Burrowers in the Deep

khazad in Cirth

Đwerȝaz, Twerg,
Dweorg, Dvergr,
Dvergar, Dwarrows,
Dwarfs; Dwarves

Svartálfar,
Ælfar who prefer the dark to the day,
Cave living,
Mine working,
Excavating precious gems and minerals
For their smiths.
Hammers, spears,
And enchanted golden wigs
Exported to Asgard?

Born of the blood of Brimir
And the bones of Bláinn,
Or maggots burrowing
In the flesh of Ymir’s corpse?

Dwellers of the dark fields of Niðavellir,
Mystic Myrkheim, darkness home,
In the comfort of the caves of Svartálfheim?
Short, stocky, ill tempered craftsmen,
Working the mines of Moria
In ancient Khazad-dûm?
Diminutive Disney dwarfs,
Thatch roof cottage in the Enchanted Forrest
Whistling their way to work?
Or massive men bearing the weight
Of the vault of the sky,
Scooped out jötunn skull,
On broad shoulders
Standing on the four corners
Of the compass rose?

8/8-8/9/17

Pronunciations and Notes
Đwerȝaz – Thwer-yaz (“th” as in father, Hypothetical Proto-Germanic)
Twerg – (Old High German)
Dweorg – Dwey-org (Old English)
Dvergr – D-verg (Old Norse)
Dvergar – D-verg-ar (Old Norse, plural)
Dwarrows – Hypothetical plural of Dwarf coined by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Dwarves – Alternate plural for “dwarf” popularized by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Svartálfar – Svart-al-far (Old Norse, “Black elves.” Used in the Eddas to refer to Dwarves).
Ælfar – Aylf-ar (A combination of the Old English ælf and the Old Norse plural alfar, Elves)
Brimir- Bry-meer
Ymir – Eye-Meer
Niðavellir – Nitha-vell-ear (“th” as in father)
Myrkheim – Merk-haym
Svartálfheim – Svart-alf-haym (“Black Elf-Home”)
Khazad-dûm – Kha-zad-doom (“kh” as in backhand, A Dwarvish realm in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth).
Jötunn – Yote-un (Old Norse, Giant)

The Runes at the top of the poem are the Cirth for Khazad, the Tolkien-Dwarves name for themselves.

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Inhabitants of Níu Heimar: Alternate Versions (Haiku)

You might consider these “outtakes” or alternate versions of yesterday’s haiku, Inhabitants of Níu Heimar. I’m honestly not sure which of the three I like best.

Alternate Version #1

Æsir, Vanir; Men
Ælfar, Dvergar; Jötnar
Nifl, Muspel; Hel

Alternate Version #2

Æsir, Vanir; Men
Ælfar, Dvergar; Jötnar
Mist, Fire, and Hel

Pronunciations:
Níu Heimar = Nyew Haym-ar (The Nine Worlds)
Æsir = Eye-seer
Vanir = Va-neer
Ælfar = Ale-far (aka Elves)
Dvergar = De-ver-gar (aka Dwarves)
Jötnar = Yote-nar (aka Giants)
Nifl = Nif-uhl (Mist/Fog)
Muspel = Mus-pel (Original meaning unknown. See more here and here).

Inhabitants of Níu Heimar (Haiku)

Æsir, Vanir; Men
Ælfar, Svartælfar; Jötnar
Fog, Fire, and Hel

2-22-17

Note: There are two alternate versions of this Haiku.

Pronunciation Key:
Níu Heimar = Nyew Haym-ar (The Nine Worlds)
Æsir = Eye-seer
Vanir = Va-neer
Ælfar = Ale-far (aka Elves)
Svartælfar = svart-ale-far (aka Dvergar/Dwarves)
Jötnar = Yote-nar (aka Giants)

No Escape from Fate

Possessing knowledge
Of unspeakable things,
Traveling the continent
In the company of uncrowned kings.

Searching for clues
In archaic fragmented rhymes
To unlock the puzzle
Of ancient unsolved crimes

Nowhere we won’t travel
Once we’ve finally set forth:
Snowy mountain passes;
Dwarven mines in the cradle of Jörð.

From the deepest dark dungeon
To sanctuaries on the roof of the world
Facing opposing demon armies
With banners proudly unfurled.

A shadow falls from the east,
From where a cold wind blew
The outcome long since written,
As the weird well sisters knew.

Across nine kingdoms
A lone horn does blow
The end begins here and now
Finally facing the beloved foe.

Though this day is our last
Courage never once fails,
Fight the fight that must be fought
Leaving others to tell the tales.

9/13/16-3/7/17

Jörð is pronounced “Yorth”

Níu Heimar

Níu Heimar, Nine homes,
Nine Worlds the Universe is made.
Through the center Yggdrasil,
The cosmic backbone grows.

At the start there was only
Muspelheim, Niflheim
And the gap in between
Muspelheim, home of world wrecker
Surtr and his Eldjötnar,
Fire giants living in volcanic furnaces
Waiting to break Bifröst to bits.

Icy Niflheim, mist-home,
World of dim darkness and fog
Surrounding Hvergelmir,
Bountiful bubbling spring
—filled by dew drops from the rack
of EikÞyrnir, Valhallan stag—
Where lives Níðhǫggr malice-striker;
From where Elivágar flows,
Feeding the rivers of the worlds.

Continue reading

Ragnarök

battle-of-the-doomed-gods

Three cocks crow, echoing from
Asgard, Jötunheimr, and Hel.
Yggdrasil shudders its ashen roots,
The world worm writhes in anticipation
Drowning the shores of humankind.

Shadows fall over Midgard,
The sun shines black.
Men’s blood stains brothers’ swords,
Skulls cleaved by uncles axes,
No mercy shown, none received.
Death is all we know.

Heimdall’s horn sounds the alarm
From the guardhouse on Bifröst Bridge.
One-eyed warrior Woden calls a war council,
Consulting wise Mimir’s head.
Ready for the battle he’s prepared for
His entire life.

Naglfar, the ship built from the toenails and fingernails
Of ten thousand dead men, sets sail the seas of fate,
Chaos as cargo, Loki stands at the wheel.
Surt and kin march out of Muspelheim single-file
To hide their numbers.

Æsir murmur amongst themselves,
Dwarves stand in stone doorways groaning,
Ælfar are nowhere to be seen.

Fenrir breaks his chains and
Swallows the Alföðr whole,
Þórr slays the mighty Midgard worm
Nine feet from his own death.

Blood soaked sun sets in the west,
Stars fall from the sky,
Ocean overtakes dry land,
As history comes to an end.

But, the Seeress sings,
Midgard will rise above the waves,
Brave Baldar will breathe again,
As the sun shines on the golden game pieces
That the gods played with in days gone by.

11/2-11/6/16

Notes:
Æsir = Eye-sear
Ælfar = Aisle-far (Elves)
Alföðr = Al-father
Bifröst = Bye-frost
Heimdall = Haym-dahl
Jötunheimr = Yo-ton-haym
Muspelheim = Moo-spell-haym
Ragnarök = Rag-na-rock
Þórr = Thor
Yggdrasil = Eeg-drass-ill

Illustration is “Battle of the Doomed Gods” by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine (1882). Found on Norse Mythology for Smart People