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.