Pennants furl in the wind;
two armies stand silent.

Then, with pounding drums
and bright sunlight,
a single eualia
sends the calvary charging
and the foot soldiers pouding
and the crying bloody mass
collides in a sea of humanity
and inhumanity.

Claymores and longswords
and bastards shine and clash.
Longbows creak and arrows hiss
in a deadly fired rain.

There is no shining armor here,
only dull, bloodied mail.
No gallantry, only survival
or death, mired into red-tinged earth.

Up above, ravens circle.
Raucous cawing gives
some men pause,
and costs them their lives.
Knowingly, the ravens cry on.

Beneath the blood
and the dust
and the guts,
there is glory,
the kind that bards
and skalds immortalize.

But it is hard to find.
The brave cannot find it,
nor the strong.
Glory goes to the cowards
and the weaklings
who rise above fear
and conquer it,
if only for a moment.

When the day slides down
beneath the horizon,
most will be dead,
some will be soon.
A few will survive.

Roughly half will retreat
to nurse their wounds
and mourn their dead.
The larger half will
drown the horror in
ale and wine and mead,
celebrating.

Why do men do this thing called war?
Few, if any, can say.
Some do it for
the ever elusive glory,
others for gold.
Some do it for kith,
or kin, or country.
Some do it for love,
be it of death or of life.

But in the end, all will die.
Only a few will remain
as pale ghosts,
remembered in the misty tales
that are passed down
through weary generations.

They will change
for the remembrance,
some for the better,
others for the worse.

Is it better to be changed?
Or to remain forgotten, but true?
Only the dead can say.