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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Holy Messengers

Angels Ælfar Malakhim
Divine monsters, messengers of truth
Raven whispering in Yeshayahu’s ear.
Arriving in flaming wheel flying saucers,
Transmitting visions into Y’chezqel’s optic nerves.
Fiery Seraphim Ljósálfar,
Flaming sword and mighty scrolls,
Straddling the border between
This world and the otherside,
Underside, beyond the west wind.

4/25/17

Pronunciation Key/Notes:
Ælfar = Ale-far (Elves)
Malakhim (מַלְאָךְ‎‎ ) = Mal-a-keem (Hebrew for “messengers,” which was translated into Greek as “ángelos” from which we get the word “Angels”
Yeshayahu (יְשַׁעְיָהוּ) = Yesh-a-ya-hoo (Hebrew, usually translated in English as “Isaiah”)
Y’chezqel (יְחֶזְקֵאל ) = Y’chez-kel (“ch” as in Bach) (Hebrew, usually translated in English as “Ezekiel”)
Seraphim (שְׂרָפִים ) = Ser-a-pheem (Hebrew, meaning “Burning Ones”)
Ljósálfar = l-juice-al-far (Light Elves)

Poem #27 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)

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)

Gandalf Greybeard

Certh G - GandalfGandalf Greyhame,
Armed with enchanted Elvish wand-staff,
Glowing Glamdring king-blade,
And wisest wits of wizard-kind.
Mithrandir, wanderer on a pilgrimage for truth.

Ainu, holy one,
Born of the thoughts of the divine,
A lesser chorus in the symphony of god.

Olórin the dreamer,
Youth spent in Valinor,
Servant of sky-father’s sacred flame,
Serving the mighty Blessed One,
Dwelling in the gardens of Lorien,
Learning wisdom, pity and patience.

Sent into the east, across the ocean
With his brother Istari,
In the guise of the wise,
To council Ælfar and men
Against the oncoming shadow from the past.

Struck down executing a demon
Of fire and darkness,
A cousin from long ago,
Sent back clothed in white
To finish what had been started.
White rider, Shadowfax friend,
Wielder of the Sun-flames
That forever banish the darkness.

3/15/17

Twighlight in the Níu Heimar

This poem is an addition to Níu Heimar and will appear as part of that poem if and when it is published in a book .

At twighlight,
When the Nine Worlds have fallen to dust,
All is dead; destroyed.
The surviors, rightious and good,
Shall dwell in the golden hall of Gimlé
On the south side of Ásgarðr.
Moved for safety, some say,
Southward and upward
End long through the second and
Ever upward to the wind wide blue third Heaven,
Far from fire and death,
Where, ’tis said, only the Ljósálfar still dwell.

2/13/17

Pronunciation guide:

Ljósálfar = l-juice-al-far
Ásgarðr = As-garth
ð = th in “father”

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

Underground

Twas around the Winter solstice
When we passed Álfheim’s gate.
Golden glowing Elven lords salute,
We resign ourselves to our fate.

Plunging into Jörð’s womb,
Dark damp dwarven domain,
Crawl like maggots in her flesh,
Arriving at last in Svartálfheim.

Down the black pit we go,
Setting aside all rational fear.
Walking past the very spot where
Sindri and Brokkr forged Mjölnir

Green glowing eyes in shadow
Follow every step, every turn.
Knowing if we go deep enough
In Surt’s fires we’ll surely burn.

If fiery pits grow ever nearer
Why do our bones grow so cold?
If Sól’s light we never again see
Will our story remain forever untold?

10/19/16

Pronunciation key for the ancient Norse names in the poem:
Álfheim = Alf-Hame (Elf Home)
Jörð = Yorth
Svartálfheim = Svart-Alf-Hame (Black Elf Home)
Brokkr = Brock
Mjölnir = Mee-oll-near
Sól = Soul

This was my response to The Daily Post‘s Daily Prompt: Underground.