Tag Archives: Loki

Jotunheim: ‘ Strength & Might’ 1/3′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

29 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 Jotunheim


Tom Murphy, Joanna Lee and Shirley Golden



by Tom Murphy


when he was with her
she made him feel small

in her words were a spell
a glamour of careful construction
leaving him like a stone on a mountain
like a drop of mead in a barrel
so small he didn’t exist

he preferred to be himself
three days was all he could take





by Joanna Lee


your dragon purrs, earth-
quaking, scaly metaphor
made heavy flesh, a serpent

that circles your world. you,
its catspaw to bat and squeeze
and toss gray skyward

where you seek snow
to pillow the hard gorge of falling,
or a hero, a hammer-wielding

savior to break the cage of winter.
lift a cup with me, drain the ocean
of ache and illusion. every season

has its ending, every Goliath
its David, every snake its eagle.

Today plays with the language of a story wherein Thor and his companions are tricked by the illusory magic giant Loki. Among other things, Thor is challenged to pick up a grey cat but can only lift a paw; it is revealed later that the cat is actually Jormundgand, the serpant that encircles the world. The story is in The Poetic Edda.





The Other Female

by Shirley Golden


She’s just a woman, the men said. But she wasn’t; she was a giant, Gale Jup. And she guarded the gateway to Gerry’s office.

He recruited her for his protection services to stop us from barging in unannounced and disturbing him with trivia. He didn’t care to hear of the intricacies of debt collection. His only concern was that we bring back the goods or the dosh. He wasn’t interested in excuses, false promises or complaints.

There was no getting past Gale. He called her, ‘daughter’ but no one knew if it were true. She never referred to him as ‘father’. But she wasn’t the sort to admit her existence was contingent upon another. She dragged in her own desk, carved from rowan, bumping it up several flights of stairs. She filled reception with her booming voice and the scent of wild flowers, scattered in sentinel vases, balanced on surrounding cabinets.

She curbed the stream of petty hitches, held back the lawsuits and hid the details of hospitalisations. We took turns to try and get past her, to talk to the boss about pay and conditions but no one could get close. Until Roth turned up.

Roth’s credentials looked good on the page. But he had gained a reputation as a thug. Some said he had worked for Doni Fury (one of many names given to the mobster boss). Others said he still did.

Gerry believed Gale could deal with Roth, and that he’d be perfect for the tougher clients. Certainly, he knew his way around a threat and had a temper quick as a hammer strike, sparking on an anvil.

He settled in without a fuss until pay day. We were all familiar with Gerry’s habits. He never rewarded what he promised. Roth demanded to see Gerry, and the men gathered around the edges of reception, keen to see how this would play out; they hoped his objections might benefit them all.

Gale straddled her chair and used every feminine fibre of her being to distract him.
For three days, she was successful. We placed bets on how long it would take. Would today be the day he broke her backbone? I was the only one who bet against Roth.

Gale preoccupied him with a swing of her hips and the promise of a latte from the vending machine. But on the fourth day he held fast to her desk and refused to let go. She stopped giggling and whispering. She crossed her arms and ordered him to leave. He grabbed a vase and hurled it towards her head, but she ducked and it cracked the glass on Gerry’s office door. She straightened to her full height. She strode towards Roth, seized him by the scruff of the neck and frogmarched him down the stairs. The others looked on in disbelief. My small applause and cheer were lost in a sea of glares.

We never saw Roth again. No one tries to get past Gale anymore. Of course, when new boys arrive the others tell the tale of Roth and his now mythical status, how he burst into Gerry’s office like a wave, crushing her coastal defences.

I try to explain that wasn’t how things panned out at all, and how the tape across Gerry’s door represents Roth’s failure, not hers.

But they take no notice of me, the other female in the department.




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


Find out more about Tom, Joanna and Shirley:

Tom Murphy


Joanna Lee



 Shirley Golden




As always, thank you for your interest.



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

11 Dec

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


Karin Heyer, Kate Garrett and Mina Polen


Northern Lights

by Karin Heyer


Green magic light rushed
through the deep blue northern night,
when Odin, Allfather
stood at the roots of Yggdrasill
for the secrets of the universe,
he gives his one eye
for knowing all —

He built a throne
high up in the crown of Yggdrasill,
best of trees,
world tree,
its roots to survey all realms,
Odin recalls the creation.


fire furious fills the air
crashing ice creates,
when life-licking cow
conjures woman and man,
sun, moon and stars in one,
a dread flame of power
never-ceasing creation,
eternal wind a-blowing —


Yggdrasill still stands solid
for ever North – South,
green, yellow lights
luminous, amazing,
burning, blazing
in the sky, even now!






by Kate Garrett


i sneak, i reap

i am a trick of the light

light from a golden crop

of wheat-silk soft
& mine with one swipe
of scythe

break my fingers
break my toes
one by one by one

i provide, i scheme

i push you into motion

motion of worlds beneath

so panic – panic until
back & forth & back
the needle swings

threading this voice
you fear down into
my throat


* Based on the myth of Thor’s hammer, specifically the part where Loki steals Sif’s hair and is punished for it. The difference between physical power (Thor) and one type of mental power (Loki).




Alone and afraid

by Mina Polen


All alone
…………..smashing stones
…………..carving wood
…………..playing with gold

all alone
…………..behind a broken wall
…………..waiting for another spell


all afraid

…………..that the world might change
…………..that more giants might come

all afraid

……………and the wolf is howling
……………and the serpent is rattling
……………and they can hear the giants’ steps

all alone
all afraid.





You can read the overview of Asgard here and see more of the Asgard poems here


Find out more about Karin, Kate and Mina:

Karin Heyer

No website, as yet. Contact ArtiPeeps.

Kate Garrett



Mina Polen




Watch out for Vanaheim (the realm of the giants) poetry next week!

As always, thank you for your interest. 


Asgard: ‘Warriors and Ravens’ 4/5′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

3 Dec

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


Greg Mackie, Lenka Monk, Rebecca Audra Smith and Rob De Born



by Greg Mackie


Between my head and my heart,

there was a no man’s land

the size of Iceland –

all frost and volcanoes.
Ice, to the north –

cold, clinical,

sceptical and cynical.
Fire, to the south –

a passion burning in my gut;

the inevitable contradiction.
And at the centre of this,

rising like a geyser, 

Ymir, the primeval us – 

a mystery

to be broken,

into smaller mysteries,

given names

and meanings.
And so I did –

shatter and scatter

his body and blood,

across worlds –
Until there was

no more left 

of him,

to remind me,

of my ignorance.





Heimdall’s oath

by Lenka Monk


I’ve seen it, heard it all
From Midgard of men to mighty Asgard.
No matter the rise, no matter the fall
The rainbow bridge I guard.

The prophecy once told
In the lieu of eloquence,
Speaks of shadows born in a cold
Doused in frosty decadence.

The twisted knots of fate
In the monster’s breath of ice,
Will untangle at the gate
With last roll of a dice.

I will fight to the end
For my realm and my land,
Our hallowed reign I shall defend
With sword in my hand.




Poem read by Nicky Mortlock on Lenka’s behalf.



Frigg Beginnings

by Rebecca Audra Smith


We began in war,
splitting apart the giant man,
white and frosty with age.

Frigg like an itch a scratch of mothers lives.
Can’t you see, we said to her,
your daughters need to open the world.

One woman hefted a mallet.
We used his lungs to embryo the earth,
wrapping the atmosphere in a fine pink gauze.

The soft tissue of his brain the ocean bed,
here is where the gracious mammals float,
unwieldy and full of old knowledge,
his hippocampus their swimming ground.

Many things were birthed, first came
The small thoughts, then the larger ones
Till we’d built a city out of our need.

And the men, we got them from the flotsam,
The sea-spray, the wreckage of the ocean floor.
We began in war.



Eight Legged Stallion

by Rebecca Audra Smith


Snipped Eight Legged Stalion







Two Children

by Robert De Born


Odin and God
made saviours,
grave minds
held prophecies:
the rune and the tablet.

Hung from wood,
pierced with spears;
God knew everything.
Odin didn’t.
God’s child arrived immaculate
in the spaces between
Herod’s fingertips.
An angel watching
held him from apocalypse
in dark places,
fragile as plaster of Paris
but Charis colludes where grace is.

God knew everything.

Odin, when he found
his child taken,
salvation pierced with the spear,
sought the holy virgin;

and appeared first
as a soldier,
with polished shoes
and medals from neck to navel

and he asked nicely.

Then appeared a bard,
voice gypsum-rich
with melodies winding as the gamut of the amber trade,
fingers flickering on the lyre
like demons’ tongues

and he asked nicely.

Then appeared,
hands full of washrags

and he raped her.

Blood never looked darker
than against those sheets
as white as Baldr’s skin
and seen through the milky mistletoe
transparency of Odin’s cornea.
And then, collapse.

The eyes of wolves have the golden gaze of a God who knows everything.

An eye bright.
An eye dark.
Night and day fog into one.

Nine nights and days fixed to the tree.

I pace by the wall,

take a lung of air,
a lung of smoke

waiting for poetry
to blossom like murder

on my lips.





You can read the overview of Asgard here


Find out more about Greg, Lenka, Rebecca and Rob:


Greg Mackie



Lenka Monk

Contact ArtiPeeps

Rebecca Audra Smith



Robert De Born




Watch out for more Asgard poetry next week!

As always, thank you for your interest. 


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