A Shadow Falls

A shadow falls over Miðgarðr
From deep in the eastern mountains
To the western shores.
A light shines from Ælfheimr
Bearing the flame of Truth,
Beacon to the free peoples of Mannheimr
To stand against the Darkness
At the gates of doom.

The fight may be futile,
But the fight must be fought.
To die doing right,
Than to live surrendered to might.

8/5-8/6/17

Pronunciation Key
Miðgarðr = mith-garth (“th” as in father), Old Norse meaning the “middle yard,” or “middle enclosure” (refers to the world of men)
Ælfheimr = Ayf-haym, from the Old Norse meaning “Ælf (Elf) home”
Mannheimr = Man-haym, from the Old Norse meaning “Man (Human) home”

High, Just As High; Third (a Tanka)

odin_and_his_brothers_create_the_world

Odin, Vili; Ve
Wōðanaz, Wiljô, Wīhą
Slayed and flayed Ymir
Crafted Asgard and Midgard
Breathed life into Ash and Elm.

4/9/17

Poem #10 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)

Pronunciation key:
Vili = Ve-Lee
Ve = Vey
Wōðanaz = Wo-than-az (th as in father)
Wiljô = Wil-yo
Wīhą = Why-ha
Ymir = Eye-meer

Image: 
Odin and his brothers create the world by Lorenz Frølich (1820–1908)

Dreams of Poems Already Written

Allen was in Asgard reciting America and
Singing the Buddhist Bible Blues for All-Father Odin
While Bobby and Baldr compared notes concerning
Daily dreams of darkness, depression, and death.
Byron rode up and down Bifröst bridge
Writing a poem about Don Juan
(No, not that one, the new one!)
Marcus Aurelius read the mythologies of Midgard,
Studied philosophy with Plato,
Admiring the stoicism of Socrates,
As Rimbaud wrote rhyming prose about Ragnarök,
Containing nothing but the truth,
Delivering it to Valhalla for the consideration of
Siddhartha, Thor and Wōđanaz.

4/2/17

Poem #3 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)

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

Loki Laufeyjarson

loki2c_by_mc3a5rten_eskil_winge_1890

Loki Loptr Lóðurr,
Roaring Hveðrungr,
Trickster lord of air and fire.
Sky walking lie smith
Laufey-son, Jötunn spawn,
Fenrir father, Sleipner mother
Serpent sire, Hel father.
Blood brother to the Alföðr.
Jötnar by birth, Æsir by choice.

Shaving sweet Sif’s head as a joke,
Manipulating Dvegr smithies
To forge a living gold wig for her head,
Create crushing Mjölnir for Þórr’s hand,
and produce other treasures for Asgard.

Dressing in drag with Þórr,
Disguised as Freyja on her wedding day,
To retrieve his stolen hammer from a Jötnar king.

Tricks and games, schemes and jokes
That end in death and pain.
Frigg’s tears at Baldr’s grave,
Loki bound by his son’s intestines,
Sigyn catching the venom
Dripping from the fangs of the snake
Skaði hung over his head,
every hundreth drop burning his forehead,
While she empties her bowl,
Writhing in pain, shaking the ground,
Waiting for the Universe to end.

3/2/17

Pronunciation Key:
Loki = Low-Key
Laufeyjarson = Lau-Fee-yar-son
Loptr = Lof-tur
Lóðurr, = Low-Thur
Hveðrungr = H’veth-run-gur (th as in father) (I think)
Laufey = Lau-fee
Jötunn = Yote-un
Fenrir = Fen-rear
Sleipnir = slape-near
Alföðr = all-father
Jötnar = Yote-nar
Æsir = Ay-seer
Dvegr = D’ve-gur
Mjölnir = M-yole-near
Þórr = Thor
Freyja = Fray-ya
Baldr = Bald-er
Sigyn = sey-gin (hard g as in ground)
Skaði = Ska-thi (th as in father)

Illustration: Loke och Sigyn by Mårten Eskil Winge (1825–1896)

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

Thor

mc3a5rten_eskil_winge_-_tor27s_fight_with_the_giants_-_google_art_project

Born of a meeting between Earth and Sky,
Mother Jörð and Alföðr Óðinn,
Thunderer Þórr, Jötun Slayer,
Lightning Wielder, Relentless red-headed warrior.

Wheat-haired Sif husband,
One-eyed Wotan son,
Valkrie Þrúðr father,
Beloved Baldr brother.

With Mjölnir mountain-crusher,
Dvergr forged lightening-hammer,
Iron glove wielded stubby handled serpent slayer.

Stand at the end of the world,
Stopping Midgard strangling sea serpent,
Jörmungandr Ragnarök-starter
Hel-brother, Loki-son,
With your next to last breath.

No mythical Goldilocks Hemsworth
Shakespeare-speaking superhero.
Authentic mythological goat-cart riding
Hallowing, mankind protecting,
Three-quarter Jötnar champion of Asgard:
þunraz Thunderer.

11/18/16

Pronunciation of names:
ð = th in “father”
Þ = th in “thick”
Jörð = Yorth
Alföðr Óðinn = Alfother Othin
Þórr = Thor
Jötun = Yote-un
Þrúðr = Thru-thar
Baldr = Bal-dar
Mjölnir = Mee-oll-near
Dvergr = D-verg-ar (dwarves)
Jörmungandr = Yore-moon-gand-ar
Ragnarök = Rag-na-rock
Jötnar = Yote-nar
þunraz = Thun-raz

Inspired by The Daily Post‘s Daily Prompt:Mythical

Image: Thor’s Fight with the Giants by Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872

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

Wodanaz

georg_von_rosen_-_oden_som_vandringsman_1886_odin_the_wanderer

I, Wodanaz, Wotan, Óðinn, Odin,
Alföðr, One-eyed Wanderer,
Rune-maker, Warrior-Poet,
Son of Borr Burri-son and
Bestla Bölþorn-daughter,
Who plucked out my left eye for wisdom,
Hung from Yggdrasil for nine nights for enlightenment.
With my brothers Villi and Ve,
Slaughterer of Ymir Jötnar-father,
Slitting his throat, draining his blood
Into lakes, rivers, and oceans.
Squeezing out his sweat to season saltwater seas,
Flaying the flesh from his bones to fasion the earth,
Bones boiled bare were made mountains,
His Molars and teeth, bolders and rocks,
Trees and forrests created from hairs and whiskers.
Crafted Midgard, shelter-fortess for children of Ask and Embla,
From his eyebrows, its gates from his eyelashes,
Battlements from his toenails.
His empty skull we set over the earth
On the shoulders of four dwarves,
Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri,
Forming the vault of the heavens,
Scooping out his brains to make the clouds in the sky.

10/23/16

Pronunciation of Old Norse names:
Óðinn = Othin
Alföðr = All-fother
Bölþorn = Bol-thorn
Yggdrasil = Eeg-drass-ill
Ymir = Ee-mere
Jötnar = Yote-nar
Villi = Ve-Lee
Ve = Vey
Norðri = North-ri
Suðri = Suth-ri