Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good Things (Góðgriprmal)

For all the Vanir and all the Good Things they give us

The feel of the soil, scattering seeds through your fingers, an old leather boot stretched to feel just right, a good, apportioned field ready to be plowed, two fair and proud oxen, commons to graze the cattle on, knowing how to make a good wicker fence, waiting patiently for the rain, the self-sounds of humming a rhythmic tune while working, doing the chores while hearing the beards sing ; boots crunch, water flow, pigs grunt, wind blow. Pride and joy in fresh, ripe apples, pears, and plums, sweet smell of spring pollen, and edelweiss in the meadows. Cows low and the squeeze of milk-plump tits, a hand on the shoulder, legs that know how to dance, and a good straw bed covered with furs where naked night bodies love to rumble in the sweat of the moonlight. Ah. A stout barn, the sight of green vegetables garden-sprouting, chickens pecking at the soil. Skinny dipping in the pond. Laughter and a fiddle over harvest-home jigs, sweet-hearts in arms, bringing the corn in with the last sheaf tied up handsome like a maiden. Riding a good horse, beating the bounds to mark the odal, moot by the oak with ale and cider to mete out the chores. Watching the weather, heed the moon, soak in the sun chasing off the frost. Baking bread in an oven, groping a bosom, letting eyes wide feast on sumptuous forms, fleshy shapes, good feelings about sweaty men and maidens one calls friends. A hot bowl of oatmeal, ribald language and burlesque tales, some onion and cabbage soup, a newborn kid, and the afterbirth buried under the fruit trees. Hearty, fescennine verse spoken earthy and fertile at a wedding feast, mirth in the holy vigils outside the bridal chamber, brewing mead in casks for winter toasts to last throughout the season, waiting up at midnight to salute the passing fairy host in May. Nodding herd necks out to pasture, seasons, and the wheel turns. Mending a broken fence, good sleep after a long day's work, picking up the pieces after disaster, feeling the soil and scattering seeds again. These are good things.


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