Duel at Dawn II

swords raised
senses heightened
tempered minds
command cold steel
glimmering in dawn’s light
sharpened by intention
bushido
the warrior’s code
restricts and defines
a final test
a struggle for honor
what is lost
in winning
what is won
in losing
every move calculated
a parry for a thrust
a counter for each form
this deadly calculus
plays out
all the training
dedication and sacrifice
reduced, refined
to one last move
now it comes
the air sings
as the blades dance
to a harmony
only two can hear
precision coupled
with intensity
reality drops away
only dazzling swordplay
suspended in time
a lone cherry blossom falls
as the final stroke connects
blood sprays
soaring into the sky
release
the samurai’s soul
not broken
transformed
a beautiful match!

— Zachary Uram, (c) 2011

4 responses to “Duel at Dawn II”

  1. I like it! The closest thing I know to being a samurai is netrek (I've done martial arts but not at the same level.) The poem makes me think of what netrek might be like if real blood was spilled.

    Like

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