While Walking North

I wanted to match the magic
in a Nordic photologue; it was November

and I followed my feet past photo #2, #18, #99
and 100 of a man swaddled in family, surely

each birthed from the sweat of a frost giant's armpits,
pocked by starvation, now so real each hunger

is never sated. Three fates lured me to peer in,
nose to nose with a photographer's anguish,

his new bride, his naked heart, his penis, her
breasts, his dying mother, those brilliant sons, and

himself over and over - all was open to me.
I followed arms, legs, fingers, ears - neglecting

how macabre was the path I trailed, until yellow
air brittled my breath and a soft sadness settled in.

I lingered longest before the grayscale man
swallowing his fist, photo #73 - my belly clenched

in collusion, sure to staunch some eminent arrival
my fascination welded to his wide eyed stare

lured me toward Grendel's cave. The magic I met
swelled into rage rancid; was rimmed in skull-piled

grief and guile. If Odin's eye had drawn us
up from roots of ash and elm, how easily

we came together and fell apart to make
the Earth and Sky with our blood and bones;

how easily we forgot the wages of this perfect life
gutted mountains, strangled streams

exploding children, broken hearths - Grendel
resurrected and Beowulf lost and gone

magic met in the photologue eased me
gently into a dark season of pathos, into

caverns of surrender, no rescue needed;
only to gather strength for Spring.


blue aisling said…
This is better in couplets! :)

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