Category Archives: Poetry

Guest Piece: “Mani’s Army” by Sparrow

I really love this poem, so much so that I asked permission to post it here. Mani is awesome and definitely protects His own. 🙂

Mani’s Army
by Sparrow

We are Mani’s army.
We are the dispossessed, the weak, and the vulnerable,
We are children, the mentally ill, and the lonely,
We are misfits, outcasts, and off casts.

Polite society laughs at us and thinks we have no power,
Bullies torture us with their cruel words and deeds.

Little do they know that Mani protects us and guides us.
He wraps us in his silver cloak,
Whispers archaic spells in our ears while we sleep,
Watches us from the heavens,
And from the shadows when He is the Dark Moon God.
We are His beloved children.

When the time comes for Ragnarök,
We will fight on whichever side Mani chooses,
(There is some debate on which side this ancient Jotan will choose!).
We will use the weapons He has given us,
We will use the magic He has shared with us,
And we will fight like the crazy motherfuckers we are!
We will make so Him proud.

This is the least we can do for the Moon God who has given us so much
And accepted us as one of His own.

A Sneak Peak – exclusive for my readers. :)

Sannion is working on a new book but he’s not been posting any previews. This morning, however, I talked him into letting me share this one, based on what happened in our hof last weekend. I cannot wait for the whole book to be out!

 Something to Sing About

by H. Jeremiah Lewis

I’m perched on the edge of my seat,
my whole body rocking to the rhythm
of the drum as the apprentice of the Vitki
cleanses pollution and bad vibrations
from the room, while another sings
an Anglo-Saxon fire song,
circumambulating with a beeswax
pillar candle on a red and black plate.
I can see the face of world-breaking Loki
dancing in the flame,
and behind the apprentice,
as he winds serpentwise round the shrines
burning away the dross in the air,
a legion of those who fell in defense
of their blood and soil and ancestral traditions
against the encroachments of the giant
tyrant Charlemagne, stand at his back
lending their potency to his words and deeds.
Another passes by, sprinkling everything with
ivy-leaf chernips – everything including
the husband of the Vitki, who growls
wolfishly and shakes his head
when the holy drops splash him.
The girl smiles and rushes to finish the room,
as he goes back to chanting, “Nothing can be
so firmly bound – by illness, by wrath or by fortune –
that cannot be released by the Lord Dionysos,”
and shakes a femur rattle.
The Vitki is not home.
Oh, her body is standing right there
before all of them, savagely beautiful
with shaved head, white
ash upon her face and Runes inscribed
in red ochre, blue and silver
Evil Eye charms dangling from her ears,
white shirt, black pants and a red belt
strung with bells and charms,
amulets and chaplets,
and a hand-forged blót knife
sheathed at her side.
She is pacing about like a brooding,
impatient bear who has a hell of a lot to say
and there’s a set of knucklebones,
a pad of paper, and a pen
just sitting right there on the table
waiting for him, so let’s get to it.
Oh fuck. Odin’s not just making a direct call
– he’s here, in the flesh so to speak.
The Vitki’s husband is already shooing
the apprentices out of the room, drilling
them on what will need to be done
by way of aftercare. This is a spontaneous
possession, with no time for prep.
And Odin enters rough.
I sit on the floor facing him,
give a respectful nod,
and prepare to act as sacred scribe,
as I have so many times,
and for so many mediums before.
His voice, when it comes, is crabby
and cold like the gnarled branch
of a cemetery tree after an overlong winter,
like an old man who deals in philtres,
herblore, abortions, bindings and unbindings,
does strange things with animal bits
and has suffered much to come
by his dark knowledge.
Most of all he is like something
that has gone mad on the battlefield,
and stopped being entirely human.
It was an effort to maintain eye-contact
with him as he didn’t quite sing
and didn’t quite speak
and didn’t quite caw
or furiously roar
or rant or rage
with the voice that remade
the raw viscera of his father’s corpse
into the ordered world we inhabit
– but it wasn’t not like all of that either.
No matter how experienced you are
it is always fucking nuts sitting
face to face with your Gods.
Especially when they have as much to say
as Odin did that night.
And also, he was pissed
– like p-i-s-s-e-d pissed –
especially when a little black ant
scuttled into view.
He leaned down and galdered at it.
Odin’s voice was terrible,
violent, mad, like
the shriek of a sword
or a beast’s claws
scratching at the door
– and the creature withered up on the spot.
I knew more was going on behind the curtain,
so I closed my eyes and there in the dark
stood Odin the Slaughterer, Gallows Meat,
the King upon his Mound, Storm-Bringer,
and Warlord.
He held his spear up in greeting
and dangling from it was the corpse
of a thing that looked like an ant
but was the size of a large dog.
It did not always look that way
– we had seen its various forms
over the last couple weeks,
in our restless sleep,
as shadowy movement
out of the corner our eyes,
as the smell of shit and random spikes
in anxiety, depression and surliness
for no discernible reason,
and once as a nag with no head
standing in the mist beyond our yard.
Before I could express my gratitude
I was snapped back to myself by the Vitki
who was seething and singing
how the Runes were revealed
on the wind-swept Tree,
and I oathed to the Old Man
right there on the spot
that I would make poetry of the story
to thank him for protecting
the members of our household,
who are dearer to me than my birth family.
And so I have. I pray, Lord, may I, my Vitki
and our apprentices be always
safe, secure, prepared and immune
to the snares and attacks of our foes
in this and the other worlds,
so that our household may be
a welcoming place for you
and the Gods and Spirits
who stand with you always,
with plentiful offerings,
everflowing libations,
and acts of worship beyond counting
to please your hearts.

Second, Third, and Fourth submissions to Morpheus’ Agon

He who gives me what I rarely remember
by Grant

Morpheus, Great God of Dreams, I have a question to ask of you:
Why do I so rarely remember my dreams?

I know that I do dream; all humans do, even my kind.
And yet, I so rarely remember mine.

And what I do remember is so tantalizing, it draws me back to sleep,
To trade the mundane of waking life for the majesty of dream.

Perhaps that is why Morpheus, in His Divine wisdom,
does not allow me to remember my dreams.

For the Gods are above us, and their gifts are Theirs to parcel out as needed.
And that has always been the way of things; though our society refuses to acknowledge it.
I understand that truth – I learned it a dream I do remember.

And now I hail He who gives me what I rarely remember.
Hail Morpheus!

 

My Dead, of whom I can always dream
by Grant

Perhaps someone who does not live the veneration of the Dead,
Might naively believe that those who do never feel the pain of loss.
Sadly, that is not the case.

Indeed, some days – in my opinion – it is even worse;
We talk as though face to face, with those who have traveled to that undiscovered country,
And that makes it all the more terrible when we cannot feel their comforting touch again,
When their presence is spiritual, rather than physical,
When their voices are the muffled moans of the buried Dead.

But all praise be, to the Great God of Dreams.
For Morpheus, so noble is He,
He who allows us mortals the gift of dreams.
And we can always meet our Dead in our dreams.
And feel their touch again. And smell their smell again.
And hear their voices with our ears, not just our hearts.

 

Musing on Morpheus, Mnemosyne, and Mortality
by Grant

The God of Dreams and the Goddess of Memories – what is the connection?
And why do thoughts of both come into my mind in connection with my Dead?

The Author of the dreams that drive us,
The Mother of the Muses who inspire us;
What is the connection?

To sleep, perchance to dream, now, that is the question;
But what is the connection?

As I ponder this, another question enters my mind:
Do the Dead dream?

The answer is, most likely, known only to the Dead themselves.
But the living are at least allowed to speculate.
And when I speculate, I feel another question enter my mind:
Are those who dream, not dead to this world while they dream?

Perhaps.

For what is a dream, but one of two things:
A vision sent onto the sleeping by the Holy Powers;
The brain’s attempt to process random electrical discharges within it during sleep,
as influenced by the memories it contains.

And thus – the Connection.

Morpheus, the God of Dream. Mnemosyne, the Goddess of Memory.
Both are Deities of the Mind.
Both are tangentially connected to Mortality.

When we dream with the dead, we must thank Morpheus.
When we dream of the dead, we must thank Mnemosyne.

My praise to Morpheus!
Hail He who allows us to dream with our dead.
My praise to Mnemosyne!
Sing for She who allows us to remember our dead.

Day I : To Loki

You rose up from the primordial grime
hand in hand with Your brothers,
savage yet determined fury
under the light of a cold-bladed moon.
You destroyed Your ancestor,
ruined Him, the indolent breeder,
clotted up his gaping maw
silenced his screeching snores and groans
that ever rattled the wyrm-like field.
You swept it all away and from his bones
built anew, a web of worlds-
bleak in their youth, rich in their promise,
rising and shining in the boughs of the Tree.
You made of his screams a symphony,
bone beautiful and clean.
There was no remorse in You
but elation, satisfaction.
Let there be no remorse in me either,
for the things that I must do
in devotion.
Hail to You, Loður,
Whose blood stained fingers
painted our flesh a lively hue.

 

 

(by G. Krasskova)

An Old Poem: Godspouse

I recently found this piece of poetry that I wrote several years ago. It’s a good way to start the new year. 

Godspouse

To be wed to a God
is incineration.

It is a mauling,
a joyous evisceration.

It is the agony of knowing
that human flesh is weak:
one can never be fully filled
completely with one’s God.
We claw our way forward anyway,
addicts aching for our next fix;
and the merest breath of His presence
strengthens us, makes us whole,
sates that terrible hunger for a time.

But only for a time.
We are all virgins here,
no matter from whence we come.
There is no experience like that of being claimed,
no penetration quite so deep,
as being taken up by the Gallows God;
taken, from the inside out, and outside in.
But I don’t think anyone claimed by Him was ever innocent.
He devoured that before we even knew it was there and found it sweet.

How does one wed a God, you ask?

Vows are whispered in urgency and need,
hunger, desire, and the agony of separation.
“I will love You and serve You always,
in each and every way You ask.
I will be whatever it is You need me to be
all for the barest taste of You;”
and then You delight and pour Yourself into me.
I lose my place in the restrictive fabric of being for a time.
The joy is too great.
If only if were that simple.

Here’s how it went:

I brought a dowry of courage and raw, ruthless pain,
of hunger, and an uncompromising will to serve.
I brought passion and promise,
and a thousand possibilities
all marked and tumbled with a warrior’s pride.
I brought stubborn commitment
and a terrified love.
It was enough.

My courting gifts were many, too many to easily count.
I did not know how lavish my Bridegroom had been
until seeing His paltry gifts to another.
It awes and frightens me even now.
We pay in service for every gift. That is wyrd and
He was generous, this God who loves the storm,
and hungers always to devour knowledge.
I did what any besotted bride would do:
I opened my arms in welcome,
to His hunger for devouring me too.

Love like this is the slim sweet shaft of a blade
pressed deeply between the ribs in the dark.

Love like this is the iron jawed maw of a hunter’s snare
From which the predator has no escape.

Love like this gnaws belly to bone,
Shredding the heart like ravaged meat on the butcher’s slab.

You might think this is a terrible thing.
It is not.
It is beauty beyond comprehension
but the cage of my words
is too frail and weak a thing
to contain the reality of this intoxication,
to capture the richness of my ensnarement,
to convey the holiness of this bliss.
I must use those words that strip away the trite,
that penetrate beyond our human shallowness;
even if those words are ugly and harsh.
He is like that too sometimes: obliteration.

If this is madness, then I shall be mad.
If it is delusion I shall count myself lucky to be so deluded.
Maybe instead I shall laugh, and dance and whirl and spit–
because my body is not strong enough
to contain the depth of the joy my Husband brings.
And because those who would demand I ‘come to my senses’
have not had their senses kissed by the cold fire of this God.
Pity them
and then let me tell you how it is.
I am His bride and His whore,
His servant and His valkyrie,
the meat He grinds between His teeth,
the wine with which he salts His palate.
I am whatever He needs me to be.
I’ll kiss that knife that slides into my heart gleefully,
cavort and caper wantonly
in whatever way brings Him satisfaction.
My joy at being His bride is as vast and great
as the Gap from which His ancestors sprung.
If that be called madness, that is a small enough price to pay
to take within me His storm.

By Galina Krasskova 

Poetry interlude

blood wise, bone keen, wrapped in the arms of the dead

Look to the tales your grandparents told,
of wolves in woods
sleeping virgins
whispering spirits
there is power there
and wisdom to guide you on your way
through all the terrifying places
you may have to walk.
There is light and fire
and the warmth of knowing
iron-scented ash
and the courage to meet the Gods
of our deepest dreaming
in wonder
rather than fear.

(by G. Krasskova)

A Moment of Poetry

Caste System

I will wear the marks of my Gods proudly.
Let there be no mistaking where my allegiances lie.
My skin will proclaim it.
My clothes will tell you.
I will not be emptied of Them.
I will not forsake Their mysteries.
There is nothing you could offer me,
that would cause me to swallow lies.
Nothing you possess that would ever
tear me from Their service.
I bring Them wherever I walk.
My very flesh is a doorway
through which They may reach.
Make no mistake:
Offerings provide fertile ground
for devotion to flourish.
Remember this, when you ask me to trade
the emptiness of the secular modern
for the glory of Their revelation.
Some of us have not forgotten
The faces of our ancestors
The whisper of our Gods
The honor of Their cultus
and our duty to those yet to come.
What weight is a bit of flesh
for such a promise?
Like our Gods, we remember.

For Mani – Thinking of Him Today

ManiPoemFinal-1 copy

For Loki

In the blistering furnace of our hearts,
may You be hailed.
In the fierce rantings of mind and memory,
may You be hailed.
In the tumultuous storm of our senses,
may we gasp, and chant, and sing Your praises.
May our lips burn with whispered adorations to You.
May our bodies shake in the onslaught of Your presence.
Where You are honored, there be in all of Your glory.
Where You are reviled, there also be,
and work Your cunning wiles.
May You ever be the unquiet thought,
the unruly impulse, the unwary stirring
of holy cravings, the longing for internal revolution,
the descant-mad, dervish-driven
prophetic-spewing roar that drives us
ever and always, unceasingly, unmercifully
into the arms of our own liberation.
Hail Loki, Liberator,
cunning, wild, and wise.
May You ever be hailed.

 

(by G. Krasskova)

Enough

I sit in class and listen to my professor
a kind, erudite, and educated man
call my gods ‘stupid’.

To the south a man lays down his life
when Christians demand he desecrate his shrines.

I sit in classes and argue with seminarians
who tell me polytheists never had theology

And in Syria a girl is raped and stoned
Because her brother discovered she was pious
but not to Allah.

How much theology does one need?

I listen to you shame our philosophers
by damning them to atheism,
by denying the piety embedded in their every word.

And your cousins in the desert
Destroy polytheistic tribes,
Selling their women to slavery.

I pick up the pieces in those of your flock
Who have found no solace beneath your shepherd’s rod.
I dry their tears, salve their wounds and lead them back,
to a better way, the way their ancestors knew
before you came. I clean up the infection.

It is enough to make me wish to burn down your world.
It is enough to make me yearn for the edifices of your certainty
To be savaged to dust.

Enough.

Your faith is a butchery.
Your religion is a lie.
(If you could count, you’d know this).

MY people invented theology.
Our sacred tales and the weavings of poets
Inspired by Gods and muses alike
Laid the foundations for the world
That you later stole.

We saw no need to tear down your shrines.
We saw no need to anathematize your God.
But we should have.
Rome should have been more diligent
And then maybe we would have been spared
The plague that you and your children have become.

The Pagans in Lyon knew the truth.
So did the Saxons generations later.
We see you clearly for what you are.
One day, we will see you turn to ash
And we’ll salt the earth in your passing.

Enough.

 

 

(by G. Krasskova)