Anticipating the Eclipse

the_wolves_pursuing_sol_and_mani

Ash in the air,
Smoke in the sky
Casting a jaundice hue
Across the high desert plains.

Sól is scared and nervous,
Constantly on the run from
Wild warg Sköll Fenrir-son,
Fated to swallow her whole,
When twilight falls on Asgard.

Rumors fly that the end is nigh,
Darkness shall fall upon the Earth,
The gods will fall where they stand,
All else awaiting rebirth.

Yet rumors lie, it cannot be denied,
Perhaps brother Máni
Is just driving too close
In the passing lane?

Redmond, Oregon – 08/19/2017

Pronunciation Key for Old Norse words:
Sól = soul (Old Norse, ‘sun’)
Sköll = Skole (Rhymes with “toll”)
Fenrir = FEN-rear
Máni = MAH-nee (Old Norse, ‘moon’)

Illustration: “The Wolves Pursuing Sol and Mani” (1909) by J. C. Dollman. Found at WikiMedia Commons.

Óðrœrir (a Tanka)

Kvasir, the wisest
Born of Æsir and Vanir
Slain by jealous dwarves
Blood brewed into honey-wine:
Óðinn’s mead of poetry.

8/15/17

Pronunciation key and notes:
ð = “th” and in this
Óðrœrir = Oh-thur-or-ear (Old Norse, “Stirrer of Inspiration,” another name for the Mead of Poetry).
Kvasir = Kvas-ear (A Norse god created from the spittle of the Æsir and Vanir and considered the wisest of all creatures).
Æsir = Ice-ear (The Norse gods)
Vanir = Va-near (Another tribe of Norse gods)
Óðinn = oh-thin (Odin, leader of the Æsir)
You can read more about the Mead of Poetry here.

This is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge #46 – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: HONEY & WINE. I descided, given this week’s prompt words, to combine three of my favorite things: Tanka, Norse Mythology, and Mead!

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.

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)

The Promise of the Runes

 

sleipnir

Looking at reflections in jagged shards
of a shattered mirror,
The fall of twilight’s shadow
grows ever nearer,
But when you see the reaping angel
There’s no real reason to fear her.
Remember the words and visions
of the blind Nordic seer
The promises made of runes
sworn on the life of Sleipnir:
Bridges will burn, stars will fall,
Witness it with your own eyes.
Life wanes, blood flows,
Darkness alone fills the skies.
Smoke will settle, the fires cool,
And the Sun will once again rise.

3/29/17

Note: Sleipnir is pronounced “Slayp-near”

Image:  Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse by Mike Craghead

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)

Týr

tyr_and_fenrir-john_bauer

Tīwaz Tīw Týr
One handed war god,
Guardian of Justice and Law,
Gave the Wolf his right hand
As compensation for damages
When he was, by the gods, with Gleipnir bound.

Deywoz Tīwaz Tīw
Dīu Dyeus Zeus

Sky-father reigning before the Alföðr
As Tuesday precedes Wednesday,
A shining sky given over to
The one-eyed warrior poet
And the working-class thunder-clap.

Tīwaz Tvaṣṭṛ Tiwisko
Tius Tio Tuisto
Son of Earth and Sky,
Father of man,
Grandfather of Germans, Goths and Norse,
Angles, Saxons and Jutes,
Danes, Norwegians and Swedes.

And when twilight time falls,
Gleipnir broken; Wōđanaz swallowed whole,
Wolf-children murder the Sun and Moon,
While the one-handed warrior’s laid low
By Hel’s hound, Garmr.

2/23/17

Pronunciation key:
Tīwaz = Two-az
Tīw = Two
Týr = Tear
Gleipnir = Glayp-near

926px-tiwaz_rune-svgDeywoz = Day-woz
Dīu = Dee-you
Dyeus = Day-yoose
Zeus = Zoose
Alföðr = All-father
Tvaṣṭṛ = T-vast-ar
Tiwisko = Two-iss-ko
Tius = Tee-us
Tio = Tee-o
Tuisto = Two-iss-to
Wōđanaz = Woe-than-az (th as in “this”)
Garmr = gar-mur

Image: ‘Tyr and Fenrir’ (1911) by John Bauer (1882–1918). Found on WikiMedia Commons.