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

Picking Up the Pieces

after_ragnarc3b6k_by_doepler

After the smoke of Surtr’s sword clears,
Sitting in the still green field of Iðavöllr
Where Asgard once stood,
Oðinn-sons Víðarr and Váli,
Thier nephews, Móði and Magni,
Dragging Mjölnir between them,
Tippin’ their hats as Baldr and Höðr
Arrive from Helheim.
Trading stories and reminiscing of days gone by,
Before Bifröst burned.
Clearing the dirt and soot from Oðinn’s royal chess set,
Planning the first move of the next game.

3/6/17

Pronunciation key
Iðavöllr = Ith-a-voll-er (th as in father)
Oðinn = O-thin (th as in father)
Víðarr = Vie-Thar (th as in father)
Váli = Vall-li
Móði = Moe-thi (th as in father)
Magni = Mag-nee
Mjölnir = Mee-yole-near
Baldr = Bald-er
Höðr = Hoe-thur (th as in father)
Helheim = Hel-haym (Hel Home)

Illustration: “After Ragnarok” by Emil Doepler (1905) Found on Norse Mythology for Smart People: Ragnarok.

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)

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.

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Óðinn’s Wisdom

odin_der_gottervater

All my life, says Óðinn Alföðr,
I’ve sought wisdom and knowledge.
I’ve sacrificed, I’ve studied and endured.
And the only thing I am sure of
Is that twilight’s fall can not be averted,
Ragnarök will come, Asgard will burn,
Fenrir will slip his chains, Sköll will feast on Sól’s bones,
Darkness will fall, we will all die.

Its a fact that must be faced,
How its faced will define you.

12/12/16

Pronunciation guide:
ð = “th” as in “father”
Óðinn Alföðr = O-thin All-father
Ragnarök = Rag-na-rok
Fenrir = Fen-rear
Sköll = Skole (Rhymes with “toll”)
Sól = Sole

Image: Odin, der Göttervater. Odin enthroned with weapons, wolves and ravens” by Carl Emil Doepler (1824-1905). Found in WikiMedia Commons.

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

Ask and Embla

odin2c_lodur2c_hoenir_skabe_ask_og_embla_by_frc3b8lich

Carved by Dwarvish craftsman
From ash-wood of Oðinn’s gallows–

Yggdrasil , heart of the Nine Worlds,
Rooted in the deeps of the Earth,
Tended by the Weavers:
Was, Is and Will-be (Twined together in Destiny),
Watered from the weird well of Fate.
Top branches brushing Bifröst Bridge,
Tickling Heimdell’s feet on the front porch of the Æsir–

Gifted by the gods; made whole:
From Oðinn, Hœnir, and Lóðurr
Intellect, Self-Awareness and Sight
(Lóðurr lent them his good looks, to be nice)

A million generations removed,
When Ragnarök has Asgard burned;
Midgard is frozen like a tomb,
Granddaughter Líf and her lover,
Cling to life under the Gallows,
Seeking shelter and hope.

10/21-10/22/16

Pronunciation key for the ancient Norse names in the poem:
Oðinn = O-thin
Bifröst = Bye-frost
Yggdrasil = Eeg-drass-ill
Hœnir = Hoy-near
Lóðurr = Low-Thur
Ragnarök = Rag-na-rock
Líf = Leaf

Inspired by the Daily Post‘s daily prompt: Millions