Saturday, 6 August 2011

A Conversation

‘You said you wanted to talk?’ She said as she sat down at my desk, book in her hand. ‘Well, I’m here.’
I pushed my work to one side and set down my pen.  ‘Yeh, though now you’re here, I’m not quite sure where to start.’ This was my chance, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to take it.
‘Well, why don’t you start with what’s on your mind,’ she smiled and leaned forward, sun catching her hair in the evening light that flooded through the window, turning it to a gold band across her brow.
‘Ok.’ I sat back in my chair and looked at her. I think perhaps, this was the first time I really saw her and it scared me a little.   ‘I want to know why you’ve been avoiding me, I guess.’
‘Avoiding you?’ She laughed. ‘Hasn’t it been the other way around?’
‘What do you mean?’ I was confused. ‘Surely the fact that you’ve not been to visit me in like, what, six months, says a lot, don’t you?’
‘Well, to be honest I’ve not really felt that welcome. Every time I make an overture you seem like you’re busy with other stuff, so I thought “what the Hades...” and went away.  If you’d have given me the slightest sign you wanted me around I’d have been there, like a shot. You know that, right?’ Her response made my stomach swim. She was right and I knew she knew I knew it. Damn.
But...’ I began. ‘Ok, it was like you didn’t really need me anymore. I thought - fine, you’ve better places to be...’
She cut me short, ‘For Gods’ sake, don’t be so stupid.  You were the one that needed me originally, remember? You asked me for help and things were great for a while. Then... I don’t know,’ she trailed off and sat back in the swivel chair.  She shook her head. ‘It was just like you decided to break up with me but you never bothered to tell me. What the hell was that about? I was hurt.  If I knew this was going to be a damn tragedy I’d have told you to speak to my sister!’ She stood up and moved away from the desk towards the door.
‘No! Look, I’m sorry, ok? It’s you I want.’ My voice suddenly seemed loud in the room. I didn’t want her to go. ‘I don’t what you to go. I’m sorry.’  Gods, this was uncomfortable. I floundered for the right words and found none. ‘I’m sorry, ok?’ I repeated helplessly as I looked at her, trying to search her depthless eyes for a sign she believed me. ‘I’m just going through this dry patch and it’s frustrating the hell out of me. I guess I was embarrassed. I didn’t want you to see me like that’.
’I know.’ Her soft voice was a balm to my soul. ‘Don’t think I don’t care. I do, it’s just...’  She spread her hands, indicating the piles of papers on my desk. ‘It’s like you need me a little too much? You can do things on your own, you know.’
 ‘Yeah, I guess I do.  But you know what?’ I looked at the PC monitor. 
‘What?’ She walked around the desk to look at the flashing cursor on the empty white screen and leaned in close and I could smell her perfume, filling the study with its essence.
‘If you don’t visit, this happens.’ I pointed to the blank whiteness. Then I got up and walked to the shelves. I pointed to the books and magazines. ‘See what happens when you do?’  I opened a folder and pulled out a poem from our last time together and held it out to her.  ‘See this? This used to be us. We make a damn good team, you and I. When we really try. Don’t we?’
‘We do.  And it’s what I’m here for, right?’
‘Right.’ She walked across the sun-faded rug and kissed my brow. ‘Now get back to work. I’m right here.  Is there anything else you want to say to me? She tilted her head quizzically.
‘I suppose I could say thanks.’
She set down her papers and leaned back in the chair, kicking her sandals off under the desk.
            ‘That’d be a start.’
I sat back down too, and picked up my pen. Her presence comforted me, we both felt it.
‘Oh, I nearly forgot,’ She said, as she settled in for the evening, ‘Mum says “Hi”.’ We both laughed at that.
‘Thanks, Calliope’.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Later in the day...

Haven't had much opportunity to compose today, but I always have time for Haiku... Returning to my study this afternoon, I find:

Sunlight through tree, leaves
Shadows dancing on my desk.
Frail lace of dryads

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Sif Dreaming

Sif, the second wife of Thor, is the lady with the corn-gold hair. Some sources state that she has the gift of prophecy, although this is not mentioned in the Eddas. 

I find the sonnet both challenging and rewarding for its structural limitations, but found it fit the melding of ancient and classical modes of poetic delivery. Though this is a stylistic deviation of this curtal sonnet from the traditional English form, it'll suffice for now - I will revisit it in time...

Continuing my reworking of Norse myth, I offer one of Sif's prophecies. 

The Götterdämmerung

Thrice the white Shroud falls, Moon and Sun are dimm'd,
O’er wights that flee before dark blades of kin.
Bright toothed, the horn’s song answers cry and string
When Fen-dweller the fetter’d link doth break
The earth, as sea to Coils unravelling.
And Great vessels set to grim purpose, sail,
To bring all death to ride the Battle’s Shake
Who herald this Gold-glimps’d Twilight fate.
With Fire and Ice darts Shifting treachery;
Then Bravery shall fall and so shall we.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Haiku is a poetic form I much admire and have often tried to emulate. As I understand it , Haiku should always say something about the natural world - offering the reader an image of nature half-glimpsed, as fleeting as a gust of wind or shower of petals... Since I'd posted the Dragon poem for Angela, this one is dedicated to Jolie :)

Soft paws through the night forest
Neatly step, to lap
At the pool's edge. Young wolf drinks


When I was traveling through Thailand I kept a journal of thoughts, musings and observations. As I ate my evening meals, my words would invariably turn more brief and verse would appear.  The poems are untitled and correspond to the dates in my journal.  On the 17th May I watched the sunset off the coast of Ao Nang, the clouds were high, thin shreds of Cirrus, turning gold in the evening sky. As the winds blew them out to sea, into the darkening horizon, they became bent out of shape and my thoughts turned to Ouroboros as their ragged ends seemed to writhe in on themselves...
For Angela,  who loves dragons..

Dragon eats its tail,
Devours the whole world
And creates nothing
Nothing is everything
Destruction is creation
Of the Void
Which nothing can fill
Nothing inside nothing
Everything inside the dragon.

A Landdísir remembers...

We were not born. We were made.

Before the Age of Men and its wheels and chains and the weight of logic, we had no form.  We existed in the winds, rain and the warmth of the sun, dwelling in rock and tree and waterfall.  Present in all things, we were Landvættir.  Our light was the life of the earth and though hidden it was not unnoticed. They were thankful our lakes quenched their thirsts, our forests offered them game to hunt, that stones could shelter. Then mortals began to need us. Their petitions for aid in their fleeting lives were a plea we could not ignore – and thus we sealed our fate, changed by the needs of man. The power of thought, the magick of the mind!

We became Álfar.

Made into this word of man, this world of men, their belief shaped us anew, shifting our forms as they changed their minds as to what we were. The destruction was a creation.  Reified, the naming gave us substance.  In the minds and mouths of humans we were given flesh - clothed in their word-form. How strange they are with their need to name, but words hold power and once they spoke our new name aloud they held dominion over us.


Their voices called us forth from the tree in the wood, the flower on the tundra, the pool-stirring breeze. 

Fashioned from fen and forest, sedge and waterway.

Moulded from  mountain and cliff, valley and grove.

Shaped from sea and shore, fjord and pasture.

The pain this caused us was fleeting in mortal terms, though it is a wound we shall bear until the End Of All Things. 

So we stepped into the world, our immortal forms in the guise of our creators. From Álfheimr we slipped through doorways onto the mortals’ plane.  Out of the earth we came; out of darkness we brought our Light into Manheimr.   Our purpose changed too, no longer soothing the base sufferance of human existence, but a required finesse as humanity created wonders – art, music, song... our magick became theirs, born out of their connection with nature.

Humanity grew, and changed. And that which we had invested so much energy and love in could not be left to wither and fade.  Our brightness was both a gift to mortals and a curse to Elfkind and in time we became earthbound as with their craftsmanship came beautiful bonds.  The subtle chains of servitude.

Some Elves left, abandoning their kin and mankind - returning forever to Álfheimr, returning to dwell in tree and rock and pool. The rest of us stayed, hopeful we could exist in harmony, always attempting bring beauty and love, trying to share Elf-nature –bringing them out of themselves as they brought us into the world.   

No more could the brilliance of our Vril refresh and sustain the land, the water or the air.  Steel and steam, glass and greed, iron and anger - such is the stuff of human life now.  We could not inhabit these forms of matter, so our energies waned. 

And so began the debilitation of the earth and the necessity for repetition of our countless rebirths in mortal form.  Once we were nature, now we are a dying culture.  There is no longer a need for us, nor a belief in our kind.  Yet we still walk the earth clad in the thick meat of human bodies, our outer brightness burned away through the monotony of myriad mortal lives. We are still immortal though many of us have forgotten our true nature and dwell evanescent, content in their endless repetitions, caught in the same traps as the wights we first came to aid.

I hold onto the knowledge that our inner essence remains truly Light. And when I and the other Ljósálfr leave these bodies with this understanding, we shall return to Elfhome and exist once again as pure energy - sustaining, renewing, loving. Freed at last from this point in space and time, I shall be unfettered from these cycles of Doing, able to just Be... MysElf.