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Donnerstag, 3. Dezember 2015

The Nightmare of the North - a skóggangr trail of twilight

 Strong is the call that is rising beyond the boundaries of the cities. From tree and grove and wood and hill there is this song that rises with the mist. Autumn had come, and stayed with colours and some warmer days; harvest has been and time did pass.

And from green hills there rise the mists. Few now know the song that rises from beneath the dark, rich soil. Few are wise enough to fear that time. And even fewer are those that still know how to tread that trail of twilight.

Into the murky woods I ventured, deep beyond the world of man, not space, nor time, that song I followed, a song like valiant steel and violent roar; and yet, but faintly is it heard.

The mists of time are blown away here and thence. No time fathomed by man is that song, nor space, not dream nor fancy, and yet it lives with thrumming vibration. Is it a fairy song, is it alvish lore? Is there death or is there life? The river runs two ways; three wells they foam with life and death, three mills they grind, grind endlessly.

Into the twilight, as I did so often before, but now I walked with new and deadly earnest. I walked deep into the darkness and the murk - to unbecome human.

The sun, that bright lantern of everyday business, sank beneath the veil of woods, of hill, of earth.

...and mists rose up to give the light a gentle goodbye in a flaming cold embrace.

From hill and dale and crevice deep they rose, rose like mist with lips as pale as frostbite flowers, rose with grace alien to man. No word was spoken, no song was heard.

And from afar I heard the faint murmur of a despairing world.

I did not look behind, I did not try to find a clue nor thought. I left the rags of my mortality behind, beneath the shroud of dancing mists. I walked on and further up the pathway and through a gate unfathomable even by a poet´s mind.

Horror unseen and terror unfathomed, joy and riches, wealth without measure strewn at their feet, unnoticed, undesired. The mists were cold, and the song grew louder, louder, more intense.

The fading light blurred all things living in favour of those who had never lived and live in spite.

Up rose the crescent of the moon above the blood-red light.

Above the twilight trail it shone serenely; and beyond the world the gates - they tremble:

On a haggard horse of silken midnight the nightmare rides on flaming hooves; high the song arises, louder still above the fields of battle, above the clamour, the outcries of pain and hate.

On a raven horse of midnight the nightmare rides from grove and creek, from hill and dale and silent rock; on a steed of darkness she rides. Blood she drinks from poets´skulls; ragged cloak of darkness´fabric, of twilight, iron, leaf and tree.

Out she rides from the three wells; their yarn has been combed, and cleaned, and spun. The sickle, silver light and crescent sharpness, rises up to cut. From spool and wheel and teasel their thread unrolls and spins... she moves the wheel of thirteen spokes to cut the thread, untie the knots, knots that bind, bind flesh to soul.

On a haggard horse of midnight she rides out on winter storms, on mist and trail. The eagle owl, the wolf, the raven feel the scent of death she leaves lying beside the flaming hooves.

From forest deep and canyon, from creek and hill and dale - up rise the violent mists. The gate it clashes and opens wide; out rides the nightmare from the three wells.

On  a haggard horse of burning midnight out rides the nightmare, the protector of the woods.

On a raven horse of midnight, the river flows two ways; three wells with fury overflow. The curse it rises to the leaden sky, the curse in tri- fold incantation is woven into her cloak, her sickle and her spear, in sword and poisoned arrow, the curse it weaves into the water, into the soil, the sky, the wind; the curse it rises on a midnight horse.

On a haggard horse of midnight out rides the nightmare, the protector of the woods.

Serenely the moon shone above the trail of twilight.

Stunned and smiling silently in stealth I left the mist - enchanted woods and the dreamlike fancy, knowing.

And unbecoming human.

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