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Sunday, January 25, 2015


by David Chorlton

The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more. --SCA

A man who died five minutes back
is standing at the action’s edge
and watching his army regroup
for another charge.
                              The war begins
in February, he says, as pennants
wave in Sunday sunshine
and dust clouds are rising around
the bright warriors
                             in the park. You see
someone in black and red you want
to kill him, that’s how it is. Today
it’s only practice for when
the forces to gather at Queen Creek.
The rules say that if you’re hit
where the armor doesn’t cover,
                                                you die.
See this? He indicates the metal
cut to fit around his upper arm. It’s
a Left Turn sign.
                        From the yellow eagle
on a dark blue shield
to banners in black, colors show who
is on one side and who on the other,
while the plan discovered today
                                                 is for
someone to infiltrate a crowd and stand
next to his enemy, looking so much
like him as to render violence
invisible until
                     the bomb explodes
leaving no chance for the dead
to move away from the action
to touch the Resurrection Pole and be
allowed to fight again.

David Chorlton came to Arizona in 1978 after living in England and Austria. He has spent more than three decades stretched between cultures and writing poetry, the pick of which has just appeared as his Selected Poems, from FutureCycle Press.