears.
Already he could hear the cheers
His skill with arms would rightly reap;
Upon his head such praise they'd heep!
And he'd return to share his spoils,
The bounty of his mighty toils.

She fretted through the afternoon -
The evening couldn't come too soon.
But come it did - and darkling, too;
And tasted of the bitter rue.
She waited till the sun did set...
And mayhap she is waiting yet.

-- Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

...is a 15th century Burgundian cloth merchant who thinks she's a 10th century Viking weaver, and who occasionally falls under the influence of the poetic Muse.


Tagelied, or Dawn Poem, laments the imminent parting of two lovers, often told in alternating verses, in German minnesinger tradition.

Sir Karolyi Attila Laszlo - Fighter Poem - Norse verse

Sir Karolyi Attila Laszlo
fallen in Fall Crown Tourney, A.S. XXIX

(Norse verse)

Well-favored warrior, / wielding dragon's claw
Fell to fighting / foemen, boldly.
Battle-bringer, / bearing war scars,
Ardent Attila, / avenger of Vikings;
Christina's consort, / come for conquest
Questing Caid's / crown and kingdom.

Fierce the field, / festooned with fighters:
Knights and nobles / and nimble killers.
Sven unswerving; / Valrik, valiant,
Dealt the dragon / deadly damage.
Rose this roamer / of the swan's road
Determined dragon, / yet undaunted.

Now the field narrows, / knights need killing:
Attila obliges, / eager as ever.
Yaroslav slain; / Sir Donald severed.
German Jacob / just-so troubled.
Left is Luther, /last to master
'Fore he can / face the final trial.

Fate is fickle, / favoring fighters;
Saving some for / sallies elsewhere.
Attila tested, / thus it must be;
Luther has left him / lifeless, finished;
All Attila's / ambitions ended.
Game now progresses, / gone beyond him.

Final fight will / favor Ivan:
Wierds have wrought this; / words were spoken.
Christina cries now, / consoled by no one,
Yearning yet for / her young dragon.
Alas! Attila, / ever-eager!
Vying for victory, / vaults to Valhalla.

-- Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

...is a 15th century Burgundian cloth merchant who thinks she's a 10th century Viking weaver, and who occasionally falls under the influence of the poetic Muse.

Tournawocky - Fighter Poem


'Twas springtime and contenders strove
To gyrate nimbly on the field.
All wistful did the consorts prove
And the populace was thrilled.

"Beware the tourney rounds," my son,
The swords that bite, the shields that catch.
Beware the Florentine, and shun
The furious pike and axe."

He took his rattan sword in hand -
Long time the fearsome foes he fought -
Till rested he by the Crown list tree
And stood awhile o'er wrought.

And as in breathless thought he stood
The master herald did call his name.
A champion of fighting-wood,
To eric field he came.

One two, one two, and fro and through,
The silvered swords went smack and crack.
He knocked him dead (wrap to the head)
And went triumphant back.

"And did you fight in Crown today?
Come bear your arms, and raise your crest!
Oh fabulous day! Huzzah! Hurray!
You're one of Caid's best."

'Twas springtime and contenders strove
To gyrate nimbly on the field.
All wistful did the consorts prove
And the populace was thrilled.

-- Pippin Skylark

...always tart and crisp