man-raised, silver eyes blue beneath white gold wisps of elvish hair,
he calls, mound-deep, mother, rise, rise, give me rede, and aid-ail
fresh for parched soul bereft of all understanding on arctic paths.
that ale-mistress, father's whore, would exile me, wretched, upon the ice,
there to seek a dream-maiden marvel whose smile no man has seen.
mind swirls with lies and half-truths spoken tribe after tribe,
wars no one even remembers beginning, captives and cages
of woven ice-strands cold and fogging brains with frost-thorns
Dainn drove deep in the coldest of nights, again and again.
No one knew why, and now, this? this witch to ward me off?
Mother, tell me what to do! Mother, speak as you said you would!
sat he, shivered, the biting whisper of wind, lonely by the mound ;
then rose, whispers, swirling, surrounding, gales of soft shrieks
till ghostly, Groa came before him, words tinkling like chimes of twilight,
and spake, spraece, spreading blessings, and nine knots of scild untied,
morning gifts of boy's birth lullabied, returned, roiling in blood and breath,
powers, sight, words of wisdom rolling off lips naive, surprised,
ancient parables and proverbs known, now known as if always,
forever-etched in deepest forests' mind-stuff, now moving into meadow
of man's becoming, elvish passage to adulthood in songs of sael and hael.
Shoulders broadened, kneeling standing tall with brightened eyes, knowing.
And maybe she was real! For mother, ghost-smoke recels draining
fog-sucked back to mounds, had spoken of this Lady, one blessed.
And he might, she said, Urd-spoken be, the one to bring her back.
Pride and terror mixed in bone cold-driven now to quest, come what may.
Over hill, over dale, through deepest valleys dark and caverns-down to nowhere,
what may find, monsters, treasures, swords and sorcerors. He rose,
buckskin boot crunching snow packed earth with firmness, he would go.
He would go!