Log Cabin Chronicles

Simply Wedded in Passion

WARD KELLEY

If women of the olden tribes
were known to do battle
alongside their men,
why not us?
This arm can lift the sword,
these muscles can heft the banner,
and truly death itself
knows no sex; it cares not
if it consumes beard or breast.

Come with me, come with knives,
come enter into this fleshy thicket
of blood and killing and bone;
enter into this bloodlust,
this manly fashion of lovemaking
with swords and red strokes,
this passion of taking blood
and ripping life from loins . . .
a reverse scintillation as when life
is created between our own legs.

Here, then, is the secret,
right here on this field of death . . .
the men have always known
how birth and death
are simply wedded
by the passions
of us all . . .

and the only purpose
is the passion.

ARTIST'S NOTE: Joan of Flanders (circa 1300) was the wife of Jean Comte de Montfort, one of the claimants to the dukedom of Brittany who was allied to the English. When Jean was captured by the French and imprisoned at Paris, his wife took up his cause. Whether precursor of Joan of Arc or inheritor of a Celtic tradition of women bearing arms, she vigorously pursued the struggle. During the siege of Hennebont, she donned full armor then rode her war-horse through a hail of arrows while leading the men. Taking a party of knights out a secret gate, she surprised the enemy from its rear, destroyed half their force, and handily won the battle. Yet in the end it all proved too much for her; she apparently went mad and was confined in England, spending thirty years secluded in Tickhill castle, forgotten by her contemporaries.

Home | Poetry Menu


Copyright © 2003 Ward Kelley