Jeaneleda’s Bardic Championship Rules

Instructions for the EK Bardic Championship, AS 46. In limerick for King Gregor.

 

Their Majesties each need a bard
To accomplish this should not be hard
We have set this day
For this noisy play
With the things you have writ on your card.

We now give the rules of the thing
You may recite, tell tales or sing
No punching or hitting
Nor swearing or spitting
Or we shall makes you compete into spring.

There may be a piece you abhor
Which you feel maketh your innards sore
If you’re rude lords and ladies
You’ll be sent straight to hades
Where its Neil diamond filk evermore.

The first round is period all
About each piece we’ll tell the hall
We need documentation
For each presentation
And it’s fine with us though if it’s small..

In the second round we shall favor
A piece the bard’s chosen for flavor
You’ve one six of an hour
To put us in your power
As your fine bardic skills we do savor.

Round three is their Majesties pick
To the things on your card they should stick
But if the crown wishes
That you sing and do dishes,
you’ll learn what makes your bold liege tick.

Ere we start, may we briefly advise,
The bard’s life is full of surprise
But we can already tell
You would do the job well
And to any challenge would rise.

The bard ought be on at all times
To amuse songs, stories, or rhymes
We must confess
That “your majesty, yes”
Is the very best of bardic lines.

And so as we exit our play
We wish all you well on this day
As you each compete
Before our crown sweet
Now enjoy it all well as you may!

True Love’s Kiss

This poem/song was started shortly after Crown Tourney, and finally finished in September, near the end of the reign of Kenric and Avelina.

Sir Kenric walked out to the list
with Avelina at his side
He would fight to see her Queen,
To crown his own beloved bride
Upon the field of battle.

Before the Eastern Queen and King
Upon their knees each softly bent
Pledged should the battles favor them
To goodly rule was their intent
Upon the field of battle.

Merrily the day began
with laughter in the autumn sun
As fighters sang the roundelay
so dancing ‘till the rounds were won
Upon the field of battle.

Through the lists like steeple bells
Rang out the shots that did delight
Every breath was held in check
when the final two last met to fight
Upon the field of battle.

Noble Edweard, Kenric bold
Bowed to the East assembled there
And with good will began to war.
The silent crowd could but stare
Upon the field of battle.

Step to step they were well matched,
When circling hawk called Kenric’s name
Reminded him the ground was his
If he but chose to end the game
Upon the field of battle.

A final blow, with honor dealt
Then Kenric stepped across the list
To take his lady in his arms
for all to witness true love’s kiss
Upon the field of battle.

Sir Kenric walked out to the list
With Avelina at his side
He would fight to see her Queen,
To crown his own beloved bride
Upon the field of battle.

 

For Master Kraken Gnashbone, Fifteenth Tyger of the East

By Aneleda Falconbridge and Master Toki Redbeard

Trees had aged three more rings
since pass of pride gift son.
Kraken’s son we kenned Daniel
Taken from tree copse Eastern.

His father fell to the morning
Came to field, called by memory,
Joined forest of flight-swifters
to loose shafts, shoot for glory

Queen’s side-man he sought to be
He would stand, in stead of son.
Bold minded below breast fort
Forest yeoman, yew in hand.

By pyre of day in previous morn
On steed road made his journey
Hard one’s luck, who leaves his horse
Unexpected, poor his outcome.

He fell to earth fast as fletching
Bonehouse broke, on bitter landing.
Bearing new two baleful knees
Kraken walked the woods and shot.

Heavy weighed winding linen
of curved limb and curving limb
laming legs, strong man straining
Danegeld later he would pay.

Brows beams bore toward the center
With fair wings wing-branch went
As the peregrine to its pine tree.
To ring-goddess great his tribute.

His orbs shone on elm of rose
At queens foot stand forester bowed
draped across shoulder branches
Flood-flame roses framed her champion.

Shapers of war wove his song
told to poet with proud awe
Son of Uller stood this ground
Heard you now hawk sharp saga.

* * *

This poem came as a request from two Kings I served, Lucan and Gregor, as a request that I honor Master Kraken on the day he became Queen’s Champion of Archery in AS46. It was to be given to Kraken, with whom I spent gleeful time during my year standing behind the throne, and who always made me feel light at heart.

The tale was told to Master Toki at Pennsic 40, where we began this poem, with him teaching me the basics of alliterative Norse verse as I explained my visions, and Toki made them into verse. I took it home and worked on the remainder of it on my own, adding many verses, changing some of that great Master’s lines even, to be more of my intent, and then returned it to Toki at the War of the Roses AS47. He took my fledgling efforts and gave them wing as we worked on correcting the alliteration (which I *nearly* get but which still is unthinkably difficult to me!) while working to keep my words, tone, style and story intact as we brainstormed ways to correct this or that, or make this line or that one better. There are some places which break and bend rules, with the understanding that this piece is really one for voice and not as much for page.

This is the result of his skillful filing of the rough work.

It was my great joy to have been able to present this to Master Kraken at the Great Northeastern War, AS47, as he was made the Fifteenth Tyger of the East by King Kenric. He is a legend of the East, and I am proud to have been able to tell one of his tales.

Where Were You When the First Sword Was Drawn?

Where were you
when the first sword was drawn?
By northern hills in icy dawn,
Past fields of wheat and barley wide,
Where sweeping rivers meet the tide?

Where were you
when the first sword was drawn?
Near fighting men with heart and brawn
Who eagle-like flew o’re the sea
To make their mark on history.

Where were you
when the first sword was drawn?
Holding needle to jupon,
Or painting on the wooden shield
that men of valor take to field.

Where were you
when the first sword was drawn?
Marching toward a foreign lawn
Holding rippling banner high
Red and white beneath blue sky.

Where were you
when the first sword was drawn?
Waiting for the denouement,
Breathless as each one proceeds
to match his chivalry with deeds.

Where were you
when the first sword was drawn?
As one we rallied, king and pawn,
to show the many gathered nations
a tale to tell for generations.

 

This poem was written for the first USA team to compete in the Battle of the Nations, which is this year, 2012, in Poland. Inspired by the words of Captain James, it is also an ode in honor of my dear Duke Lucan, who I served when he was King, as his bard.

This text also served as the text for Todd Kirby’s amazing composition for orchestra and choir, which he completed this year before the team left for Poland. You can hear it below.

The Flower in the Desert – For Ellise

Where arabesques have long since fallen
Now steel and metal take their place.
Where dust and stinging wind won’t harken
To e’en the sweetest voice or face,

Where o’re the stacks of burdened sandbags
Concrete blends in with the sky,
Where barricades and wires surround
To keep out dangers drawing nigh,

Where sun is by the storm obscured
Still her earthly visage shows
Rooted in the feeble ground
Undeterred she graceful’y grows.

 

This poem was written in response to a photo Ellise posted which showed beautiful sunflowers blooming in the metal and concrete military base in Afghanistan. She said that the flowers kept her sane, blooming in that sandy, hot, dry place. I thought of how much we miss her, and wrote this so she would realize how much WE miss her blooming here.