Roe jumped to his feet
Knowing the demon he planned to meet
Lay only a short distance ahead,
There would be revenge and blood that night
Or to the demigod Hel he would be wed.
He took up his sword,
His axe and his bow
And ran into the endless snow,
Turmoil surrounded him
But he was too numb to know.
Through white hurling rage
Roe quickened his pace,
Too blinded to see the tempest
That engulfed his view and heart,
Bloody whiteout conquered all.
Down bore obscure blizzards
Hel’s cyclone squall, singing
To the ceaseless storm, Twisted
Form of inner rage, And through
It all Hel’s oblique laugh baptised.
Turned around and upside down,
Helplessly He pressed through the rage,
And in the banshees blow he drowned
Until no longer the wind cried his name,
Yet relentlessly beyond he strained.
The bleached silence echoed
Deep into his chilled bones until
Phantasm of sanity roamed
And kindred spectres tormented
Him with their mournful cries.
Through the ice his sister called,
Æsa the fairest of them all,
Now she crawled, tormented ghost
That Roe saw maim with each fierce blow,
Again… again… again…
“Æsa” he called once more
Unsheathed his sword and swung it for
The hallucinations in the thaw,
And with his last morsel of strength
He couldn’t save Æsa again.
Delirium was no friend
Before long upheaval
And uproar took the place
Of any senses he may have kept,
He collapsed into the white.
Out of the anaemia came a shape
That Roe had come to loath and hate,
Harbinger of each other’s fate
The demon Bergthor the Crow,
From consciousness slipped Roe.
To be continued…
Poem © Phen Weston
Image © Arnaud Arnaud