Posts Tagged ‘17th century Japan battlefields’

“Lord Nyo’s Return”, from “Song of the Nightingale”, Episode 12.

May 24, 2018

images (9)

This is only a part of Episode 12 as it is long.

Perhaps a strong man
Should not offer love without
Having love returned
But this grieving ugly warrior
Still finds his love is growing


Lord Nyo stunk with the blood of battle
As his bow and swords cut a swath
Through men in service to another.
When the battle horns went silent,
With tattered banners like defeated clouds
Limp over the field,
Acrid smoke stained everything
And the piteous cries of the dying
Echoed in his ears.
He wondered if his life would end here.

But the gods that he didn’t believe in
Were merciful, he lived
And his thoughts turned from fierce, ugly warriors
Towards home and a baby.

It took a month
For Lord Nyo to lead his remaining men,
Battle-weary and maimed
Some in body, all in spirit
Some not destined for further life,
But to die in the arms of women and temple priests,
In the shade of Gassan mountain.
No shame in this,
They had fought like devils
And only their daimyos
Could claim ‘victory’.

Lord Nyo pushed himself,
His aging war horse,
His men,
Only stopping to bathe
Once in a cold mountain stream,
To wash the dust of battle
From his eyes,
The soot of many fires from his face.
He still looked like a ghoul,
would frighten any baby.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

Song Book cover

“Song of the Nightingale” can be obtained at

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