A God’s Wager

1. Kneeling before | a ladle of wisdom,

Bright mead-mind, | betwixt deepest Ash-roots,

A past revealed | and laid long low of men’s

old words | and forgotten mind magics.

 

2. To me Mind-Madness spoke | through the mists

“Long I traveled | Wanderer and Seeker alike

Fire-hair at my side | though often apart in company

hungry for knowledge | life’s blood aspired.

 

3. Through forest and bough | of old, black wood

Long we wandered, | until a folk we came,

Residing in groves | that had become hallowed,

Whether by our resting, | or passing through.”

 

4. Alone was I | yet not alone,

A hearth alight, | embered and crackling

Heart-Fire roared, | “A new people of worth

Their folk’s soul a mist, | for southern winds blew.

 

5. Newcomers which burned | I saw their avarice,

Freedom’s loss | beneath the eagle’s claws

No longer would a raven | take free flight,

Its fate in question, | ever the wyrd was silent.

 

6. A side was marked | a friendly bet

And high upon that hill, | our patience waited

As man rose against man, | in light of our wager

Amusement to me | yet a hunger to him.”

 

7. Mind-Madness again, | dark mischief alight,

“Fire-hair thinks himself knowing | of man’s heart,

Night whispers I made | while men slumbered,

Plucked masterfully | their soul-strings.

 

8. Into Segmir’s get | held far away,

in a cage of white stone, | among distant ancients,

Madness I breathed, | yearning and lust,

Shackled yet under, | eagles wing’s outstretched.

 

9. Freedom burning | he grew as a master,

In the arms of those foes, | of spear, and

Of Horse, | shield and foot,

False friend shame enough | for any trickster.”

 

10.Yet Heart-Fire interrupted, | a scoff,

“Fair rules matter not, | of which I truly abide,

To madness or glory, | fame being the most potent,

of mistresses, | destiny unbecoming of acquiescence.

 

11. Of once a great trust | turncoat betrayer,

A new lord of tribes, | and ardent defender,

Cross river great, | foreign men,

Shadowed by three eagles, | thus resplendent.

 

12. And then we saw | an earth alight,

Green sodden, | not of rain but bloody gash,

Down the sun, | up the sun,

Days hence, | Eagle’s fell by their own tricks.”

 

13. One-eyed Mind-Madness | again rasped,

“He who shook that pillar | close yet not,

to the site of death | lifted among the skies,

Not of body, | but in great deed.

 

14. Hunger arose | seeds which long sown,

A crop unlike Ing, | wrought not of tilled earth,

But plucked from | wet forest,

blackened of bough | and sodden of soil.

 

15. Marbled-lord, | fettered in distant hall,

Torn of hair, | misery of hope,

Seven crests of city-hills | heartless he wandered,

Agony cried, | madness and crushed of dream.

 

16. Those Eagles, feather-shorn | fell to the wood,

Golden blackened, | beneath carrion’s wings,

Thrice lifted, | thrice walked

A folk-champion, | bore their glory.”

 

17. Heart-Fire flared, | Word warning dire,

“Folk-lord, champion, | pillar-chief

Madness too, claimed | not just the Eagle,

Yet the pillar-shaker’s own life-blood, | infected people.”

 

18. To me fire flared, | no longer recollection,

“Never forget, | that Mind-madness

Shall it prevail long, | or a barest moment,

fleeting in to obscurity, | works ends it’s own.

 

19. Trickery and malice, | without care for wager,

Or folk, | or blood,

Alight inside all | alike and different,

Wyrd rich, | and poorer still.

 

20. For that glory-hero, | trick-master, warrior,

Low laid down, | by brother’s spears,

laid in the very wood, | across that river

Fallen to Mind-Madess, | years beyond.

 

21. Loss of respect, | trickery might be,

Yet madness exists | a flame hotter,

Than all fire, | of which I know well,

Of fate all, | may suffer before it.”

 

22. Mind-Madness, | Heart-Fire

Thus left, | hearth-coal ash,

Wisdom-cup empty, | leaving not,

But questions, | unsettled memories.

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~ by thelettuceman on May 4, 2015.

2 Responses to “A God’s Wager”

  1. When great music ends, there is silence before applause, that silence the greatest of tributes. I felt such silence now. Heart-rending, magnificent work.

    • Thank you for your words, that truly means a lot. I had this idea in my head for months, but I couldn’t figure the form out in such a way that I was happy with. Until I decided to take inspiration from the Eddas themselves.

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