The Champion


The Champion

The Champion

Sun glitters, a breath of Hell plays solemn songs of the
Devilish across scorched sands.
Nothing stirs in the Oasis
Damned found in this harsh burning land.

Hade’s wind stirs,
evil thoughts weave and blur.
Carrion-birds soar like blackened ghosts
on updrafts hot; eyes of the damned
anticipating mid morning’s ruby-stained
grisly meal.

Oasis littered with the dead of many;
Slaughtered where they stood
by an avenging angel.

Wrath filled and seeking any
Who burn with a raging fire.

Consumed with a raging desire
To Enslave the weak.

From out of the sands simmering he came,
Wielding terrible fury on those
Who sold hapless souls dressed
in chains heavy
Of slavery certain.

Cries of supplication to the silent gods
arose during nights long
of constant drudgery;
Pleading . . . begging, for divine

Cruel masters laughed and jeered;
“Come a soul not to save your
miserable lives, slaves!”
And they would laugh. And they would
beat the weak and the

Tread lightly, fools, your heartless jeers
Divine retribution is what your heart should fear.
For on this hot day, as sun’s white disc
steams the white fog of oasis
green and aqueous blue
Clear of dancing, nebulous wraiths
He came.

Cries they heard from riders afar.
The sounds of clashing arms
and shields stout
from blows mighty.

Slavers ran, armed and eager
to smite the fool who
dared to raid a raider’s horde.
But fall these jackals do
in desert’s sand rudely stained
with crimson life.

Many they seemed
Yet far too few.

A warrior appears, dressed in ancient armor,
sun glistening from bronze helmets.

Red is the horsehair plume that arches
like the vaulted night sky
to a narrow waist.

With one stroke of sword against slaver’s chains–
With one stroke, the lost have freedoms regained.

Run they do, like startled gazelles;
Run from the horrors behind of death and blood
Leaving behind bronze helmed Champion alone
to harvest the souls of
cold-hearted jackals.

Now the oasis is silent.
Now dead are the fools who once were defiant.
And Champion—Champion treks
through sands burning.

Looking . . . looking for peace he knows
His troubled heart can never sow.

  1. Avatar of Dana Goodman
    Dana Goodman says

    Strong poem.
    Emotionally sound. Thank you B.R.

  2. Avatar of B.R. Stateham
    B.R. Stateham says

    You’re welcome, Dana. I’m glad you liked it.

  3. Avatar of M.F.
    M.F. says

    Your poem stirs up emotions I didn’t know I have 🙂
    So in that sense, I find this enlightning work!
    I’m now going to read the rest of your stuff on AD.

  4. Avatar of Paul
    Paul says

    I’m not a poetry person but this is stirring stuff. Nice job.

  5. Avatar of B.R. Stateham
    B.R. Stateham says

    M.F.–Paul, thanks for the kind words.

  6. Avatar of B.R. Stateham
    B.R. Stateham says

    Paul . . . . M.F–

    Thanks for the kind words. To stir up emotions is my main intent when I write like this.

  7. Avatar of Joyce Juzwik
    Joyce Juzwik says

    I really enjoyed this, B.R. The vivid images you paint really bring a lot of emotions to the surface. It’s strong and full of hope, yet there’s such a deep sadness here. It would seem this warrior is everyone’s champion except his own. He has the power and the means to grant help where needed, but for some reason, he must endlessly ride, lost in a quest he is destined never to realize. Beautiful and moving.

  8. Avatar of Venkatesan Iyengar
    Venkatesan Iyengar says

    Vivid and evocative images.

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