The Dane & the Saxon
In a wind-swept marsh. Under pinking skies of a waking dawn.
A Saxon Lord meets a Danish Jarl. Far from his land
of dragons and ice. Shield music roars. As the kings of slaughter harness chaos, ride it like a warhorse. Their kins-men and oath-men gather behind. Hate in their hearts, fear in their bellies. Yet these men,
with fire-flecked eyes, keep fear held back behind the fence
of their teeth.
The Saxon holds a blade that glints with beauty. Yet it has a heart
of dark blood. The Danes sword holds a spirit of deep greed. They clash. Become one fighting beast. A two-headed monster of blades and armour. They are matched. Time slows in battles simmering heat.
exhaustions embrace allows one final lunge. Each hits home.
The Saxon flies up to his God, the Dane walks with a warriors stride, through the dreaming halls of Valhalla.
(With thanks to Bernard Cornwell for his books about Uhtred of Bebbanburg, which inspired this poem.)
Miki Byrne has written three poetry collections, had work included in over 160 poetry magazines and anthologies, and won a few poetry competitions. She has read on both Radio and TV, judged poetry competitions, and was a finalist for Poet Laureate of Gloucestershire. She is active on the spoken word scene in Cheltenham, and began performing her poems in a bikers club in Birmingham. Miki is disabled and lives near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, UK.