Tag Archives: Freyja

Vanaheim: ‘ Magic & Wonder’ 3/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

14 Jan

World Tree Norse

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Vanaheim

Featuring:

Lenka Monk, James Knight and Joanna Lee

 

In the name of…

by Lenka Monk

(Inspired by the story of Freyja and Thorgerda)

 

In the hour of need, every second stretches like a steel spring.
Do the years flash by?
Or is it simple moment of repentance.
Whispered prayers.
Does anyone really listen?
Absolution would taste so sweet.
Does it give you strength?
Does it fill you with hope?
Does the courage shine through one last time?
Do you upturn the alter to stop the requiem?
Or is it an offering of a blackened heart on the cold marble.
Whose name touches your lips?
Breathe it in; bathe in the way it sounds.
And it’s not just any name, it’s so much more.
It’s an antidote for poison.
It’s water caressing your dry lips.
It’s the scent of home deep within your lungs.
It’s an ecstasy tingling on your skin.
It touches forgotten places, revives senses,
And as blinded as you once were, you are no more.
For there’s no room for the transient madness,
When with each uttered syllable of the name,
The shade brightens.
The unexplained power that brought you north of that edge.
What once was in the haze has cleared.
Oh the view, the view is breathtaking.
Clarity, renewed, reshaped, reassembled,
Strums chords with sleight of hand.
And it resonates loudly in the name of your saviour.

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*Freyja is a goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death.

*Thorgerda, is a woman who threatens to commit suicide in the Egils Saga.

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Freyja

by James Knight

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Welcome to my pied-a-terre,
My dear.
Careful where you sit;
Yesterday one of my guests
Mistook my cats for cushions
And nearly sat on them,
The silly bugger.

Glass of Scotch?
Sherry, maybe?
Mine’s a white wine and soda;
It goes further.

It’s deathly cold in here,
Don’t you think?
Bloody storage heaters
Are worse than useless.
I could weep,
I really could.

Do you like the photos on my mantelpiece?
That one’s Eric and that one’s Steven and that one’s John.
All dead now, of course.
So are Keith, Clive and Chris.
They died heroes’ deaths,
Every one of them.
When I look at them
I know they’re in a better place.
I keep Ben in this locket,
So he’s always near my heart.

Death isn’t sad, you know.
No worse than going for your flu jab.

Drink up, dear.
You look as if you need it.
You might die tomorrow,
So you might as well enjoy today.
That’s what Ben used to say.
After he lost his arm I had to drive him around everywhere,
Bless him.
He called my little Ford a chariot.
We used to laugh!

By the way,
A man wrote me,
Which explains
My Monty Python falsetto.
Men can’t do women
(Haha!),
Though they’d like to think they can.
Just look at The Waste Land:
That was written by a man
(If that’s the right word for a bookworm in specs)
And is full of unconvincing female voices.

I’m so cold I’m shivering, look!
Another glass?

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Seeking Odhrærir at the corner coffeeshop

by Joanna Lee

a dragon sits in the sun, baking mythologies between his toenails.
eagle feathers drift on his nostril-ed breath.

he does not belong here among the cloud stria in almost-white,
the sky filled with the promise of emptiness, the wet-wool heavy.

behind the bar, Gunnlöð is humming to herself
with a song on the radio she hasn’t heard in years.

honey trickles over her dry lip, cracks on winter-sunned concrete.
hickory leaves flit dead across lanes of traffic.

some days it just won’t come,
no matter the spit and the blood.

i think i hear your name in the background,
and i almost turn. tendril-ed smoke

like tears down a dawn cheek that day
you woke wordless in darkness and left

curls along the floorboards just
enough to keep the pipes from freezing.

Gunnlöð looks up, wonders if she, too, could fly.

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*Odhraerir/Óðrerir,refers either to one of the vessels that contains the mead of poetry

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You can read the overview of Vanaheim here , and see some Asgard poems here

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Find out more about Lenka, James and Joanna:

Lenka Monk

Contact ArtiPeeps. 

James Knight

thebirdking.com

https://twitter.com/badbadpoet

Joanna Lee

the-tenth-muse.com

https://twitter.com/la_poetessa

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

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Asgard: ‘Warriors and Ravens’ 2/5′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

20 Nov

World Tree Norse

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Asgard

Featuring:

Shirley Golden, John Mansell, Lydia Allison, Ross Beattie

 

Yggdrasill Groans

by Shirley Golden

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So here am I: ancient, wise and eternal. Rooted in the heart of Asgard, I channel into lower realms. Above, my canopy extends as a shield for all creation. Always was and is and will be, so they say. You might imagine that one of my standing would claim attention and be heeded. If only. Ra-ta-tap, ra-ta-tap: paws scurry along bark and branch from source to crown, conducting a berserk exchange. Together. Apart. Deep in the soil, Nidhogg’s scales abrade my knotted foundations. His teeth rip and tear, keen to unearth. Deer and harts snack on my shoots before I have time to unfurl. I’m gnawed and chewed upon, hung from, and tapped for sweet knowledge. But it’s never enough. Trouble is the gods aren’t so gifted to keep calm, listen or reflect.

Look at him, running around with his stunted hammer, trying to wield notions of equality, and him a god. Granted, he has a stout heart and likes to keep things in order, but why oh why can he never grasp when he’s being tricked by those frost giants? And the Allfather with his all-seeing eye? Pah! I mean, how often does He neglect to observe the rascal’s antics? Time and again the shape-changer creates chaos, and with his wheedle words slithers out of predicaments, slippery as a fish. Will they never learn? How many times can one make amends with ill-gotten gifts? I blame the eye. Sacrificed for wisdom, but He failed to appreciate the value of depth perception.

Is that harsh? I’m old, too old and cranky. If it wasn’t for the Norns and their care, I’d have rotted long ago. I tire of the gods and their games. It’s all act, act, act; treks to other realms, tests and trials. Who’s the toughest or the swiftest? I do my best to give sound counsel but I’m unconvinced that they hear me. All they sense is a susurration of leaves, lifted by the breeze, from which they seize a sketchy message and thunder ahead, regardless.

The wind gusts his ice-breath and my joints creak and moan, but I’ve seeds to sow and trust that one day they’ll take. Understand that I’ve considered on countless occasions what I might say (if only I could articulate their words, and if only they’d be still and mark my warnings). And the best advice I could offer?

“Whatever you do, don’t listen to Loki.”

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Yggdrasil

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Asgard

by John Mansell

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I

Slaked emptied the meaded-horns.
The soothsayer’s runes yield their redden field.
The smoke coil-feast entwining the bowed heads of Long Serpents
bobbing with rimmed-eyed-red.
The feast for slaughter to wed the lost to death.

Grim battle carrion shredded bannered.
The disjointed stride of deed beneath the beak.
Splashed vivid and dripping the echoes of dawn.
War hounds draped in the grim spoils between the broken weaponry.
The shattered bodies sprawl by jewel tipped shaft.

II

By Bifrost span the heralded torn from earthly womb.
The golden shrill shouts of the choosers of the slain.
Renewal of strength, rearmed and armoured
by the wall of spears and the shielded roof.
Aesir-dwellers in brine enactment of that perfect fate.

The daily spectacle before Geri and Freki by their Master’s feet;
by Huguinn and Muninn at the godly ear.
And man’s desire to repeat his seething deeds,
rehealed and re-aled beneath the folds of Frigga’s sky,
reveals no boy returning from whence only men filed.

III

Far below, the earthly funeral lights the dimming horizon.
Adorning glory. The warriors muster and poets sing.
The brutal ferocity glad against the breast of night.
And in humble earth-wood home the hero’s woman
beside another who soon will taste the meaded-horn.

And all men by their camped fires recite the lists of dead.
Who line abreast four score by ten the many rounded doors.
The quieting scene. The poet eyes the distant moraine.
And hums in rhythm and fighting rhyme
His battle hymn to those aloft in eternal praise.

 

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Poem read by Nicky Mortlock on John’s behalf.

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they never said

by Lydia Allison

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dying is travelling
a light-year in a second
completely alone,
in a sense you have never felt before
not in dreams or worship
or bleak nights.

I was part of the writhing mass
the storming spreading attack
part of the dance between me and that
man that other warrior that superior clan
I was part of that
company, closer than everything
and when I look back
his face was the face of my wife.

did he look away out of shame
for my weakness shame
for his own life shame
for how tenderly my body leaned to his blade.

here is the look of oil on water
like heaven’s reflection you can touch.
as a child I chased rainbows
made idols from glass refractions,
stooped in the road.

I see thickly, this space shimmers with moving light
violet edging faces I know
and I mourn my rainbow
revising memories of blood
the sun, fresh leaves, and sky,
pure darkness, and white light of ash
and I weep clear tears
laced with the pigments of the dead.

they never said it’s just like living,
seeing one colour
and searching for your own heartbeat.
and when you go it’s more like
everybody you’ve known is falling
away, leaving you to grieve in morbid hope that they
would not, that they would stay.

 

Lydia on her poem: ‘One of the things that intrigued me most throughout the reading was the idea of light a rainbow/bifrost, acting as a bridge to Asgard’.

MP3 to come.

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Asgard

by Ross Beattie

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Stand beside me brother and together we can begin again.
Only through death can we break the existence in which we suffer.
We will wash our exhausted hands in the blood filled rivers, before growing strength again to walk fearlessly through the doubt.
Will we ever know if we are too afraid to try ?
I see the palaces in my mind, huge hallways and gold walled rooms, beauty in our control from the sacrifices we choose to make.
Wisdoms waits at the end of the battle, and even though we cannot see what lays ahead we mustn’t turn our heads now from fear as that will make this an ending instead of the beginning that it stands to be.
So stand strong beside me and we will cover the ground in flesh, and build every single mountain from the bones we will rip away from the deathly cold that controls all we see.
And from there we can create all that I know is possible.

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You can read the overview of Asgard here

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Find out more about Shirley, John, Lydia and Ross:

 

Shirley Golden

shirleygolden.net

https://twitter.com/shirl1001

John Mansell

https://twitter.com/JohnMansell1

Lydia Allison

http://lydiaallison.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/LydiaAllison13

Ross Beattie

http://blackpoemblues.weebly.com/

https://twitter.com/blackpoemblues

 

Watch out for more Asgard poetry next week!

As always, thank you for your interest. 

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Asgard: ‘Warriors and Ravens 1/5’ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

13 Nov

World Tree Norse

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Asgard

Featuring:

Tom Murphy, Joanna Lee, James Knight, Nat Hall

 

Asgard

by Tom Murphy

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on the first night I was called by the jackdaw
tapping on the sill after the moon went dark
“fly” she said, and I was able to follow
a cold night but I soared
over the meadow
into the wood
across the bridge

I saw bodies hanging in the tree
the nine lives offered
the snake
the wolf
the elk
the hare
the frog
the cat
the fox
the calf

by the fire
the old man sat
a circle already prepared
so deep was his look
he saw my birth
through my left eye

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All the world needs is another dumb princess

by Joanna Lee

 

Jpeg All the World by Joanna Lee

 

Click on the poem to enlarge. 

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To find out more about the back-story to this poem click here.

 

 Ymir

by James Knight

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Ymir used to be a big nothing;
Now he’s everything. 

His hair is the grass, the trees, the reeds
His scalp is the desert
His skull is the empty vault of space
His brain is telecommunications
His skin is a reality made of matter and mirages
His forehead is the Ten Commandments
His eyebrows are lethargy and a thousand easy lies
His eyelashes are the meshes of love
His eyes are stars, supernovas, lightbulbs, fireworks, napalm, nuclear war
His ears are the remains of imaginary animals 
His nose is a sad farewell
His nostrils are wormholes to another dimension where the Bird King reigns from his electric throne
His lips are a debate on the meaning of the word “jihad”
His teeth are Coca Cola
His tongue is mother of all languages 
His cheeks are zoology
His chin is Mount Olympus 
His neck is an execution at dawn
His shoulders are art installations attempting controversy through the juxtaposition of childhood and terrorism 
His arms are escape routes to Hell
His hands are bird cages or prison cells or holding bays or rooms without doors 
His chest is archaeology 
His ribcage is the phantom city at dusk
His heart is time
His lungs are the four winds, weather, disaster
His abdomen is sentiment
His digestive system is a labyrinth of corridors and offices 
His hips are cemeteries
His genitals are every whimsical thought anyone has ever had
His legs are mannequins staring murderously at passersby
His feet are oceans. 

The rest of Ymir remains uncatalogued
In boxes 
In a basement 
Under the ruins of a building
Forgotten by the story-tellers.

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Title Jpeg

(Superstition)

by Nat Hall

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Feel flight feathers & falcon’s skin.

Now walk through clouds, realm of Æsir,
where ravens perch on primal
strand of the rainbow;
where rain falls red
and Mjollnir *
sleeps –
he
who
wears blue
will not be seen as the shaman,
but a rider extraordinaire –
Huginn & Muninn**
side by side,
birds of
battle wish for
wisdom.
Rumour rambles
inside gods’ dreams, he
who controls the many moods of
heavens’ eyes, fruits of
the Earth and fights
giants, can be
called in the name of law,
farming men frown to his chariot…
Skygods in mighty citadel,
home inside halls, walls built by a tricked
gigantic mason,
there is a sly one among them –
he might just be a half-brother, metamorphic,
so fair of face, unafraid to turn a
stallion, hides black inside.
And if you doubt
superstition,
wait for the slain,
flames, ferryman – hear
valkyries*** run on
floorboards,
stand
on
other side of
the shore.

Now let gods gaze at the cauldron.

Let them drink tides of golden
mead brewed for them in
the sea god’s hall.
From his high
seat at
Valaskjalf*.
He, mighty seer, surveys it all in the nine realms.

© Nat Hall 2014

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1 * Mjollnir: Thor’s hammer;’** Huginn & Muninn: Odin’s ravens – Huginn (thought) & Muninn (Memory)
2 ***Valkyries: Odin’s twelve maidens who conducted the slain warriors of their choice from the battlefield to
Valhalla (Vikings’ paradise). Valaskjalf: Odin’s Hall

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You can read the overview of Asgard here

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Find out more about Tom, Joanna, James and Nat here:

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

Joanna Lee

http://the-tenth-muse.com/

https://twitter.com/la_poetessa

James Knight

http://thebirdking.com/

http://chimeragroup.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/badbadpoet

Nat Hall

http://nordicblackbird.weebly.com/

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

 

Watch out for more Asgard poetry next week!

As always, thank you for your interest. 

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