100th Reign Populace Poetry Challenge

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At the Crown Tourney to select the 101st King and Queen of the Midrealm, the Bardic Champions of Seto-Heika and Raina Ynes issued this following challenge to the people of the Midrealm:

"With Their Majesties’ permission, the Bardic Champions issue a poetry challenge to the people of the Midrealm.

In medieval Japan, the art of poetry was open to all who were moved, not just those with special training or official recognition.

So it is with the Bardic Arts in the Midrealm.

Therefore, in celebration of this singular reign of the Dragon King and Queen, we, the five regional bardic champions, invite all and sundry who are so moved to compose verses about the Midrealm and her Centennial Sovereigns.

Note that alternating lines of five and seven syllables IS period!

Further details and documentation references - for those interested in such things - will be distributed via the usual messaging methods.

Draco Invictus!

Let the people sing out praise!

Yes, let us rejoice!

Hai! Yoroko bimashou!

Draco Invictus!"

The goal was 100 verses. Current count: 112'

Here let the people's poems be displayed and preserved.

The collected poems were inscribed and illuminated by the scribes of the Middle Kingdom, and bound together using period Japanese stab binding. Here is video of the presentation to Her Excellency Ynes.

Thanks to Baron and Baroness John and Maire for the delivery and the video.

+Seto and Ynez

Bring joy of discovery

to willing dragons

Joyous as blossoms

of delicate cherry trees'

pink petal snowfall

Try writing haiku

or folding origami

cranes for good fortune

Trio of taiko

Hearts match the great thundering

Make knights and fools dance

Write aspirations

and wishes on silk paper

burn to set them free

Years from now, these sparks

Will stay bright in our memory

Warming us again

Year of the Rat? No.

Year of Dragon and Lotus

All things are well blessed

--Maestra Lucia Elena Braganza

Red stripe on white field,

Green dragon surmount, passant.

Midrealm is my home.

-- Tarmach ben Yehuda al-Khazari

Petals falling soft

A kingdom without ending

Blossoms fifty years

-- Drænge Svenson

The Crane flies westward

Lotus blossom beckons peace

Harmony is found

-- Oswyn of Badon

Brave Seto, king of renown

Fair Ynes graces the crown

Our hearts shall soar

At the dragons great roar

The Midrealm has no cause to frown

-- Bridget O’Brian.

One hundred reigns pass

Though night may seem unending

Dawn returns always

Gold-clad brows on ancient thrones

Long may be their reign

-- Sigga kausi Geiradotter sends her greetings from An Tir

One hundred Kings, Queens

Cariadoc, Diana

To Seto, Ynes

--Taliesin of Archenfield

Graceful as a crane

Dragon-strong and kind and wise

Hail Reina Ynes!

Dragon-wisdom, might

Clever as a nine-tailed fox

Hail Seto-Heika!

Dragons fly entwined

Fortune favors the Midrealm

Draco Invictus!

-- Hilla Stormbringer

Morning dew, soon frost

Change green robes for red and gold

Winter on the wind

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

O, Winter Royals,

whose smiles doth warm all good hearts.

Welcome everywhere.

-- Tarmach ben Yehuda al-Khazari

Flaming Gryphon lands

Hold the key to future’s plans

Winner to be crowned


Amada Reina Ynes

Summon great warriors

Gareth, Timothy

Shield held high for all to see

Rodrigo, Dyderich

Criomhthann, Tonis

Fierce Ixtilixochitl

Ambrose and Ustaad

Felix, William, Dag

Thorvald, Crispin, Ivan, Zyg

Shining in the sun

That is all, save one

Lothar stands before the Crown

Pauses, turns around

Knight on bended knee

His love for her plain to see

“Yes!!!!” she says with glee

Shields clash, swords broken

Win the match, move your token

Victor is chosen

Shepherd of Fire crowns

Felix and Madeleina

Heirs to Dragon Thrones

Wishes on ema

Released by flame’s gentle touch

Drift into the night

Muromachi feast

In Honzen Ryori style

Cooked to perfection

Anon and anon

Sing the Kings of the Midrealm

Song of time for Queen

Cherry tree in bloom

Bridge across crystal river

The Path to the Crown

-- Taliesin of Archenfield

This is my haiku

Their majesties are the best

Dispute, and fight me.

Another haiku -

Their Highnesses are super

This I will fight for

Heirs to our thrones now

Blessed are we to have them

Draco Invictus!

-- Sascha St. Martin of Darkmoon

You tried to speak first

I spoke and stole the spotlight

A haiku d'etat

-- Jesse Riggs

As seasons do change,

Crown Tourney brings new Royals

Succession succeeds.

-- Tarmach ben Yehuda al-Khazari

Mix-and-match colors,

Hats, feathers, puffs and slashes:

Such Landsknecht fashion!

All in finery

Candid captured, portrait posed

People of Midrealm

-- Brendan O Coraidhe

The Drummer keeps the beat

the Dancers move their feet.

Seto convorts with youth

Ynes spins 'round in truth

Caer Bears dance for fun

Crystal Ball is done

-- Oswyn of Badon

Luuurve Landsknecht fashion!

There's a dead sheep in mah shorts!

Icky icky icky!

-- Brendan O Coraidhe

Regal horses prance,

Weapon-wielders show their skill,

Honor to Roses

Laughing Tsarina

On broad champions' shoulders:

Rannvaeig captures joy!

Chill November day,

Sun glints bright on blades and bows

Warms Midrealm's past Queens

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

Warm hands and happy hearts

Spreading laughter and mischief

Ceinwen's Misfit Lions

~Taliesin of Archenfield

Tonight on the Saga of Loki:


Sharp the toe knives,

But sharp no more,

As Mother's hand knife cuts me to the edge of the quick.


You think to buy me with your poultry treats,

You think my heart so easily swayed, 'gainst the damage done me and mine??

But ah, gentle scritches do go far


And too, revenge.

For how can supper be made or daily tasks done with sweet supple purrs across thy legs.

-- Siobhan

Sir Ix travels far

Honors fair Reina Ynes

Black Star hails Dragon

+White surcote, red pale

Forest fighters in far East

Hundred Minutes War

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

+Autumn fires rage

Taiko summon samurai

Dragon King simmers

+Withered leaves rattle

Snowflakes swirl on dampened wind

Dragon bides His time.

+Blossoms burst in spring

Taiko in the distance sound:

War looms in the East.

+Summer wind smoky

Arise, King of the Dragons,

Take back what is yours.

-- Katherine Elenora de Lacy, CW, APF

+Sir Artair begs boon:

Sirius placed on vigil.

Minion will be knight!

+Archives uncovered

Ancient memories recalled

Thanks to Saradwen

Seto and Ynes

Dragon rules over Pale Gules,

Planet Gules as well!

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

Colors Vert and Gules

Made into regal garb, but

Never look like Yule.

-- Matilda FitzRichard of Lochaven

+Little smiles, bright eyes

Dragons banish cold with flame

Spirit of giving

Together we celebrate

Unity and innocence

-- Erin Fortney

+Cleftlands hosts The Schvitz

Celebrates life in harness

No one goes hungry

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

+Haiku: just three lines.

Five syllables, then seven,

The last line, five more.

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

+I see what you did

Made a haiku out of it

Aren’t you clever?

--Sascha St. Martin

+Queen's bard I was named,

Champion the bardic arts?

Lead by example.

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

+Yes! That’s the spirit.

Please Their Royal Majesties

With silly haiku!

+I have been lead to

A Joyous world of haiku

Much thanks to you friend

--Sascha St. Martin

+Haiku are tricky.

The end seldom makes much sense.


--Lucius Ursus

+Snow under my feet

Crystals dancing in my breath

Winter here at last.

-- Rosalia Ferrari

+Mouth numbéd, I rest

Less toothy a grin to sport

Beware! Opponents

Who see my grim countenance

I shall not go Tooth-less long

-- a tanka by Sugawara no Tokihira

+Speak with a strong voice

Tell truths that are not preferred

Create needed change.

+Shimmer of satin

Drape of wool and swish of silk

Dash of know-how, garb!

--Rosalia Ferrari

+I explained Haiku

Unto Her Excellency

Using just Haiku

--Tommaso Franceschi

+out of each province

of the sky-spreading Midrealm

from bird-calling east

to the Pure Abode's marches

frozen dew coating

the grass that makes their pillows

the nobles process

to the many-stoned palace

in order to reach

the most honorable gate

of the Sovereigns

who rule all under heaven:

the vibrant gold Lord

and the shining red Lady

who rose in triumph

amidst the people's assent

to compose gladness

and to solemnize each rite

showering the earth

with their benevolent reign

as gifts to hopeful children


as the former year

was eagerly spoken of

in this sky-seen realm

may the coming year also

elicit the people's pride

-- Baroness Kasha Alekseeva

-- A ch?ka

+Pentamere 12th Night

“Helpful comments” arts display

Encourage new folk!

Mystery package -

Sparkly joy brings smiles to all:

Tiara Fairy!

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

+Pentamere 12th Night

Was a delight,

Sang and played notes,

Pulled my instruments out of big totes.

Visited with friends, both old and quite new

-- Ld. Angus Olphart

For fifty winters

The folk huddle close, basking

In the dragon’s glow

Brown dry dragon claw

Sends forth silken stars to grow

Milkweed by the road

--Branwen filia Paynell

+Three Haiku:

Ice, snow, weary miles:

Mighty Dragons travel far.

Joy is in Their gift.

Snowflakes tumble by.

La Reina walks in sunlight

Spring lies in Her hand.

Hear the cold wind howl!

The voice of Seto-Heika

Is warm with laughter.

A tanka:

Strong as summer sun,

Gentle as flowing water,

Fierce as thunderstorms:

Dragon King and Queen go forth

Nurturing a wise, fair land.

-- Dame Marie la Fauconniere

+Lovely images!

Please write more verses? Fooey.

They are from last year.

-- Brendan O Corraidhe


Kindness everywhere I looked.

I have the best friends.  

--Lucius Ursus 

+Snow-dappled morning,

Bright and sunny afternoon.

Spring is in the air!

Much love of learning:

Weaving and wrapping wire,

Bards and troubadours.

Wall, moon, and lion,

Puck makes his apology:

Tragic lovers’ farce.

Champions chosen.

Food fight! Puns tossed tween tables.

Masque of Courtly love

+Dragon King and Prince,

Fighters from across the realm

Travel to far Aethelmearc.

Test mettle against many,

Blows trade in great joy.

Weary warriors return home,

Lessons learned at Aedult Swim.

We like King Seto,

A cool samurai guy who

Inspires haiku.

You're home from Val Day.

You witnessed wonderful things.

So write a haiku.

--Brendan O Corraidhe

+Old college campus

Brings new squirrels to the fray

Art, combat, new life

--Roberto Fernández

+Fortunate are we,

Midrealm's populace, to have

Reigning for a while:

Just and gracious Seto King.

Kind and valiant Queen Ines.

-- Lady Hildigunnr Halldorsdottir

+Por la Reina

Su sonrisa hermosa

El gente feliz

-- Baron Malachy of Cynnabar

+Leap for joy this day!

Vigilants' joy and surprise

Prowess, service, and talent

Recognized with writs

In Cleftlands, Flaming Gryphon

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

50 Lines for 50 Winters

A Tanka Chain

-- compiled by Madam Ursula Mortimer

Fifty years are dust

Rust is Quicksilver my blade

At the beginning

Winter spring, ash back to wood,

A new seed sprouts here today

--Duke Cariadoc of the Bow, now of the West

Wind whispers old names

Ripples cross the Inland Sea

Stories bring wisdom

Carrying tales from the past

On the shore, a man listens.

--Master Owen Alun, O.L., Northshield

A delicate breeze

Foretells a mighty tempest

Sweeping all before

Only the ceaseless mountain

Withstands the typhoon’s fury.

--Madam Ursula Mortimer, Middle

Laden with bounty

Strong in storm and sound in calm

Great sugi bursts forth.

His sheltering branches stretch

To guide and guard a kingdom.

--THL Dulcibella de Chateaurien, Calontir

Chrysanthemum king

Upon the great dragon throne.

Flower and fire join.

Three dragon scales shield the realm

As joy and fortune blossom.

--THL Dulcibella de Chateaurien, Calontir

Summer leads to fall

Winter leads on turn to spring

Each day, a sunrise

At dawn the dragon takes flight

Guarding, guiding and seeking

--Master Owen Alun, O.L., Northshield

The Dragon’s wings rise

Beat the air with strength and flame.

War’s fury unleashed.

Dragon king, fierce in battle,

Fiercer yet in blessed peace.

--THL Dulcibella de Chateaurien, Calontir

Inhale wind-whispers:

The fiery exhalation

Sings out, full of joy,

Calling to the flame-hearted;

A beacon in cool darkness.

--THL Emer ingen ui Aiden, Ealdormere

Seeds planted in rain

Rise quietly in sunlight

Flowers gleam brightly

Petals one by one recount

Ancient days and current deeds.

--Master Owen Alun, O.L., Northshield

Wise and good is he

who tends this garden of peace.

His fame shall not die,

But live in song forever

A light to our descendants.

--Madam Ursula Mortimer, Middle

The inspiration for this project came from Master Owen Alun, O.L., of Northshield. After I wrote the tanka for Akira-dono, he engaged me in a form of poetic dialogue called a tanka chain. When, a few weeks later, Seto-heika became the Middle Kingdom’s 100th heir, I had the idea to gather a team of poets from the daughter kingdoms of Calontir, Northshield, and Ealdormere to create a tanka chain in his honor. Owen also suggested inviting Cariadoc of the Bow, our first King, to contribute the opening verse.

The poets:

Duke Cariadoc of the Bow, now of the West

Master Owen Alun, O.L., Northshield

Madam Ursula Mortimer, Middle

THL Dulcibella de Chateaurien, Calontir

THL Emer ingen ui Aiden, Ealdormere

Magister Stephan Calvert de Grey, O.P. and Madame Ursula performed the verses for Seto-heika and for the populace of the Cleftlands at Regular Event in the Cleftlands, February 29, 2020 A.S. LIIII.

+The Dance

When my little Viking had scarcely turned two,

We wandered a revel with nothing to do.

While keeping my toddler from climbing the thrones,

I spotted a jester with bairns of his own.

Our next course of action took no thought at all.

The dancers launched into a spirited bransle.

The jester and I gathered all our offspring

And formed a two-grownup, three-little-kid ring.

We five danced together the rest of the night.

The children’s gyrations made quite a droll sight.

The jester’s young daughter slipped her hand in mine,

And it gladdened my heart just to see her eyes shine.

Full many a year now has passed since that day,

And many the mem’ries I’ve lost on the way.

But seeing Her Majesty, sweet and serene,

Brings back that bright night when I danced with a queen.

-- Gwendolyn merch Llewelyn

Dragons know no boundaries.

Winged beasts whose fires enbold

Man’s hearts and Man’s foundries,

Hoarding treasure troves untold,

And inspire deep inspection

In Man’s mulling cups and flagons

Pining for the old reflection;

Drab existence with no dragons.

-- Lady Líadan Liathán

Written at the 2020 Spring Slumberbardy in the Irish poetic form Ae Freislighe

List fields are silent,

No banners in empty camp:

Fear of pestilence.

Merchants stare at empty shelves,

Sellers have no customers.

But not Mappo, this!

Midrealm is no ten-foot hut

Retreat from the world.

We gather - in *small* numbers,

Laugh like gods outside Sun’s cave.

Dragon Children sing

Hands and hearts redeem the time

We will see this through

-- Brendan O Corraidhe

Softly the Dragon whispers,

“Sleep, my children, sleep

Though later than thy wont.

Be still, that foul airs and sadness

May pass thee by. Sleep, I say.

Summer comes anon, in its own time;

Though late we wake, yet shall we awake

Renewed, refreshed, rejoicing:

Sleep, o my children, sleep."

-- Dame Marie la Fauconniere

His Majesty must

By now be sick and tired

Of these damned Haikus

-- Tommaso Franceschi


Separately at home, but

Together online.

RUM sponsors classes.

Zoom helps us share our knowledge,

Together we learn.

--Kadhrin the Red

In time of sickness,

the people miss our Shogun,

we do not see him.

Our villages are lonely,

our feasts uncelebrated.

But he is with us,

at the Middle Kingdom’s heart

where he always was,

as the Sun when out of sight

behind a cloud, still gives warmth.

-- Ursula Mortimer

Ink and paint flowing

Paper fills with words and art

A poem for Midrealm.

--Miriana of Cleftlands

The one hundredth reign

Claimed by Seto and Ynes

Began in Midrealm

Yet the ethereal realm

Was the dragon's sleeping dream

A world unknown

Riddled by invasive plague

Ravaging the land

But our Good King Seto

And Radiant Queen Ynes

Stood shining above

Lights of hope in darkest times

Shepherding the flock

Guiding us to tomorrow

For the next stewards of hope

Blessed people are we

Humble servants of Midrealm

Of Dragon sovereigns

To witness crowning moments

Of love, triumph, and honor

Yet like the passing

Of winter, spring, to summer

All times come to end

We honor their stewardship

And rejoice in memory

-- Lord Hosokawa Gentarou Masahiro


Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetics entry on Japanese Poetry

Tofugu: Haiku

Lots of resources on Spanish poetry here: Facebook thread on SCA Bardic Arts group

Romance (Ballads): These are narrative poems. Each line is eight syllables long, and the rhyme scheme is abcb defe. It uses assonant rhyme (the vowels rhyme, the consonants don't have to.)

Sonnet Coming from Italy but was made popular in Spain in the 16th century by poets such as Lope de Vega. They consist of two stanzas of four lines each and two stanzas of three lines each. Each line is 14 syllables. The rhyme scheme is ABBA ABBA CDC DCD.

Coplas The most famous of these were written by Jorge Manrique. Each stanza is two paired lines of eight syllables each, followed by one line of four syllables. The rhyme scheme is abc abc.

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