‘Sword-crossed Lovers’ & ‘The Piano Duel’

J.M. Aucoin . Indie-Films, Misc., Movies/TV, Writing about writing 4143 3 Comments

I started dating Kate more than seven years ago. Doesn’t seem that long. I first saw her performing at the New England Pirate Faire. In character, she commented about about my sunglasses (comparing them to two eye patches). It took me a few seconds to get her joke, but I was pretty much smitten right away. Also, cute pirate girl. But she was working and the idea of trying to flirt with someone who’s in character was a challenge well beyond my social skills at the time. Anyways, couple months later I ran into her and her friend Conor at a Swashbuckling 101 class at a fencing salon in Boston. It was a class teaching basic stage combat and she was my first fight partner (*insert Awwwww*). She brought her small sword with her and I used that as the ice breaker. Skip several dates later, Conor asked us to help him with a film project for college. The idea was simple: Guy teaches Girl how to swordfight with a fun twist near the end. So a cold February day, we headed up to Conor’s old stomping grounds for some filming. Here’s the fruit of that production in old school 4:3 standard definition!

The Piano Duel (A Silent Film Short) from Justin Aucoin on Vimeo. Conor Olmstead’s Official Page

It’s funny to watch this seven years later (almost to the day, in fact). It was my first fight sequence for a gig, and I’ve come so far in terms of skill and ability, but even though the fight is slow, and I was a totally a newb when we did this, this still holds up to time. And I still really enjoy the silent movie quality of this. There’s a certain charm to it. And it was the first of many fight projects I’ve done with Kate, and they’re all special and fun to work on. After seeing the end product it got my creative juices flowing. Now I don’t consider myself a poet by any extent, but the project inspired me to write a poem for Kate. I entitled it Sword-crossed Lovers and it eventually got published in Renaissance Magazine. And since it’s Valentine’s Day it seems like a good of a time as any to share with you all… (Note: WordPress keeps stripping most of the formatting out. Click here to see the Formatted version as a PNG):

Sword-crossed Lovers
by J.M  Aucoin

In those graying
winter skies
stood sword-crossed lovers,
their love forged
by the same fire
that gave life to their swords.

They circled
              and paced
like a beautiful waltz;
the blades
threatening before them
merely an excuse
to gaze at each other.

Swords flashed
in the air;
and dangerous
as love
is meant to be.
Every thrust,
“Do you love me?”
Every parry,
“I do.”

Across the land
their love rang out,
as clear as the
glass to their

Piercing the dusk was
the clashing of steel,
a conversation of blades,
true lovers’ whispers.


The perfectionist and editor in me wants to take a red pen to this, but the “artist” side of me has done a good job at keeping the editor at bay and let this live on the way 23 year-old-me wrote originally wrote it for Kate. Our friend Jenna also was there, taking photos of the project (click image for full-size).

SwordCrossed-Lovers-1SwordCrossed-Lovers-4SwordCrossed-Lovers-3SwordCrossed-Lovers-6 SwordCrossed-Lovers-22SwordCrossed-Lovers-20 SwordCrossed-Lovers-18 SwordCrossed-Lovers-15 SwordCrossed-Lovers-2SwordCrossed-Lovers-10SwordCrossed-Lovers-11SwordCrossed-Lovers-12

SwordCrossed-Lovers-9 Kate really likes that sword…. SwordCrossed-Lovers-19 …And sometimes me, too. 🙂

J.M. Aucoin

Author. Fencer. Sometimes actor. Full-time nerd. I write swashbucklers & historical adventure novels.

Comments (3)

  • gordon


    Cool! Always liked swashbuckling stories…along with SciFi. Been a gung-ho reader since the early “40s. I get a kick sometimes when I see the hero carrying some type of edged weapon in one hand and a ray-gun, pulser, whatever in the other. Which would he carry in his major hand? Used to go down to watch the Society for creative Anachronism weapons practice. Too self-concious to join the group and now at 80 I regret that. O’well.
    Good luck.


    • Justin


      I’d probably carry a sword in my main hand and range weapon in the off hand, but it may depend on if I expect to fight in close or have time to switch hands. 🙂

      The SCA is a blast. It’s never too late to join, even if you don’t do any of the marshal activities. Good crop of people and fun events.


      • Helen Woolverton


        My personal preference would be “which one shoots better?” for the ranged weapon. When I’ve carried a ranged weapon for sca-style fighting, I believe it’s been in my dominant hand, but it’s been a couple of years.

        I would like to second the “it’s not too late to try the SCA” You might enjoy it more than you know.


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