The Duelling Duo

In the pitch of night
two knights shared a thought,
with a sword in each hand
as they slashed and fought
on the highest ramparts
of the crumbling fort.

The duo duelled
with their dual swords
hacking left then right,
their metal ringing,
each convinced they were right.

One would hit – one would miss
in the mine-dark night
with its coal-fist mist.
One blade rang on a helmet,
hand tight on a hilt-rung sword,
both proving their mettle
in this mourning morning.

Each trying to raze
the other to the ground,
ignoring the sun’s rays,
they danced their iron,
refusing to pause,
ignoring the sweat
that rained from their pores,
each desperate to reign
with their armour-bash peel.

The same thought in each head
that neither could still.
Both were right,
could not be wrong.
Apparent in their blades, raised.
Transparent in their eyes, glazed.

“I am right”.

The lie they thought
as they fought
in the fort.

Copyright: from Overheard In A Tower Block (Otter-Barry Books, 2017), © Joseph Coelho 2017, used by permission of the author and the publisher

More about this poem

Joseph grew up in Roehampton on the outskirts of London. Living in a tower block and other childhood memories feature in many of his poems.

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About The Duelling Duo

One of my most favourite things about poetry is the fact that you get to play with words. I am particularly fond of homophones, words that sound the same but have different meanings. In this poem I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could create a poem that celebrates the homophone by bringing many different words with similar sounds but very different meanings into one world.

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