Beloved in the Arts of War
Serene and elegant,
let no one misunderstand:
You are the power-broker of Asgard.
Even more than Your Husband,
You weave strategies and plans,
owning the field of combat,
whatever it might be.
Victory has already formed in Your mind.
You have woven it into wyrd,
before any conflict ensues.
None may challenge Your mastery.
You must. It is Your duty:
to guard Your territory,
to protect those within.
One Who loves Her people,
does what She must
to ensure Their safety.
You are nourished
on the thunderous joy of winning,
especially against Your husband;
when You clash wits, the worlds tremble.
Clever Goddess, You are fire and ice
and everything in between,
and You hold the worlds in Your hands.
May we always honor You,
in the fullness of Your being.
Let us always celebrate Your glory.
Hail to You, Beloved Frigga.
(by G. Krasskova)
He who gives me what I rarely remember
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.
My Dead, of whom I can always dream
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
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?
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.
To the Keeper of the House
In the morning before Her household wakes
She sits in silence, taking counsel from the dead.
She reads the passage of stars, patterns in the wind,
listens to the voices of the fire dancing in the hearth.
She is wise this Lady, Maintainer of Her Home,
a fierce Defender with blade and spear,
an Equally fierce manager at wheel and loom.
There is no equal to Her quiet force,
and it is She Who orders Asgard,
ensuring its bounties flow.
Before Sunna streaks across the sky,
relieving Her brother to His daily work,
the Queen of Asgard, whispers with the Moon,
and Mani tells Her of things He has seen far and wide.
There is no secret hidden from Her keen eyes,
no power She does not understand,
though She holds Her knowledge secure in Her breast,
shared only with a trusted sister, perhaps,
and never with the man Who shares Her bed.
(by G. Krasskova)
To He who is Glad-of-War
War is Your delight, Oh Tester of Men.
It is Your sacrament, a sacred sieve,
where fire and ice meet anew.
Our ancestors knew Your voice,
howling, terrible, a thousand winds,
raging and fighting in Your song,
runes spat forth, ferocious,
wiping generations clean.
Raw and raging like a bear,
with the viscera of prey
between its jaws, You come.
Visage rust-red, bright and bloody,
adorned with scars of victory,
Ash spear hungry, gleaming razor bright
in the oozing mire of war, Oh You come.
Shield-shaker, Attacking rider,
thighs grip fast the gallows horse
as You ride, and there is no prey
You cannot find. No place
for Your enemies to run.
Bring the world to heel,
with the maelstrom of Your battle cry,
and may Your Valkyries feast.
May we too feast fast in the knowledge,
that there is nothing greater than You,
and nothing we need ever fear,
with You at our backs.
Hail, Haptabeiðir, Roaring God,
Hail the Father of Hosts.
(by G. Krasskova)
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
Hail to You, Loður,
Whose blood stained fingers
painted our flesh a lively hue.
(by G. Krasskova)
I recently found this piece of poetry that I wrote several years ago. It’s a good way to start the new year.
To be wed to a God
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.
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
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.
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
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
(by G. Krasskova)
Someone asked me once
if i could sense by scent
when You are near.
They wanted to know,
what the musk and aroma of a God
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
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
worlds were born
in the wake of its devastation.
I cannot hold it,
not even to craft a drop of its essence
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
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
(by G. Krasskova)