Poem: Hades laid bare.

On fir boats fraught with barley, folk of fur and barn sail,

Through farmer wealds and polder fields, they lower the down and dale.

All of life, and all of longing, lies locked in reach.

Do come the trouble, the rumble, the rubble, the brevity veil is breached.

Of fire is known the finer nodes of forge, but not of flame.

To fire they turn, who gives, who burns, who nurtures lone to maim.

Ardent men wrench titan wealth, till they iron tyrants shape.

Soot doth drain the hand it’s dealt, Eostre’s grant grows grey.

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Poem: Moros

Of all art that shall fade, shall be art once widely known.

But they who have to suffer, can make history their home.

The artists that will wither, are the ones who shall remain.

Their stories known to all, like Pac, Vicious and Cobain.

Other music will linger, though its message becomes lost.

Who desires to be immortal,  must pay the Moros cost.

Death grips the living.

 

Poem: When Despots Ponder

In my realm, no child dies a fool man’s death,
No son sees the battlefield’s bloody red,
No daughter lives a day without the mercy of bread,
No life is shortened by senseless days of sweat,
No love is cut short by Ares’ looming threat.

But why does my progeny not rejoice?
Why are their days not filled with joy?
Why is my name spoken ill of in their voice?
Is it merely because I granted them no choice?
To bask in this world bereft of war’s deafening noise?

Why won’t they see the grandeur of my endeavour?
The power, wealth and kindness they’ll know forever?
Must I turn on them the mirror?
Should I open the gates to terror?
To horrors, tremors and weather?
Bereave my folk of pleasure?
Smash open the lever,
to make them see the manners,
in which I’ve made their lives better?

Or is their freedom’s cry so loud,
that it thunders beyond the clouds,
rains unto the grounds,
to be sowed, tended and plowed.

Shall it be consumed by countless crowds?
Raised hale and tough, so no man may have them cowed?
And will they, with foolish pride endowed,
Have my eternal benevolence disavowed?

Is this the end of all tyrants?
An unbreakable cycle of crisis,
sweeping the realm like a virus.

Must all good deeds crumble below the crushing weight of liberty?
Is her virtue so vast that no despot, no matter his merit, may ever claim moral victory?

Do my ports bring no commerce?
Do my ships cross no waters?
May my students gain no honours?
Is there no value to my dollars?
Does my army deflect no horrors?
Merely because it’s an authocrat who offers?


 

Poem: Dying Light

Mid-lent Sunday, plough Monday, Shrove Tuesday, Michaelmas and more.
The Ballgames and Tansies of Easter, and even the egg knock will soon turn lore.
Shouldn’t I know of Saint Barbara, who blesses my home?
What even are the Ides of March, of shakespearrian moan?
Is history to be treasured,
or to be buried by the heathers?
Am I to bemoan the loss of grand things old,
the songless death of countless tales untold?
Should I mourn the bare strands of forgotten history,
or let lie these bones, gnawed clean long before I be?


This is the 35th poem published on this blog

Poem: The Only Battle I Won 

Lamentation
With every achievement and every treatment,
every moment of pride and ill-found respite,
my nemesis grows its carapace form
and corrupts my corpse to the very bone.

It’s fast approaching morning, Morpheus’ grip has left me calling. He’s eluded me so that dark rings beneath my eyes are etched on my gaunt face. I’ve missed my dreams for so long, I no longer understand their illusory ways. Perhaps tomorrow the growth shall grant me drowsy mercy, though it has ignored my previous pleas. Its hard and bulbous body has latched onto my flesh, and now I feel its crawling motion on all portions of my frame.

Assault the cancer with chemistry and it greedily returns. Accept it with ennui and it attacks with ichorous zeal. Radiation, starvation, amputation, it outsmarts all cures. Fight the beast to a single cell and it will yet endure. Ancient monster that lurks within and ravages all optimism. Where old illnesses died, it took their place. In its heart of darkness, it holds me in its malignant embrace.

Medication
Cut me to the bone like Halsted would,
cut out the cancer to its very root.
Then cut more and more,
till your reach the monster’s core,
and mangle my form like no man should.

“Doctor, fight the battles that I’ve already lost. Fight the monster, no matter the cost. My life has turned wretched. My life is pathetic. I only think and I write, and both have me stressing. The beast has stolen my clarity, and consumed my levity. I’m a poet writing on mud soaked paper. I’m redundant. I’m no more use than a horse with four legs smashed.”

He told me in words that I cannot fully remember, that he would work hard and rid me of my malignancy forever. He told me my percentages, how much chance I had to live. He assured me there was still hope. He was kind, so his lie I managed to forgive.

Desolation
The Doctor dug to the bone, to rouse the monster from its home.
It didn’t work, for the beast still lurks.
Its solid tendrils reach to my gut and to my brain.
Its immortal army has me conquered, and has me drained.
I wish to surrender to this hell-bound contender,
but my doctor refused on ground of his Hippocratic ruse.
The chemicals seep me of joy for life, the beast laughs with hyena delight.
No food tastes well, all smell comes from hell, all noise sound like yells, I hear the church bells knell.

No cure could halt this ailment. Its strategy and its tactics proved too complex. I have succumbed to the Darwinian apex.

Decision
Lethargy pervades me,
yet Insomnia awaits me,
too sickly to fight,
too tired for fright.
Grant me relief,
Grant me reprieve
Grant me a light in the night,
Grant me comedy, to make life bright.
But no plea is ever heard,
I’m still confined to dirt.

My trail of tears has not reached its destination. I march and I march, traced hungrily by the scourge. It knows I will die. It toys with me now. It laughs when I cry. My frailty is its high.

It ends now.

I could not cut out the cancer, but I can kill its host. While shreds of my dignity still linger, I decide to give up the ghost. A cut to the wrists, or a slash to the throat, an ending on my terms. The demon shall halt its endless gloat.
The knife touches my skin. This is the battle I’ll win.

“Don’t do it sire, there’s so much to live for.”

“False, untrue, a demonic lie.”

“The world will turn brighter.”

“Begone you vulturous viper”

“There’s light on the horizon” 

“It’s too late for pleading snake. You might have won the war, but this is the last battle. The only battle I won.”

 

Series: 3. The White Bear. Song of the Northerners

Our cattle turned fat,

Raised on warm soil,

Our crops grew full,

Under plentiful rain,

Our sons seasoned strong,

Never knowing winter,

The king’s heir was born,

Svennir, warrior of Svinn.

_____

No man more merry,

Than King Svinn that year,

He served his folk,

With sweeping bounty,

He tamed his land,

By taking longbeards,

Who threw their swords before him,

One, than many, and evermore.

_____

But in Svinn’s mind,

Swelled his immerfear,

The own-spoken words:

It’s not to last,

It wasn’t to last,

The wise king saw his prophecy true,

When from lands of cold,

A beast travelled to.

_____

A great white bear,

Burst through the doors,

Smashed down our guard,

And mauled them on the ground.

Svinn commanded his people to leave,

But Svinn demanded the bear to stay,

Even nature must answer for its crimes.

The beast awaited the king’s first blow.

_____

Only Siggrodi, Svinn.allowed to stay,

The gnarled jarl of northern ways.

Jarl Siggrodi knew the perils full,

yet honor forced his last-day stand.

As king and jarl knew through-and-through

This whitened beast would be his end.

Svinn raised his shield and laid his spear,

Siggrodi charged the bear with long-axe in hand.

_____

The jarl’s edge landed,

with practised grace,

On the snow bear’s temple.

Black blood spurted from the surface,

The beast growled in agony,

Its eyes wild with pain,

It jumped away from Siggrodi’s blade,

Than spoke to him most strange:

_____

A mighty blow,

From you my thane,

For an elder man,

Your strike holds true,

But you are not,

The legend king.

You will not slay,

Great Kunnubjarn

_____

With his monstrous paw,

Kunnubjarn slashed Siggrodi,

than smashed him with his weight.

The elder jarl returned the blows,

But could not match in strength.

The pair brawled on wood, than fire,

when Kunnubjarn threw Siggrodi into the hearth.

The jarl’s cloth burned.

_____

King Svinn intervened:

Leave him be, and fight with me.

Kunnubjarn thought,

But Siggrodi would not await answer,

On last breath and last blood,

As the bear pondered,

Siggrodi dragged him into the fire,

Flames danced beside them both.

_____

Kunnubjarn engulfed by heat, roared,

And mauled Siggrodi’s charred skin through,

Until his elder frame lay truly still,

And nothing remained but blackened ash.

His vengeance ennacted without mercy,

The bear came forth from the fire,

Thoroughly Hurt but not once singed,

For godly hide does not burn,

_____

But the hearts of men do.

King Svinn jabbed the bear in his sides,

First one than the other as the bear roiled.

Kunnubjarn then raised himself high,

To descend with viscious power on Svinn.

But the king was fast, reached high,

and stabbed the bear’s throat.

Kunnubjarn fell to the floor.

_____

The beast now slain,

Svinnerhal safe,

The king walked to his hearth.

Siggrodi had gone,

to Aegettir halls.

But a single remnant of his remained,

A once small and simple iron ring,

Now with magi strength inlayed.


This is the 33th poem published on this blog and the 2nd installment of the Song of the Northerner series.

Previous entries:

1. Ships. 

2. Svinnerhal

 

Series: 2. Svinnerhal. Song of the Northerners

In Svinnerhal, the King stood tall,

Reaching high and wide.

In his hall, he spoke to those,

in whom he could confide.

His icevein thanes, and long-gnarled jarls,

His housebound spouse, and north-haul thralls.

Those few of his who came from foreign shores,

Those few Svinn trusted to pass into his hearth.

_____

Glory, gold and farmland growth,

That I promised you.

Blood, sweat and many dead,

That you’ve granted me.

Over seas of immerblue,

To these lands of green and new

Our bond stood strong and will stand true

By my oath, my kin’s kin, enjoy the splendour you are due.

_____ 

Svinn raised his horn,

To the oathbound few in Svinnerhal,

And the coldland men who walked his fief.

Those warriors of metal glory,

Those warriors of ancient story

Fast at work on wooden homes,

Fashioned from the northern ships

Vessels to serve a newer worth.

_____

Not all of ours built shipshaped domes,

Some of us kept the way of sword,

Guarding the walls from longbeard scorn,

Watching the seas for feasting crows,

And presiding over our mortal bounty.

The native captives who tended the fields,

Their chains clanged on the ground,

The sound of our victory.

_____

A sound that rung from morn to dusk,

From dark to light, till dark would set again,

That night, the loyal of loyal of Svinnermen,

Drunk within the longhouse to the fledgling king,

As thralls drowned their horns in cider,

Which proved itself with every gulp,

That wondrous everbearded drink.

The best the locals had worth taking.

_____

Siggrodi the oldest of the gnarled,

Whose grey reached far down from his jaws,

Spoke to the king in words all true:

This land is godly, your rule is law

It does me pride to stand by you

And the king spoke in words ever-true:

As all men good, I feel the same,

Yet as all things good, It’s not to last.

_____

Such wisdom escaped Siggrodi’s ears of old,

What fleeting is weighed in steel and gold?

What passing is seen in slaves and soil?

What the Gnarled warrior could not see,

Was that all this wealth would trap the free,

For a man of naught grows never soft,

But a man of all, knows not of toil,

Nor of blood, death, mud and soot.

_____

Svinn but smiled at his eldest friend,

The jarl whose longest days would soon-morrow end,

The black to come, Sigg wouldn’t see,

Only the green of plenty ,

And the long-sought warmth,

For Svinn’s fear were a wicked, insipid sin,

Not a learned frail,

But a birthmark weak


This is the 33th poem published on this blog and the 2nd installment of the Song of the Northerner series.

Previous entry: 1. Ships.