And so the grim, grave Norns, those horned crones,
being truth-speakers of elder age,
upended their pouch of knucklebones
to cast the future upon its stage;
clad in grey cloaks in haggard cloth
to conceal the gaunt want of Winter’s moods
while their hair frosts like Icelandic froth
that limn the cold Northern latitudes;
whose voices are as the cracking fjords
or chill winds through whispery trees,
promising wealth, fame, or rallying hordes
for or against—forking destinies.
And all heroes must come to mortal ends,
as folk small or great, pauper to king,
at the mercy of the Wyrding trends,
echoing on in songs Man may sing.
Nor will the gods outlast the Twilight
when forces of chaos rise again,
and though the Aesir rally to fight,
the Norns have decreed they cannot win.
For like the bones with which they cast
to read runes and know what is now come,
the future is written by the past:
bones of gods from a fallen kingdom.
And Baldur falls, though born of glory,
and Thor also, venom in his veins,
and Odin himself, his famed story
coming to an end after great pains.
For ambition is a steed running strong,
a horse named Greyfell that carries far
and yet always to an end, ere long,
as Skuld snaps the reins neath a fell star.

Nordic Skies

Hooves within the thunderstorm stampede,
hammering the black anvil of night,
rain falling like Valhalla mead
as clashing blades spark bolts all alight.

The gods are feasting in honor of war,
hobnobbing drunkenly amongst themselves:
Odin, Heimdall, and the thunderous Thor
with mortals, dwarves, Valkyries and dark elves.

With their fists the drinkers drum the wood planks,
shaking goblets, plates, and many a bone,
and thrum their chests and give many thanks
to Odin for claiming them as his own.

The sonorous spaces of Valhalla boom
with merrymaking and bitter barroom brawls,
like the sky itself, knowing so much room
that battlefields of men can enjoin its Halls.

A bard is commanded to strike the lute
and sing a sweet song in honor of Death
and as he strums, all others fall mute
to hear the bard’s faintest lullaby breath.

“You, warriors among these hallowed Halls,
have your fill of milk and honey and roast
to honor having answered the calls
to war, and so wish now a goodly boast.”

“And a boast I will give, equal to measure
of your worth now, your bodies gone to rot
so the worms may feast, at their leisure,
or else you were burned to ash and to naught.”

“Regardless of honor, your lives are forfeit,
some of you slain at home, some in foreign lands,
and the most you may boast for good of it
is that you grow flowers plucked by a child’s hands.”

The thunderstorms subside at long last
and the clouds move on, the sky now clear,
and the stars shine bright, moonbeams cast
while fog ghosts mourn and the Dawn draws near.