Honour and Loyalty

Where in today’s society,
is there place for honour?
Where in our world,
does loyalty yield just reward?

Petty men and women,
to whom equality is but a sermon they preach,
will never recompense,
those who dignity will teach.

If we do not honour those,
who with honour themselves conduct,
and if loyalty is not with loyalty met ~
Our legacy will fade,
our names reduced to ash,
and scribbled lines of empty words,
upon rune stones that true worth obstruct.

Honour the loyal men and women,
with the respect they are due,
win over the heart of your foe,
and turn enemy into friend.

Death comes for us all,
without honour,
of immortality we are ~
bereft.

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Rhythm

Why is it that when you find it,
the words simply aren’t there.
How is it that when you know it,
the words so fail to capture.
How do I find the words wherein,
the remedy to confusion reside,
that can dispel confusion,
and reveal the inner rhythm,
which within your heart preside.

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Valkyrja: teaser

about: wrote on he phone while I was stuck waiting for my ride. Pardon possible typos, haha! :) just some free-flow stuff I might end up using.

The fire of the great hall crackled as the flames licked the darkness that evening had brought with it. They had all gathered to hear Old Halvdan tell one of his stories.

“Put no trust in what your eyes tell you they see. It’s too easy to believe them. Beware the dwellers of the forest, roamers of the mountains, the dancers in the mist. There are thing in there not even the finest blade can cut.”

The orange glow of the fire gave the old man’s leathery face an eerie hue, Hreidar half expected to hear the creaking sound of actual leather as the man spoke.

“My time is almost up, I will soon leave this world to be with the gods, if such is my fate. I will tell you the story of how I lost my arm, and how I came to live for a hundred years.”

Everyone knew Old Halvdan had been around for as long as any of them could remember, but no one wholeheartedly believed he was that old. Well, except Hreidar’s sister, Ine. But she was just a toddler, barely old enough to speak.

“I was once young, like all of you,” the old man said with a crowing chuckle. “Believe as you will. I was no more than twenty summers, ha, a youth still wet behind his ears. There was a shortage of food here in the village, if I recall, and I was up in the woods. Had been tracking a great moose for two days.”

Hreidar liked listening to stories, especially Old Halvdan’s. There was just something about the old one’s voice, and something about his eyes. They seemed to know every little thing by just looking.

“I was so focused at my task that I did not realise how far into the woods I had gone. When I finally cornered the moose a thick mist came over us. That is when I saw them, magnificent, beautiful, and out of this world.”

The old man’s face creaked into a content smile, and he let out a sigh before he continued. “The Disir are a fascinating kind, unlike any I have seen through my many years. Both the moose and myself were so mesmerised by their presence that we did not notice the troll that came crashing through the trees into the clearing.”

Halvdan coughed. “Hreidar,” he wheezed. “Fetch this old storyteller a drink, will you? My voice is not what it once was.”

Hreidar hurried to comply, eager to hear the rest of the tale. Halvdan smiled broadly at him when he returned with a drinking horn filled to the brim with mead.

“Thank you, my boy,” Halvdan crowed and drained half of it in a swift succession of gulps.

“At least your gullet seems to be working good as ever,” Hreidar’s brother Bodvar remarked. A comment which earned plenty of laughter, even from Halvdan himself, to Bodvar’s misfortune. The old man had had a mouth full of mead, most of which now covered Bodvar.

“Where was I,” Halvdan said once they had all settled down again. “Oh yes, the troll. I don’t remember thinking much, I simply reacted and let loose the arrow I had already knocked. It hit he troll right in the eye. As you all know that alone isn’t enough to fell a troll, luckily for me the Disir surrounded the troll, thick swirling mist.

“That is when I saw it. The embodiment of the forest itself, the white lynx with eyes blue as ice. It pounced on the troll, jaws clamping down on the neck. My did he troll trash about! But it was as dead as as I was dumbstruck, only neither of us had realised it quite yet.”

Halvdan paused his tale, drained the remaining half of the drinking horn and held it out toward Hreidar. There was something hopeful in the old man’a eyes, Hreidar glanced at his father and went to fill he horn again after receiving a nod from Harald.

“The Disir were grateful, one of them offered to stay with me as thanks, which is why I have lived to such high age.”

“But how did you lose your arm?” Bodvar insisted.

“Oh, I almost forgot!” Halvdan exclaimed. “I struck a bargain with the Lynx. In return for my arm I’d get enough good game hunting to provide for the entire village over the winter to come.”

Hreidar studied the old man, but could not catch any signs of the old man lying. Unlike his brother, Bodvar, Hreidar felt no disappointment at hearing the arm hadn’t been Los in combat.

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Tempest

Birds were chirping outside as the night sky took on that summer hue of blue he’d grown to dread. Very deliberately, he tossed his phone onto the couch without looking at the time. The alarm was set and over on the couch he’d actually have to rise to shut it off. Sadly, not even that was always enough. The pillow always beckoned, drawing him in, lulling him back to sleep. As always, he dismissed the thought as worries for the coming day in that far-away land known as tomorrow.

Rotating his right arm counter clockwise produced a snapping sound from his shoulder. It sounded worse than it felt, though. The thought had struck him more frequently of late, why he was driving himself on the way he did. He’d not been willing to admit it before but he felt like a prisoner. Life, education, work, hobbies and habits, all of it contributed to the stagnant feeling of being stuck. He carried it with him like a solid chunk of iron attached to his chest. Working out made him feel less shackled, as if he could somehow break the fetters that chained him to the reality of his life.

His bed did not provide the comfort and feeling of sanctuary it so often had in the past. No, his thoughts were sleep-depriving demons prodding and poking at him as he twisted and turned to get away from them. What bothered him more than anything else was the fact that he could not put his finger on what caused his unrest. What was it that made him feel the way he did? Something had to change, he knew that much. But what?

Life, it seemed, had lost some of its shine. Truth be told, it had been quite a while since he had done or experienced something that made him feel alive, like every breath he drew mattered and counted toward something. He reckoned that’s what he got for being an adrenaline junkie. Seeing life’s true beauty and allure was in many ways a curse. It made not seeing it in that light and with those adrenaline-addled eyes bland, grey and uninteresting.

Taking a moment’s pause from his self-tormenting to curse at the birds chirping outside made him feel a little better, however. Besides, it wasn’t like he felt miserable. His feelings were… difficult to pinpoint. Grudgingly, he admitted that he was utterly and completely bored. If someone had told him that rushing outside and killing the squawking seagulls would have caused serious commotion and started a feud with his elderly neighbour that would take neighbour-hostility to new heights previously unknown to mankind, he’d probably have done it. He had no ill will nor did he harbour any true hostility to his kind neighbour. Most of the time they got along quite well, a real nice old chap actually.

For as long as he could remember there had been one feeling in particular that he could always pinpoint. Even now it ruled him, showing its true colour with alarming clarity. Anticipation deeply rooted in knowledge, or paranoia. Change, he would welcome change with open arms. He knew that a storm was coming. He had always known. He needed it to come, with thunder, lightning, roaring winds and all. It was a need that had manifested in his imagination as a goddess of tempests and it would be to her he offered up prayer before sleep at long last overtook him.

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Discharge

Each day bears with it in passing as daylight dies,
A muted roar,
Deafening silence,
Beneath storm-shrouded skies.
The air is thick with anticipation,
Pressure building,
Stale, bitter cold,
Smothering sensation.
My heart is an abused drum,
Which within my skull,
Will resonate,
Until the skies crackle with lightning,
And the winds scream of storm,
Breaking free all souls made numb.
Quickening beats and alacrity of spirit,
As thunder shatters the daily cycle,
As lightning tears up routine’s pattern,
Strengthening the discharge of angst.
Chaos bid welcome by wanting man,
Desire to bring the changes,
Only violent storms can.
So strike the anvil like mighty Thor,
Send igniting sparks our way,
And hear us cry out in love,
As we together like lovers roar.

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Funeral

As four sons carried their deceased father,
And placed his battle-scarred body,
Atop an unlit pyre,
I began to realise something ~
About these perplexing Norsemen.
They shed brief tears as the pyre is lit,
Mourn while the flames still dance,
They’re not a grieving people,
By our standards measured,
Yet it is clear that their loss,
Is felt with equal intensity.
Will I ever understand them,
And the Norse intimacy with death herself?

“Weep not for him, south-lander,”
Said the eldest when he saw my weeping visage.
“The Valkyries are taking him to Valhalla,
Where he’ll feast with the gods,
Alongside the worthy chosen,
And our ancestors.”

“Mourn not his passing, Priest,”
Said the youngest.
“Instead hounor him by remembering his deeds.
He is with the gods now,
And even happier than you or I.”

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Nationalism

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Norway has always held a special place in my heart, and if you consider the photograph above for a moment I belive you can see why. I am Scandiavian, I have both Swedish and Norwegian roots, and these roots run deep. Cuturally, historically, and most of all environmentally, I am a son of two nations. Nationalism has a very negative ring to it, especially when heard through swedish ears. But for me, a love of country is not the same thing as a hatred for everything outside of it.

Do I take pride in being Scandinavian? You can bet your arse I do. The thing is, I see many of my fellow countrymen lash out in frustration. The kind of frustration felt here can be felt all throughout Europe these days and like many have here, other Europeans have begun to lash out as well. We seek scapegoats and the anger and frustration many feel demand that somebody takes the blame, acknowledges responsibility. Herein lies the tragedy of nationalism’s darker side. The role of scapegoat often befall those who are different from the majority.

Are we not two nations of intellectuals? Are we not two nations confident in our historical and cultural identities? I want the obvious answer to be yes. I want to be able to say that we are. But if that were true, why then would we be so afraid of those who are culturally different from us?

It seems to me that many of us have forgotten something important, something fundamental. We’ve lost our humility(if we ever had any). We’ve forgotten how to show respect. Social and cultural segregation is not okay. We are better than that. Or have we seriously become that dumb? Intelligence and racism do not go hand in hand.

We need to ask ourselves what we want it to mean to be Scandinavian. I would personally want the word to be associated with a people defined not by ethnicity but a strong desire to foster creativity, compassion, intelligence, and respect toward our environment as well as each other. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

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