Neil Graham Marsden

The Duel

Many heartbeats, many paces separate the duellers' eyes,
This circle drawn, retreat forsaken, spit of rain, impatient skies.
Face to face each tests intention, as the other burns sight back,
And there they root in statued silence, oblivious to the deepening black.

There to wait until the rhythm of the moment matches theirs,
Where flame ignites the keg of powder, releasing steel and blinding flares.
When each will lose all sense of terror, each will take the chance of pain,
And both will move as if like lightning, flashing to that new domain.

Now they face in endless freeze-frame, daring not to take one breath,
Knowing that just one word spoken, brings the moment certain death.
The raindrops hanging from eyelids wont be shaken to the ground,
For he well knows to risk the movement, results the same as breaking sound.

His opponent views the dropp with terror, knowing it could end the stance,
Knowing blink would mean decision, to start or not this sparkling dance.
And as the pounding hearts beat louder, marking this the midnight hour,
So the forces pull together to unleash this vital power.

Now the sense of admiration drifts between the duellers stares,
Where bold eye contact halts the chance of being taken unawares.
Strong arms flash forwards from the statue, wading out through parting air,
To grab the body by the shoulders, his face a shroud of panicked hair.

Then the distance is no longer, thus the stand-off is no more,
The gladiators locked in combat, domination now the law.
Each not knowing if the other has the needed strength inside,
Both attempting to stay upright, firmly planted feet spread wide.

His target saw the first swift motion, did not change from steadfast stone,
Standing there in odd acceptance, once the initial strike was thrown.
He was now the praying mantis, had achieved submission's hold,
And only now, the impasse broken, could his repertoire unfold.

Each hand a glove of red hot passion, boldly sweeping grace aside,
Now his mask the face of purpose, Flaring nostrils belching wide.
His lips a brace of crimson fury, drenched in lust to drink her in,
Two souls united in the frenzy, of this all consuming sin.

And thus the battle joined thereafter, to the sounds of gasping breath,
The contenders blended by one mission, to fight to anything but the death.
To find the pathways to one garden, where the other drenched the flowers,
With love in size defying measure, a love forever only ours.

Poem Submitted: Monday, September 29, 2008

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Comments about The Duel by Neil Graham Marsden

  • David ThreadgoldDavid Threadgold (9/29/2008 7:37:00 AM)

    Hi Neil. great imagery. clear enough to put yourself there with the duelers. I've used this subject a number of times but never with such depth of feeling. thanks for the read. **10** Regards Dave T.

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