Two armies gathered
Opposing one another
Across a checked field.
Equal in number and strength,
They were determined
To destroy the other and bring victory
Back to the castle, to kill the king
The holy father of the foe nation
And bring his crowned head home,
Without its body.

Two armies gathered, the kings and their queens
Assisted by holy men and men on horses,
All protected by heavy forts and lines of men,
Peasants in uniform ready to seize the field
And slay whomever should come in their way.

The White King was confident, feeling
That he could see clearly his enemy and that
They were paralyzed with fear,
He moved first, ordering his loyal men,
Peasants one by one down the line
With simple spears, ready to clear the way
So that the queen herself might ride
Into the heat of battle and cast a spell with the holy men,
To sire a potion for victory.

Two armies sat across from one another,
One now advancing, the other holding firm,
Letting a stream of peasants move across a field,
Ready to let a force of its own ebony armed men
Begin to march and stop the first move.


The first move was finished, the White king
Sat back in his tent, raised a goblet to victory
And called on the goddess’ help.
His back turned, he failed to see his advance stopped,
By the followers of the Black king.

Another line was sent, and again
It was stopped, a few bodies remained on the ground
While the forces were frozen in place.

The White King pulled at his beard,
Arranged his moustache upright,
He was ready to battle the wind.
To his knights he rode his horse,
They found one another and he sent them
Flying high over the peasants with a leap
Landing out in the battle, with swords up high
Ready to drive back the peasants on foot.

White Knights in beautiful robes,
Rode down the field, advancing and moving
To the side with every push towards the battle.
From afar they could be felt, their scream
And the breath of their horses drove the peasants back,
Until more of them arrived and the knights,
Once they came to the center of the field,
Held firm in their place as they saw a wave of spears
About to break forth.


She bade him not to leave,
The White queen,
Pure and chaste as her love,
Ran before the tent
Lay a wreath on his ears
And proclaimed him prince of peace.

But the knight, his tin armor
Shining, laughed,
Her way was not his,
There was glory to be had
And to sit behind a row
Of pawns and let them
Soak up the enemy’s blood,
That was hell for him.

The sun, it smiled down
A let its teeth shine for him,
He kissed his queen’s picture
In a locket swinging on his chest,
His horse was friendly
The field was verdant,
Filled with tall flowers
He picked one for his lady
And it pricked him,
A drop of blood flew south
On the skin of his beast.

A hundred blossoms
Stood between him
And a line of pawns,
He leapt over all them
Leaving their petals
To sway in the breeze
That he made for them.

He had that laughter
Which pierced into the enemy,
Reaching into their hearts
Before his sword did,
He grinned underneath his helmet,
Returned to the sun its smile
And set out to carve a row of peasants
Into the black earth where
He felt they belonged.


His dark hat pointing upward,
The ebony pontiff gathered in
The faithful, his people,
As the sun was setting.

A few fallen comrades
Were placed before him
Coins in their eyes
A ditch was made
A final trench to defend.

His hands were firm
They held the armor and spears
Useless now for the deceased,
And he gave them to the living,
Distributed a war communion
That promised glory to those
Who could ride out and run out
To slaughter the enemy and let
Themselves absorb blows

And arrows coming to earth,
The Bishop sang
A low voice that shook
The vultures in the trees
And sent them away.

You who today march
Will one day be still
And sleep with your ancestors,
When you are there,
What will you tell them,
What song will you sing?

Only the heroic
Who died in time
On the battlefield
Or who survived
And served
Have their lives
In tune.


He screamed,
And they surrounded,
A womb of steel blades,
He was safe,
No one would get to him.

A flame rose,
From inside he lit
Sticks and warded off
The cold.

The smoke was seen
By the Whites
Who marched up the hill.

They were drips of paint,
From the King’s brush.

They were in love with the queen.

His Black armor set aside,
In his chain mail suit
He rested and ate
Slicing a pear with a knife.

The Whites closed in and broke through,
But the Black Pawns regrouped,
They stepped on the throats of the dead
And threw spears through men’s hearts.

A tide of men pushed forward
Shoved itself through the lines,
The white pawns falling like snow.
One was slain and when he fell
He touched the shoulder of the knight.
The knight shuddered, a filthy finger
Had pressed its oils onto his armor.


His vision cut into squares
By the ramparts looking for a sign,
The White King waited,
His nose and eyes bulging,
Hanging over the side of the stone
Trying to see through
Who was winning and which mass
Of pawns was advancing,
And which was falling.

She was gone, having left
Comfort behind the walls.
He could see her leaving,
In a white gown and horse,
A cloud drifting through fog.
His back was held
By the stone and he
Was happy.

Now the pawns were gone, now
The knights were in battle, now
The holy men were praying
And trying to heal the fallen.

The tower was too high
He could not see
Who was still moving.

Yet he was on top,
Switching places
With the guard inside.
In the royal tent,
There was a line of sight
Straight to the heat of battle,
From where a black pawn,
Could see him and take aim.

The White Queen refused
To be away from her knight,
She said it was for her people.

He dragged her up,
She broke from his grip and fled,
And now he was up on the top
Of the tower, leaning and pacing,
Hearing someone scream,
Someone bleed, but who?


The Black Queen danced on her square
The White Queen danced on hers
Together they stood, side by side,
Ready to tread and discover,
Who was the weaker.

The Black Queen, she danced
With her hands in the air shaking
Bracelets that rung around her arms,
She made music with her jingle
And the White Pawns, all they could do
Was move in single file dancing.

Her body sang its own song,
Ching-a ling a ling ching a ling a ling
Ching a ling a ling ching!
Ching-a ling a ling ching a ling a ling
Ching a ling a ling ching!

The Castle of the White King,
Both of its proud towers,
They too were forced to sway,
The jingle was so gentle, so soothing
It seduced them brick by brick.

With her hairs spread out,
The White Queen played them
Like a harp, and she danced her dance,
Her porcelain legs springing to life
Moving up and down,
She made the Black Pawns fall back,
Unable to stand the brightness.

And the Black pawns danced in
Their blindness, caught up
In the sound of the White Queen,
Fa-fa la-la-la fa-fa la-la
Fa-fa la-la-la fa-fa la-la
But the Black Queen went on dancing.

She stepped inside the square of her enemy,
And the two of them circled one another,
Some claimed to see them spread wings,
Flying back and forth, throwing orbs of light
Right at one another until the White Queen,
She stopped dancing, and then fell.

But a line of pawns, in white shields and hats,
Began to chant,
Fa-fa la-la-la fa-fa la-la
Fa-fa la-la-la fa-fa la-la
Moving spears and lips together,
They marched on the Black Queen,
Who stood over the body of their King’s wife.

She tried to flee, but still her body
Kept making a music of its own as she moved
To try and get away from the angry chorus,
She could not hide, her cloak of invisibility
Was pierced by the sound she kept making.

Across the field they followed her listening,
Ching-a ling a ling ching a ling a ling
Ching a ling a ling ching!
Ching-a ling a ling ching a ling a ling
Ching a ling a ling ching!

The Black Queen could make it slow or fast,
Loud or very soft, but the rhythm never left her,
And neither did the chant,
Fa-fa la-la-la fa-fa la-la
Fa-fa la-la-la fa-fa la-la

She ran into the line of her own men,
They were a solid line of armor,
Hiding behind shields placed together,
They were a wall of steel unbending.

She banged on the shields to be let in,
She banged in her rhythm, but the soldiers slept
And stayed behind their iron, they thought
Her blows were from an enemy,
And thought themselves brave and wise
For not letting her in.

Her fist banged on the shields, banged on the shields,
They were hard, she banged
Banged on the shields, banged on the shields
Screamed and they rang.

The white pawns they sang out they sang out and they ran,
With their swords up and their mouths wide and then they sang,
Fa-fa la-la-la fa-fa la-la
Fa-fa la-la-la fa-fa la-la
They took the Black queen and cut her head cut her head they did,
Threw the body through the shields and with the head they hid.


I hear the whispers of the dead,
They are calling out the names
Of anyone who can come
And ease their pain, the names
That belong to their mothers
Who they are coming to again
A second time, emerging
Into the other world
To be coddled in their arms.

Out amongst the fallen I feel safe,
None of them see me as an enemy,
Or a friend, I am one left behind.
Out on the field there are no sides,
It is checkered with blood,
The I can imagine to be made
Of different swirling colors,
Each corpse marks a piece of earth
And claims it for his king,
But all I see is grass, green and amber,
Coated in crimson and black.


Seeing his lady on the field,
He mounted his horse,
And broke the line of steady pawns.

He had no trouble finding the body,
She lay in state, clothed in white,
Among the grass which was wet with dew.

The king in his castle,
Alone and at the top,
Paced along the ramparts.

His horse stopped before her,
A glowing image
Scared both of them.

With brave legs and hands,
He got down and touched her,
Feeling her cold skin softly.

The Black Knight mounted his horse
Torn through the field filled with dead
And arrived before his White companion.

Tears fell down the mourner’s face,
Rolling off his cheeks and flying
Down to mingle with the dew.

He imagined her still breathing,
Merely pretending, possibly sleeping
Anything other than dead.

Two pairs of swords met,
A gray cloud went up
As their armored bodies spun.

In a violent dance, the haze
Was broken by the beams of the sun
Jumping off the blades of the two men.

The flash of light sprung
From blade to blade
As one went up and the other down.

It stopped once one blade, the
Black knight’s, ran smooth with blood,
And the cloud faded away.

The White Knight and the White Queen
Together on the field of battle,
The Black Knight lord of the checkered field.

A mitre peered up over the hill and
Into the glen ran the holy man,
Who was ready to cast a spell.

His staff glowed and he sent a ray
Of green light into the Knight’s heart,
He took his helmet off, suffocating.

Green became his skin, green
Became his eyes, and his hair
Started to fall from his head.

The bishop brought the knight
Down to the ground and he soon
Melted into the grass leaving his iron.

He knelt to say a prayer, but the horse
Of the White Knight, desperate for a rider
Kicked him in the head and the mitre fell.


This is no land for victory,
No one is left to cheer, no
Chorus could be formed
Out of the bones of the dead.

The living habitant and gather
Around fires and count themselves
An unholy census takes place
To figure out who will be the last to go.

The Black King has his pawns,
There is nothing between them,
Soldiers and not subjects now,
Ready for a share of the loot and glory.

We have raped the ground they say,
The King ignore them, he hates the moon
It reminds him of the eyes of his enemies
Of the man who is pacing the tower.

In his castle he is safe, with books and tapestries
To keep him warm and a fire, all to himself,
His guard stands outside to face the cold
And the hail of arrows, if they ever come.

He trusts them all and throws them
A loaf of bread, a hunk of meat
Down from his window
So that they are looking up to him.

His mind is clear, no man’s words
Confuse him. He is the architect
Of the entire world before him
No one is there to complain.

The lips that spouted hateful negations
Have fallen silent, they kiss the grass
And taste their own blood and the blood
Of others, the King smiles for the first time
His lips breathe the smoke of the Black King’s fire.


The foot solider,
Servant to the king
Last man standing
Right on the left flank,
Moved with fealty in his heart
Towards the edge,
Where the squares faded
And the brown woods emerged.

He followed a glowing light
Moving in the trees,
Finding shelter behind branches.

The White Bishop saw
Behind him the action taking place
He ran diagonally across the field
His mitre fell off and his head was bald
Moving quickly like a wind.

The foot solider, pawn to the light
Snapped fallen leaves in half
Cut roots with his sword
And arrived to see a crown
Floating in the air.
The King had told him,
His Lord,
This was what he was to take.

A scream rang out in the copses,
As the peasant boy spun in the air,
The crown on his head
Grew golden hairs that read down
Around his body, which was now curved
Sporting hips and breasts,
His cloak and dagger replaced,
By a scepter,
And a gown to which the refuse of trees
Could not stick.

She the new queen emerged back on the field,
And she stopped the Bishop in his tracks
Ridding the Black King of the Meddlesome priest
Who could not walk straight, only sideways,
He begged for mercy but she granted none
She was a magical being,
Who sent spark from her eyes and hands
Which opened up a portal beneath the holy man
And sent him far away.


Alone on the top,
The king sings
Of many things
He cannot define.

New music fills his ears and he goes to it,
It sings a hymn of royalty, of charm
Feminine and clean, pure of heart
Beating gold rhythms he must get to it
Before the tune stops and once again
The ring of his ears echoes off the stone walls.

He breaks down a door and pushes aside a guard,
He hears a helmet falling down the staircase,
A hollow metal sound winding down with him,
The man should have put up more of a fight
Through the galley to the chapel, and there
He hears it again, the song of a queen,
His queen, she wore his ring and sang in her room
The night he came to her and buried her in silk sheets,
Smothered her cries and drew her royal bloodlines
To make sure he was the thief in the night, and
That everything promised to him was true.

Nothing can stop his majesty, a secret doorway
Is open and the stairs
Taken, he ends up higher off the ground than he thought,
But the music,
He hears it and it warms his cheeks to the face of morning,
And his eyes open.

On the marble portico, carved into the tower
He stands above them all,
A pond of black, an ink spill, they are not afraid
A queen he has never met, but desired in the darkness
Of the sounds swirling in his ear, is singing to him,
Two pawns in White, hang like ghosts on both sides of him
Shall he be pierced by a peasant,
Shall his story be ruined by a woman?
She smiles is finished and bows, the King understands.

Now -

The King is dead,
The King is dead,
Long live the King!
Long live the King!

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