A Mother Sings To Her Fatherless Child
by Carol Whittam
You came as our human child –
How can I make you understand?
For you are just a boy
Who fights to become a man.
So soon – you are knowing!
Growing, in this harsh North land of ice and fire,
Our earth, this realm of Midgard.
You came from valiant seed
Planted in a warrior’s tryst
Where Dragonboats, moored in rustling reeds,
Set out to sea
In the thawing of the year.
That year no ships returned.
Then sorrow crowned your head
As you were born my fatherless child,
Protected by his homestead fence.
In the glory of the midnight sun
We sensed his strength, now living on –
In you, my special one!
And you received his spirit
When bedded deep
In steaming straw, in warrior halls
Where mead ran sweet on victors’ lips
And the dark walls sang.
Sharpen to ancestral tones,
Tune your ear to heroic tales;
Round Thingstead fires hear wisdom
As your Father’s name sounds loud!
Your time will come!
You too will be a Viking king!
Watch hauled ships
On turning tides
Proud-set for lands anew,
See his face in valiant men,
Understand the things he knew:
Runic stones bring portents good,
Whetted swords raise battle cries,
Ever on, t‘ward lands afar
And the unknown chaos of Utangard!
O’er sunlit waves
On serpent troubled seas,
You Viking boy –
This future – Yours!
Your time will come.
You will be a Viking King;
Yes – You will hear Valhalla ring!
Carol is a retired 3/4 Irish teacher of English, from Accrington, Lancashire, aged 62. Her love of drawing and painting … was overtaken by writing in the hectic course of her career. For 34 years she had the fun filled privilege of creating and selecting pieces to stimulate and facilitate children’s writing. Particularly fond memories remain of collaborative workshops ending in much appreciated performances….so, although she is not actively involved in social media …she was inspired to collaborate off the scene, becoming a ‘pupil’ by responding to the info posted by ArtiPeeps ( last year on Transformations) and for this year’s much bigger extravaganza on the Vikings. She found that following the crescendo of progress by tuning in, tends to promote infectious enthusiasm and the question: What would I make of that? (Who knows …but it is likely that there are others out there who had the same reaction!) In this situation, she says, “I find myself still thinking like a teacher considering a narrative style, offering a way in for the uninitiated by choosing a suitable voice which will address the reader directly whilst paying homage to the factual and emotional aspects of the subject.
The poem above evolved from taking that approach and looking at some of the lovely Viking imagery and visualisations of the Yggdrassil tree on line. I had fun writing them and offer them retrospectively!
A second of Carol’s Norse-themed poems will be posted on Wednesday 30th September. We’re so pleased Carol has found The Nine Realms a springboard for her creativity.