The Longhouse Stands Empty And Forlorn


The big longhouse stands empty and forlorn
Where has time the Goddess and her fallen souls borne
No smoke comes from the thick roof thatch
Only the high pitched call of a Nuthatch
No murmur of voices or happy drinking songs
Fields lying fallow all year long
Cold and ashy stand the hearth
When did Freya and the Æsirs depart?

They didn’t go when we embraced Christ
They just hid in the stories of folklore
Maybe they tired when we our given paradise for convenience sake sacrificed
When we all connections to the Earth that birthed us forswore

The big longhouse stands empty and forlorn
The sight setting a heart to mourn
No smoke comes from the thick roof thatch
Are our hopes dashed?
No murmur of voices or happy drinking songs
Leaving a distinct feeling of wrong
Cold and ashy stand the hearth
Is that the end for our Earth?

©RedCat


Written for tonight’s Poetics: Outside Looking In at dVerse, where we’re urged to “be voyeurs, peeping through windows and doors of a house”. I had another idea originally but my muse refused to be led anywhere but to this place.



All three images are of the reconstructed Iron Age longhouse in Körunda, Nynäshamns County from Wikimedia Commons.


Spirit of Ice – Flash Fiction

PHOTO PROMPT© Jennifer Pendergast

I awoke in the night. Drawn by a strange song. It bubbled and splashed. Groaned and cracked. I found myself walking towards the fjord. Cold snow under bare feet made me realise I was in thrall. Stuck in a walking dream. Led by some evil Fay. My body felt sleep heavy. My mind treacle slow.

I managed to throw myself into a snowdrift. The cold woke me fully. Just feets from the water’s edge.

I’m my mind I heard a rumbling laugh. “I’ll get you yet, lass. There’s still time before the spring thaw. Your blood will make me stronger.”

© RedCat


Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Click on the frog to read and participate.


Click here to read other stories by me.


As I Reap The Dreams That I Have Sown – A Harvest Song


There’s thunder in the sky,
the sickle flashes by.
As I hurry to cut down the corn.

I reap with a happy sigh,
as swift swallows fly.
The field must be done by Sunday morn.

I’ve struggled and hoped,
clinging to a frayed rope.
Until roots took hold, new futures were born.
Now I’ve got to be bold, leave behind what I’ve been told.

Forget about the lonely tears I weeped.
As I reap the dreams that I have sown.

The harvest moon glow,
when I life changes sow.
As I sing beneath the sickle moon.

I’ll rise above my woes,
when the change of seasons blows.
As I dance scy-clad to her freeing tune.

Forget about the lonely tears I weeped.
As I reap the dreams that I have sown.

I’ve sown the seeds,
that my soul will free.
Time to harvest them just like the corn.

I’ve learnt to know my needs,
to my muses feed.
Now let creativity my life adorn.

I’ve struggled and hoped,
clinging to a frayed rope.
Until roots took hold, new futures were born.
Now I’ve got to be bold, leave behind what I’ve been told.

Forget about the lonely tears I weeped.
As I reap the dreams that I have sown.

As I reap the dreams that I have sown.

©RedCat


Written for earthweal’s weekly challenge: LAMMAS. I was so inspired by the song in the prompt, a 14th century song about the death and rebirth of the barley crop (video below), that I had to write one of my own.

Of sowing and reaping, growing and weeping, of dreams becoming reality.


Steve Winwood singing “John Barleycorn must die” – a 14th century song about the death and rebirth of the barley crop

Photo credits:

Sickle moon – Photo by Mitchell Bowser on Unsplash

Corn Field – Photo by Nadine Redlich on Unsplash


Sweet Summer Nights – A Monotetra Poem


Sweet-smelling summer night in June
Night is full of enchanted tunes
Ground with sparkling dewdrops is strewn
Magic of moon, magic of moon

The wind silvery giggles carries
Hiding among the blue posies
A dancing frolic of fairies
Wings like daisies, wings like daisies

In the pale midsummer night sky
Pink tinted clouds swiftly scuds by
We soar together you and I
As swallows fly, as swallows fly

The moon is full and shining bright
Bathing us in her blessed light
As we share in earthly delights
Sweet summer night, sweet summer night

©RedCat


Written for Poetry Form: Monotetra at dVerse. It’s always a fun challenge to try out a new form.

 The monotetra is a poetic form developed by Michael Walker. Here are the basic rules:

*Comprised of quatrains (four-line stanzas) in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of 8 syllables per line

*Each quatrain consists of mono-rhymed lines (so each line in the first stanza has the same type of rhyme, as does each line in the second stanza, etc.)

*The final line of each stanza repeats the same four syllables. This is what makes the monotetra so powerful as a poetic form – the last line contains two metrical feet, repeated.

*This poem can be as short as 1 or 2 quatrains and as long as a poet wishes.

Stanza Structure:

Line 1: 8 syllables; A1

Line 2: 8 syllables; A2

Line 3: 8 syllables; A3

Line 4: 4 syllables, repeated; A4, A4

Source

Also shared with Promote Yourself Monday at Go Dog Go Café.

Æsir Solstice Sunrise


In preparation for the solstice sunrise
The Æsirs beat their biggest drums
Filling the nightless midsummer night
With a majestic boom-boom-hum

Heimdallr heralds dawn by blowing the mighty Gjallarhorn
By Thor the holy hammer Mjölnir is thrown
The air by lightning strikes is torn
The earth seeded with protective thunderstones

Freya dons her feather cloak to fly
Seeking girls born with seiðr powers
Sending dreamers her priestess cry
To ken, pick seven kinds of flowers

The first step on the Völvas path
To see the meaning of the magic runes
Only for those that fearless curiosity hath
The hearing of the Norns spinning tunes

From the clouds that Frigg has spun
A cleansing rain starts to fall
Nourishing this year’s harvest growth begun
Ensuring food for animals and folk all

Ask and Embla’s children rise
Woken by the storm sounds
Hearing the Goddess falcon cries
Know it’s time to attend to holy grounds

The world cleansed, all peoples awake
Æsir, elfs, humans, vanirs and fauns
Sol her chariot to heaven take
Raising the sun to solstice dawn

©RedCat

Frigga Spinning the Clouds by John Charles Dollman
via Wikimedia Commons

This is the poem I began composing as I lay listening to the thunder on the shortest night of the year. I’ve managed to learn a trick that makes me able to remember short stanzas even after sleep. I compose a short stanza, or maybe only a couplet. Then while focusing on the sound, rhythm and feeling of what I want the poem to become, I say the lines over, and over, and over. Until they are firmly set in my mind. I do something similar when walking and having an idea, but not wanting to stop to write it down. This technique works most of the time, and gets more and more reliable the more I use it. I think this is relatively easy for me to do because when I sang as a child, all songs and melodies had to be learnt by heart.

I’ve read more than once that there’s absolutely no evidence for any pre-Christian Midsummer or Solstice celebrations in the North, even though most people here think so. And while I accept that fact. I refuse to believe that any people this far north would have celebrated only Midwinter, when night is nearly, or wholly depending on how far north, all day long. And not celebrate Midsummer when there is no true night, only day, dusk and dawn. Or Midnight Sun if you’re far enough north.

So while my poem is based on real Norse mythology – Æsir Gods and Goddesses, magical items and folklore. The story itself is wholly dreamt up by me listening to thunder rumble and boom.

Below you’ll find a list of internet sources where you can read more on each included God or Goddess, item or folkloric belief.


Shared to and read at Open Link Night #295 – Midsummer Live at dVerse.

Also shared to:

earthweal weekly challenge: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAMTIME.

Writers’ Pantry #76: Whatever the Weather over at Poets and Storytellers United.

Promote Yourself Monday, June 28, 2021 at Go Dog Go Café.


 Nornir of Norse mythology at the  Urðarbrunnr., by L. B. Hansen
via Wikimedia Commons

Æsir, Vanirs and Elves
Freya
Frigg
Norns
Sol
Thor
Heimdallr

The Gjallarhorn 
Mjölnir

Ask och Embla
To ken – Kenning
Seiðr – Magic
Thunderstones
Völva – Seeress


Ring of Fire – A Sonnet

©RedCat

When dusk comes in the middle of the day
The sun reduced to a pale ring of fire
What were the ancient learned wise ones to say
When scared superstitious people inquire

That their actions attracted the Gods ire
And now they have to pay the bloody price
To avoid consequences most dire
The most precious they must sacrifice

Or the world will turn to cold barren ice
Devoid of all the Sun’s life giving warmth
No longer this Aegean paradise
But eternal night as in the far north

As the sacrifice bled and died they did say
Now the sun will rise again day after day

©RedCat

Written for The Wombwell Rainbow’s Eclipse feature yesterday. 

The first picture is one I took on the reflection in our basic pinhole projector, just two papers, one with a pinhole in it.


Read other poems written for The Wombwell Rainbow here.


Midsummer Frenzy


As the midsummer frenzy reaches its crescendo
My love smiles bright with clear innuendo
Let us celebrate this never to come night
Coming together under the moons clear sight
Sharing our bodies lust with abandon and delight

©RedCat


Written for this weekend’s writing prompt from Sammi Cox. Inspired by the word crescendo and the nearing of midsummer singing in my blood.


Read other sensual poems by me here.


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