Poetry: The Final Saga

Poetry: The Final Saga

The thrice-cursed lying of Loki with the giantess Angrboda
saw Jörmungandr, Hel and Fenrir as their jealous offspring:
the first, the vast serpent, constricted and limited our world round;
then the goddess of death took the lowest realm in the desolate north
constructing a castle-prison on the wasted shore of corpses
where her dragon Nidhogg feasts on the exiled inmates 
– murderers, adulterers and perjurers who have spurned
the glory of battle and a seat at Odin’s table;
last was the midnight wolf so fearsome of strength
and savage by nature that the gods knew prophetic terror
and forged a magical chain to rock-tie the lupine newborn,
links made from the sacrificed sound of a cat’s tread, 
the breath of a fish and the noble speech of horse 
– even then as Tyr play-secured it his hand was bit clean off
and he was forced to gag the innocent with a cruel-edged sword.
The binding of the beast just holds, yet it grows 
ever more in size and wrath and hunger, knowing that the day will come
when it wins free and revenge-falls on Asgard
devouring them and the life-sun whole
thus to fight the King – Odin – swallowing him too at the end
the Ragnarök of our own making by which we are unmade.

[A J Dalton (www.ajdalton.eu) is a UK-based SFF writer. He has published the Empire of the Saviours trilogy with Gollancz Orion, and various collections with Kristell Ink and Luna Press. He also runs the online storytelling community http://www.creativewritinghq.com – all welcome! He lives with a monstrously oppressive cat named Cleopatra..]

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