No Name for a Sword, Ch 1

by Ronin Writing

1 January 2018

 

Pink cherry blossoms

Fell like the loveliest snow

Over an unnamed town

 

A swordsman arrived

His feet as bare as the earth

Bird cupped in his hands

 

“Who comes to this place?”

A playing boy stopped to ask

“This town with no name?”

 

“A man with no home,

And a swallow, broken-winged,”

The swordsman replied.

 

The boy led in haste

To the priests of the temple

Where gods lived in bells

 

The temple sat still

Amid a lake with no flies

Bells of all kinds sang

 

A monk with no hair

Guarding a boat with no oars

Gave a smile and bowed

 

“This bird has been hurt,”

The boy said through heavy breaths

“Can the gods heal it?”

 

“No wound is too much

For our gods to heal in time,

But you must pay alms.”

 

“But I have no coin,”

The boy shook out his pockets

“Swordsman, can you pay?”

 

“No, I have nothing,”

The swallow peeped from his hands

“There must be some way.”

 

Monk eyes found a sword

“Demons have stolen some bells,

From the temple here”…

 

“The gods are angry,

Their choir is incomplete,

Without harmony.”…

 

…”Find the demon lair,

Return what has been taken,

The gods will sing thanks.”

 

“The name of this lair?”

The monk shook his head. “No name.

Someplace in the hills.”

 

The swordsman bowed low

He gave the bird to the boy

“Keep her safe for me.”

 

The swordsman marched off

Calloused hand on frayed sword hilt

To kill for a bird.

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