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In Flanders Fields
by Major John McCrae, MD

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

poppy_fields_1170x461

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For Apollon

I want to write for You
the kind of poems
where the words burn,
dancing through synapses,
flickering over eyes,
igniting on the tongue,
where they sizzle and crackle in the mind
like a bonfire,
blazing and blistering through consciousness
until one emerges transformed.
I want to capture some of the sense
of terror and danger, ecstasy and
aching, desperate hunger
that You evoke whenever You are
even faintly near,
the way my belly lurches with anticipation
and breath suddenly seems so very hard to gain.
I want to capture something
of the simmering burn
I can all but taste
in Your presence.

If words were enough though
our hearts would never know
what it is like to unfold,
like a fragile sometimes ragged blossom
trembling and terrified
longing too
in the Presence of a God.

No brighter thing in my darkness,
Hekatos, Paian than You,
and the cry of Your name,
head thrown back
world awash in white fire
restores.

(by G. Krasskova)

A Poem for Odin

Scent Trails

Someone asked me once
if i could sense by scent
when You are near.
They wanted to know,
they said,
what the musk and aroma of a God
might be.

I had to stop.

How to put these things into words?
The vocabulary has not been invented yet.

You are so many things:

the smell of a place where many have died
the darkness of mystery – dank and bloodwarm,
the tang of the sky at the peak of a storm
and the howling of its winds if such sound
could carry with it keen-sharp scent.

You are steel in the cold,
the silent winter’s night
when not even the fiercest of beasts
dares roam
but all watch
with glittering eyes from their lairs:
They too are wary of Your passing.

Yours is the smell of savagery
cunning, and an ecstasy
so deep
worlds were born
in the wake of its devastation.
I cannot hold it,
not even to craft a drop of its essence
into words.

You are the presence
on the battlefield
a century after the last man fell,
the savor of remembrance
the shattering laughter,
a roar in the void,
and the echo of its silence.

You are fury,
oh that monk was right:
you indeed are fury
the glorious, joyous savagery
at the moment two armies meet in battle
at the moment you penetrate hidden power
at the moment you seize the trail of your prey
at the moment, every moment
when that which is in you bubbles over
and burns into those who raise their lips
in adoration to You
and we drink

You are Master of the Hunt
and we are all Your prey
if we are fool enough
(or lucky)
to stumble in the path
of Your desires.

As to scent,
forget what I have written here.
You will know when He comes
how poorly the senses translate
the vast joy-terror of His passing.
You will know
when you too
are marked with His scent.
You will know
when it is far, far too late
to flee.

 

 

(by G. Krasskova)

People Forget…

People forget,
When they paint their nails
And gush about how sweet He is
And how He looks like that movie star
(you know the one)
how He soothes their egos
telling them
what pretty little snowflakes they are

that He stood with His brothers in that gasping gap
and slaughtered his own ancestor,
a sleeping giant who never did harm to anyone
(never did any good either, or so I’m told).

People forget
(tumblr makes forgetting easy)
that this is a God who rolled up His sleeves
whet the point of His spear,
took an ax
with forty whacks,
helped hack old Ymir up.

He split that oafish bastard’s skull
And sucked the marrow from His bones

and went about the bloody work
of making the worlds run.

When He was done,
He licked that ancestral blood from his lips
With a hearty smack.

People forget that.

They forget to Whom He is bound–
One –Eye bloods Himself for no one…
Save One as ruthless as He.

But Loki is pretty
And can be tender
And seduction is …
an entertaining pastime.
People forget

Gods wear masks.
It’s only when They remove them
That true devotion starts.

In terror and blood
In awe and trembling

Ecstasy is a crawling spider
Pouring wyrd from its ass
With glittering emerald eyes.

Tattered mask held in its claws.

People forget
Glamour is a game
Especially for this God
This Poison Eater

And one day
He might just show you
All those things You forgot
While buying tickets
To the next Marvel show
Or Spielberg wonder,
And gushing over
How beautiful He is.

Beauty is as beauty does
And Loki’s beauty
Is like a poisoned ax.
It glitters and cuts
And sears and burns
And through it all
He laughs.

Such laughter.
I’d murder my own ancestor
To hear its cadence.

(but you won’t see me posting about it
on tumblr).

 

 

(by G. Krasskova)

commedia dell’arte

Love is a strange thing.
I throw myself into them,
these spirits so fierce,
their presence so strong,
and they catch me
and lift me up with their song.

I fall in love with voices I cannot hear.
I ache for these men
who served that Muse far better than I.
Through that longing,
I see their world.
When I cannot touch them
pieces of my heart flutter away
like snow.

*************

Be sure to check out my other sites:

Wyrd Curiosities at Etsy

My academia.edu page

My amazon author page.

Walking the Worlds Journal

My art blog at Krasskova Creations

My blog about all things strange, weird and medieval.

And if you like what you see, consider becoming a sponsor at Patreon.

Two More for My Spirits

A small note

For those of you
whose voices shattered in the making,
who failed to enchant
the world’s stage,
who struggled away
in church choirs …
or worse:

I remember you.

It is a small thing, but I remember you.

You served that Muse
that exquisitely demanding daimon.
Though it drank your marrow
warm and new and young
you served it still –
bloody mortar
securing its awesome edifice
for another generation.

It is worthy work,
a worthy sacrifice,
and I remember you,
always.

 

The God of Sacred Monsters

A face used to masks
I see You twice over:
lounging and languid,
slender, sculpted,
all smooth alabaster
and smoldering hunger,
ash and lust.

I can never look for long,
though desperately I want to,
want You.
I am too aware
of those perfect lips
and that sly smile
remote, exquisite
perhaps a little cruel—
pain is necessary after all
for such perfection—
and all it promises.

I see You, Enorches,
a wicked knot of movement
dancing a harlequinade
whispering in dulcet tones
“Everything I am
take to yourself
and my mouth,
full of honeycomb,
will pour nectar for you”*

Divine and noble
You have feasted upon Your own heart.

No one sees the strings,
unforgiving as ivy,
when You take them.
Like a paper thin stiletto between the ribs,
You slide in,
pouring Your sweet voice
through that flesh.
like honey
like nectar
stained with blood.

final_cover

(line adapted from “La Calisto” by N. Cavalli. Image by Δ from the cover of “Toys of Dionysos” by H. Jeremiah Lewis)

*************

Be sure to check out my other sites:

Wyrd Curiosities at Etsy

My academia.edu page

My amazon author page.

Walking the Worlds Journal

My art blog at Krasskova Creations

My blog about all things strange, weird and medieval.

And if you like what you see, consider becoming a sponsor at Patreon.

Trio

I.
I don’t know which one spoke.
I have my suspicions.
I was lighting candles,
offering prayers,
thinking of angelic voices
born in blood and pain
when clear as a bell I heard:
‘You have progeny;
we have immortality.’
And part of my heart broke
exploding in the sweetness of music
that wrenched its stony casing open.
I thought of Achilles
gifting Hektor with immortality
and of Patrokles
and how those heroes have nothing
on the bitchy, sarcastic angels
who now haunt my every breath.
I have no voice to sing
but I praise them still
and always.

II.
I long for that sound
as they swarm around me.
I long for their voices
cold and clear
and oh so very pure.
Exquisite agony.
I sit shivering,
having exhausted hands and breath
in the new art they have me following:
baroque music and alto recorders
and flutes and things
that make my hands ache
and my chest pant as I gasp for breath
after practicing.
I’ll learn just a whispering shadow
of what they did: to control the breath
for music, for sound, for the promise of more.
I’ll learn and they will hold me to it–
hold me in that seat until my hands cramp
and I beg for release from the sessions of practice…
All for the music and for them,
that one day it won’t just be whispers anymore that I hear
but their song.

III.
Only in the sound of those who inherited your music
men who sing with the faintest echo of your sweetness,
do the jagged pieces of my mind and soul
resolve into a single brilliant note.
Only then am I whole.
Then I hear my Gods without impediment.
Lineage, longing, and sacrifice,
maybe that is why I ache for you.
It is from these things you were formed.

farinelli_con_amici

*************

Be sure to check out my other sites:

Wyrd Curiosities at Etsy

My academia.edu page

My amazon author page.

Walking the Worlds Journal

My art blog at Krasskova Creations

My blog about all things strange, weird and medieval.

And if you like what you see, consider becoming a sponsor at Patreon.

John Donne, ‘Batter my heart’ (Latin hexameters)

This is a brilliant site! there are modern renderings of well known poems (Donne, Shakespeare, Tennyson, et al) into classical latin and greek. it’s very, very well done. wow!

Permessus

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

I, like an usurp’d town to another due,

Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;

pectora nostra, agedum, triplex o numen adepte,

tunde, precor! nam mollis adhuc tuus impetus instat:

inspiras, radias, animum emendare labantem

cura tibi est; potius, vero ut consurgere possim,

deicias penitus, magno me robore frangas –

en ego sum flammis flatuque novandus acuto!

te, velut urbs regem, quam hostes rapuere, requirit,

nitor ut admittam, tamen – heu! – via nulla reperta est.

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Honey Moon – a Poem for Mani

(I”ve been meaning to share this since I returned from my OR retreat but somehow with everything that has been going on offline, it fell through the cracks.)

Honey Moon

In the darkness of a northern shore
Your razor crescent gleaming bright above,
I reached up and You reached down
And my heart poured itself out into Your hands.

There were no questions.
There was no need for them.
With maenads milling behind,
And the wild ocean full of Gods,
Waves lapping, a wine bottle
Full of offerings clutched tightly
In my hands,
I fell into Your steady comfort,
Sweet velvet enclosure of Your Presence,
And the scars of my broken spirit
Were soothed.

Hail to You, Mani
And all Your winding ways
That somehow always manage
To lead me safely home.

thumblrg_orangemoon

 

Guest Piece of Poetry for Loki, hosted by request

Keep the Mask On…



On the other side of space a star is exploding.
Your fire got under it’s skin:
expanding, transforming, destroying.
Your brothers reshape the dust of disintigrated worlds.
You are the keeper of all secrets of destruction,
Destroying in the name of creation,
You unlock all doors of change…
Is that why you talked me into dying my hair red, silly friend?



Millions of years ago, a dim ape grasped a torch
born from the bright serpent of the sky
crashing lustilly against your mother: the leafy one.
It changed the ape forever, it changed you forever.
You opened his eyes, he made the ancient giant a god.

You are the enemy of ignorance,
You are the light of gnosis,

Burning bright within our skulls…
But what I really want to know is, what’s your favorite icecream? 



As we walk unremittingly to your daughter’s door
Y
ou fill us with the mad fire of life.
Every aching minute savored,
Every pleassure experienced,
Every risk taken,
Madly laughing all the way to the grave
Because anything less is a waste of time.
Your joy is wild, manic, terrible, wonderful…
So do you want to play Skyrim with me? 



The chaos of revolution is your breeding ground,
Your spirit thrives in the fire and gunshots.
You give power to the the voice that has been silenced,
You shine light on our shadows of lies and corruption.
For good or for ill, transformation for its own sake.

Exposing every hypocricy,
Laying us bare before our harshest judges:
But I love it most when you tell me I’m right. 



Loki, of course I know that you are all these things and more…
But it’s easier to love you when you’re wearing my favorite mask.



-Dagulf Loptson

(Dagulf is the author of “Playing with Fire” and a regular contributor to Walking the Worlds and at Polytheist.com).