Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Odin's day Night

Odin’s day Night

I wrap a poor turn 
of grizzled hope
around the moon
so frayed
I wrap it in the too 
opulent velvet 
of a voice
so dark
singing the

sagas of inamoratas
journeys' endings
baldur's fall
monks' canted fragments
figments of
gods and demons
queens and fools
past and future
love and death

The night sky is freckled
with perseid’s white splash,
droplets of star burning
strained through the alembic
of a staring nullity
defining my preterition,
sizzling like the rasp
of some old god’s laugh
rough from a silence
passing paleology.

How their light runs
fleet suns of Perseus
skittering across
night’s spread table
a howl on the ripped nail
of moon splintering

on Odin’s day
night is remote
as the face behind 
a blue electric vow, 
close as
the corvine quark
tumbling sable japes.

That laughter in the air, 
yelling from the beaks of crows   
falls high above 

beyond the circling light;
how the void must ring with it
time out of mind

August 2011


  1. First, I am in love with the language of this poem (inamoratas, alembic, nullity, preterition, paleology, covine). This alone sent me into immense joy. As ever, you give so much more in the multivalent layers. An unkindness of ravens alighted upon us last year. The indigo blackness against the creamy white Aspens was one I will never forget. I don't know if they brought us wisdom as they served the shamanic process of Odin but they certainly exuded sentient presence. I'm glad I caught this before succumbing to the night. Also, your reply to my comment yesterday was full of your excellent wit (last bit was fantastic).

  2. Oldest prayers only suffice for our present and future agonies: Nothing to be done for those dungbots in Washington (or candiates like Rick Perry who say there's no durn thing as oil-company-inflicted global warming), but that doesn't mean there is no room left for rapture and remembrance. Ymir, first Giant, was a tower of ice whose shatter became Rime Giants (your ancestors), his blue crown the stars. His race was defeated by Odin, but the next god (and o how we have need of next gods) kept the music, a music which is inside the 21st century schizoid physic of this song. We are the preterit, passed over, by those ever-more-distant stars: and yet, and yet, the primal bond -- call it instinct, or mythic memory deep in the brainstem, or the mere consolation of metric sonorous words -- is a silver perpetual, here for the taking, the bathing on nights whose distances yearn the harp-strings of our longing. The magic may last only in the writing - and the reading -- but I'll take a case of it, thank you. I think I'll go outside and bathe my face in His day's night of stars. Thank you. - Brendan

  3. I love the language too. The first stanza knocks me out. The stars as freckles is an amazing image.

    Did you realize you wrote and posted this on Wednesday, the day of the week named for Odin? When you and Brendan post mythologies, I have to look them up for the backstory. So, I just learned a bit about Odin, and his other name Wodanaz (Proto-Germanic, whatever that is), for which Wednesday is named.

  4. wow this is lovely all the touches to to many of the myths that i am familiar with...i grew up on them...both you and brendan have a way of bringing them alive...have to agree on the language as well...wont lie, had to look a few things up....

  5. I had to look a few things up, too. One thing is for sure, you are no "ordinary goddess"!

    My husband and I will be going to our area's annual Star Party on August 27th...and I will be thinking of this poem.

  6. Aye, you always make the gods proud when you write these words but since the Norns weave and Saga drinks with ol' one eye, I'm sure you already knew that.

    Great work, I tweeted it since it is my favoritest subject of all time (and it saved my life, I'll have to go into that one day if you haven't heard of it). Wonderful words, subdued and dark, stoic and accepting of what is and what will be.

  7. The night sky and it's magic has never been so beautifully expressed, hedgewitch. We managed to see a few of the gorgeous meteors (full moon be damned), but then the clouds rolled in. It's an annual outing for my daughter and I.

  8. Thanks all--just a quick response as there are crews outside digging all over the place still repairing the power lines after our outages, and I could be cut off at any time.

    @LV: Glad you liked, and a flagon of mead and a tale of life's harrowing would always be welcome any time you want to bard it to me. You know where I live.

    @Brian--glad you enjoyed, and I feel it's my responsibility to drive you to the dictionary at least once a week. ;-)

    @Anna: thanks for getting into the primal sludge with me, and laughing like kids in a mudfight is a *good* thing sometimes.

    @B: This is more of a personal plaint than political, an old one, ongoing, that never seems to run out of new twists of the knife. Stars aren't meant to be caught, songs may be captured, but never voices, hope is always frayed and the Giants always fall. Still, I'm glad the stars and odin's night bring you peace, friend, and not the pieces of eternal puzzle they freight for me.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats