Freya Goldhearted

Worship the petals of my sex, my fragrant little sister,

rub the goddess marigolds onto my heaving bosom!

Make love to me by living! Speak in delight at my name!

I am Freya Goldenhearted! Witchblood seidhrkona of old!

I taught Odin his tricks, I taught Loki his names, and from

Folkvangr, I can see through the fractals of my swords and

warriors, brave women bold, sweet men soft as Ingvi-Freyr,

to the end of Fimbulwinter, through sheer fire and ice! I will

emerge in Hel’s cold fires, I will walk on alone into Baldur’s

new reign, and Heith is my witch name, Gullveig my shield name!

It was I that spoke the Voluspa, I that told Ottar his deeds, I searched

for Od and wept fragile honey blossoms, I am femininity wild and lustful,

sweet yet somber yet flirtatious as sin, only I know no sin, for I am holy.

So let us make love, little sister, raise your fragrant rose to my chrysanthemum.

Sing ecstasy in my name and dance the dance of volvas, pound your skald staff

into the roots of Yggdrasil and churn the cosmos with my Norns after my direction.

We will hail Yule and the Disir, come the Disablot! My ladies, Hela’s ladies, Frigg’s.

We are the Three, We are Holy. Hela. Freya. Frigg. Crone. Maiden. Mother. We see

all between Asgard, Vanaheim, and Helheim, and every woman has a pinch of us!

Odin gambles all away for glory, but I count my cards, roll my knucklebones, and feast.

Honey on my tongue, pollen in my hair, brass on my  brow, beeswax sweet my fire.

Loki speaks too soon, I measure my words, I am the prize of the gods, sought by Giants.

I am mead sweet on the lip. Poetry in my fallen. Valkyries in my wake. Shieldmaiden.

Thor would trade the worlds for a thrash at Jormungandr. I strike only the fatal blow.

I am Death. I am Deliverance. I am Mountain. I am Mystery. I am Falcon. I am Founder.

Know my names well, know your Dead, count the jewels in my hall and laughter wise.

We have pastimes aplenty, and fish from Noatun, and boars from Alfheim, we feast!

Seek out your fortune in my name, my daughters, and remember, I am All that Is.

 

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Gangleri of the Grove

Oh wise Old Bastard, from the raven’s feet on your eyes

I can see the wisdom paths of the mad king, hanging

spear-wounded while nursing bloody mead, flow to

the rivers of Helheim with me and grant me the path

of the wanderer, hail in your hair, gray storm beard,

out of all the troths I have pledged, to you, my lightning.

Love You

You are my everything, my Book of Life
my cornerstone, and I get drunk on you.
Your breath is my air, your arms my home.
I want to build you a castle of words and
give your dreams safe refuge in paper print
lanterns, so we can go floating up to the
crown of the nine realms on magic runes,
and the gods flicker like stars, and I eat
Idunna’s apples every time we kiss in those
Yggdrasil heights. Gollinkambi crows your
glory, my king, and it is you who reigns
jarl over my bone, blood, and flushed lips.
I am still so drunk off your poetry, so
enchanted by your galdr after over a year,
when I examine my wyrd, it is a throne for
your glory, my magician, my heirophant,
Odr, be with me or I will wander and weep
tears of gold over you, strangled by amber
sweet.

Apples and Hearts

The apple falls, and Newton thinks, thus
is gravity love, love, the tender organ
that bound the spear to Jesus Christ’s
Immaculate Heart – when the Eucharistic
Mysteries turn bread and wine to blood
and cardiac flesh, and Eve ate no apple,
but the flesh of God, and wore His skin.
The rays of Divine Mercy are heady tonight,
like the Aurora Borealis, they remind me
of the Great Northern Lights because Jesus
is freshly fallen snow in an apple orchard.
Hearts are apples, apples are hearts, and
apple pie the Pilgrims ate, breaking bread
with those they called savages, and yet the
Cherokee and Lenape and Powhatan and Cree
were more enlightened for they walked in
the garden of gardens, great wilderness of
the Puritan’s Shining City on a Hill, and at
William and Mary, the Indian School cut off
their hair and abducted the children, and the
ghost boys still run across the Sunken Gardens,
suspended three feet in the air, the boy runs
screaming for his lost parents until his feet
are bone and all the apple trees are bare and
he hungers for some sort of justice, but God
is not about justice, God is about letting the
Land of Nod swallow nonbelievers and faithless,
or those of other faiths, and the Indian Boy
died under a wicked apple tree, and there are
gardens in Heaven of the dead, and my ancestors
and ancestresses were once like him, converted
by Charlemagne’s sword, yet my forefather Saint
Olaf was a bloodthirsty mongrel of crazy Yngling
stock, I have Odin’s mad frenzy and Saint Vladimir
the Great to claim as great-great-grandfathers, for
my progenitor Ragnar died in a pit of asps laughing,
and Vikings were just as bloody as the British
colonizing with smallpox blankets, raping and
pillaging, and mine is a cursed orchard, and mine
is blood of rotten apple wine, rancid hard cider,
gather the white blossoms of the crab apple tree
and tell me, no fruit grows in the land of the dead.

Fin Troll

I sit with Freyja Golden-Tears on top of a barrow mound

pour barley beer and hops of spring in honor of Ingvi,

Freyr blossoms like a snowdrop, white, resplendent,

and we talk long of summer days and strawberry wine.

Thor walks out from the raspberry brambles, lips bitter

with the taste of early fruits, he delights in the sun,

god of thunder ruddy bearded with his April rain.

Odin carries Gungnir Ever-true and parts lush ivy,

a storm brews, the Fin troll tramples the sea, I take

Thor’s hammer and turn troll to stone at dawn,

he a cathedral pillar, giant who would usurp Asgard.

Old Man Wednesday

Alfather, my old friend, hail to you on this winter day.

I give thanks for your blessing, I give thanks for toil.

For it is in respite we can count the fruits of our labor.

We sit in Asgard as the spring draws long days afresh

from the frost, and petals are already blooming.  I hail

your patronage, all the tricks of poetry and magic you

have gifted me, and we talk long over spiced mead of

the duty of kings, and how in the death of your son,

you found renewal, a new purpose, but above all,

peace – losing the greatest thing you had meant that

there was nothing left to give, a twisted freedom that.

Hela will not let you in to her table Hunger, where

Balder feasts with Nanna and grandchildren that you

will never know, but there is a kind of surrender in

making peace with death, Grimnaldi, and you have a

bet with the Norns – who will go first?  Necessity or Need.

You call yourself Masked King to me, Hooded Ruler,

for a regent wears many faces – Wanderer, Warrior,

Sage and Spearman.  On Mani’s day, I knitted myself

a cloak of Ansuz, powered by your witchlight, and I

have slept under its protection ever since, rest I have

never tasted – a galdr you burned on my bones in

beautiful blue fire, your cloak over my shoulders,

for we are both insomniacs, to musing you succumb.

All your epithets and epigraphs penned to death, you

simply listen to your skald, who will tell her own tales

in time, and the crops send out taproots, and Freyr

courts Maiden Spring – your Wild Hunt rests, and it

is a time of frith – you were never good at peace in your

young days, but sweet Frigga taught you the value of

patience – not in this life, but perhaps a next one, you

will see your son again, and sweet grandbabes will

greet Old Man North, and ride pony on his lap, at last.

Blood Brothers

Loki and Odin Blood Brothers

Scarlip and the Old Bastard go way back, sweet-tooth,
see them dancing in the rain under an abandoned train,
watch them scooping sparrow eggs to fry up for food,
they cast runes to woo the maidens, Loki with elvin
songs on his guitar of ash wood, Odin the shaman drum.
Blood brothers, mud brothers, river brothers, stone.
They mixed lips and wine and gore in a damp summer,
a ragtime summer, and they wander the Nine Worlds,
only to find crows, ravens, vultures, snakes, wolves.
Flamehair and Greyhair. Alfather and Father of Monsters.
One sage, one shady, none saint. Deal us your finest
cigars, bartender, another glass, we toast our kinship
on this darkest winter night, memories play like storms.

Epigraph of the Wanderer

Inked on my hand in charcoal swaying
is the Ancient Wanderer, silent hang
from a yew that bends with sweet sap.

His one good eye a forgotten breeze,
his hands like tines raking the dirt,
searching past waterfalls for language.

There is a lightning swastika sun,
an emblem once holy, now cursed,
his corpse is blood-drunk but holy.

Blindi can see with more than nerves,
for his bones are in the web of wyrd,
now a Runic rock carving on my skin.

Allie’s Lokasenna for Dummies, Part 1:

Odin: “You womanly man, remember when you spent years underground as a milkmaid, Loki!”

Loki: “Well high and mighty Alfather, at least I didn’t crossdress as a sorceress and travel the world as a woman!”

Frigga: “Can we all PLEASE forget about your homoerotic drunken youth, guys? We’re at a fancy feast…”

Odin and Loki: “NO!”

– Allie’s Lokasenna for Dummies

Old Man Wonderland

Written at 17, from my earliest memories of the Alfather.

“Goodnight moon,” I whisper.
I am three. I dream.
That night my crib opens
and becomes a ladder to the sky.
Stuffed ducks in hand, I climb it,
blanket around me like a shawl.

I climb up to the sky
I float and laugh and dream
playing with falling stars
alone in the beautiful blue,
I sleep in the curve of the moon.

Old Man watches with eyes
the blue of the storm and sea
He watches over me.
His laugh is deep and hearty
I yelp in surprise and blush,
hide like a fawn behind a cloud
But He bids me to play with him
He looks like the Saint Nicholas man
who comes each December and puts clementines in my boots
so of course I have to trust him.

I sing my stories and songs
Wonderful things I made in my head
I crave his adoration.
Old Man listens, more than indulgent
I bask in his affection
And keep on telling them.

He reads me story books
Has the stars dance to send me dreams
He is master of raconteurs and wanderers,
his traveler’s cloak stuffed full of tales.

He weaves things from the wind and clouds,
bringing my dreams to life
I laugh as I dance amongst them,
young, pink-cheeked and open.

When I’m tired, I cling to his knee
knowing he is the safest place in the world.
I love Old Man like a grandfather,
with his stately beard and crow lined-eyes,
laugh lines are etched in his skin,
deep like cracks in the sidewalk.

He rubs me with his beard, and I laugh,
steal his hat, and run off with his winds.

And I, who was almost named Snorri,
have bleach blond hair to my waist
I’m bait for elves and trolls.
I frolic in leaf piles and forest,
wander across cliffs and the sea.

I grow up. I sometimes forget him.
But his touch is all around me
Grandfather’s beard in the clouds

Old Man is the brine and gale.
He is sea and sky and wind.
The North and soft snowfall
At night, he rides the storm.

He is Nereus, Odin, Njord,
The god with the big white beard.
Nicholas, Mannanan Mac Llyr
He wears a lot of hats.

But really, he’s just Old Man.
My Old Man of the Sea
The Elder of the Crossroads
He smells like pine and New England.

He looks like a lobsterman,
The perched crow on my shoulder,
there are riddles and pipes in his beak.

He had bone-aches when the world was born
And now I’m a hypochondriac,
I share my imaginary ailments with him.

“I think I’m getting arthritis, Old Man.”
“Look at how my wrist creaks!”
“I’ve been writing too much again.”
The writing is his gift, I think.

He looks at me askance, smile crooked
“Knowledge is pain,” he laughs quietly
It sounds like thunder behind clouds.
“Trust me, girl, I know.”

We’re in the beautiful blue again,
The stars sing, and I know they’re angels.
I wave at the ones I know.
The Milky Way is his road
he walks it with staff and cloak.

Galaxies dance around us, gods dart to and fro
Squabbling as they always do
Beautiful in their petulance
He smiles at them, then moves on

Always moving on.

I can barely keep up.

His wanderings- they’re like the moon.

“Did you know, Old Man” I say,
“I used to think this place was Disneyland?”
“When I played here as a kid.”
“I thought you were Mickey Mouse.”

He crooks his head over his shoulder,
runs his fingers through his beard:
“Do I look like Mickey Mouse?”

“No, but there was a commercial in the 90s.
These kids wished on a star
To go to Disneyland.
And the star falls into their hands,
and the star- it took them there.”

“When I was a kid,
I’d stare out my window,
waiting for stars to fall.
But you know what?”

“What?” he asks.

“I had it all along.”

He smiles, points at my heart:
A young star dances within,
glowing blue with wonder.

He snaps his fingers. It disappears.

I grin ruefully. ”I never got to go.”
But this place, Old Man? It’s better.
It’s worth all the Disneylands in the world.”

“And I’m going to need your staff soon,
Because I am getting old.
My back will bend like a willow,
And I’ll wear a hat like yours.”

“And someday, you’ll be young to me
and you’ll carry me then, like a child
So I can travel with you
The old lady on your back.”

“And when all my days have fallen,
Old Man, you’ll be at the prow,
and we’ll sail across the sea together.”

“Together, we’ll go home.”