October is host to the anniversary of the Battle of Tours, a less impactful, but no highly symbolic skirmish in human history. Also referred to as the Battle of Poitiers, was a skirmish fought between the Frankish Carolingians and the Umayyad Caliphate on October 10, 732. The exact location of the skirmish is unknown, taking place somewhere in France around the two towns of Tours and Poitiers. Islamic invaders under the command of Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi inserted into French territory from occupied Spain and began burning churches and attacking civilians. Charles Martel led a contingent of Frankish troops to halt the Muslim army and end their onslaught in the region.
Al Ghafiqi was killed during the fighting by Martel and his forces. The Frankish troops held their ground and reversed the enemy’s advance against superior numbers. The defenders were described by observers to the battle as like “a wall,” “immovable,” and a “mass of ice.” The Muslim invaders were said to greatly outnumber the defenders and ride atop horses, attempting the run down the defenders with ease. But the Frankish troops stood their ground and “manfully resisted” the charge of the invading horde. After the battle, Charles Martel became known as Martellus, meaning “The Hammer.”
This haiku series was written in memory of the sacrifice of those great warriors who halted in the onslaught and passed into legend.
The Hammer of Man
Invaders are here A dark storm is on the march Chaos spreads abound
A horde sweeps the land Destroying all in their path Who will stop their wrath?
The Hammer stands tall Brave souls standing by his side Ready to face death
Men immovable They stand at the gates of Hell Ice to block the fire
Hell comes with fury Men stop demons in their path No hellfire may pass
The Hammer pushed back He manfully resisted And stood to the end
The demons charged forth All struck down by The Hammer And the land was saved
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