Late autumn hours fall,
the scent of decaying Oak leaves
mix’t with the fragrance of the mist
as it rises, curling from beds of moss
and gently swaying ferns.
A soft wind plays through the pines,
it bears the kennings
deep into the heart of the gloaming time.
Resounder, the One of the Streams, Hoary Beard.
We wait for the Stranger at the Door,
the light runs fast
pursued by dreams of the man on the gallows.
When he saw the carved bones in his hands
he fell to screaming.
Word from word,
deed from deed,
do you know the twelfth
that’ll cause the dead to speak?
Between this world and the next,
when the dreams and the hours become one,
can we find the strength to remember?
Remember when to quit the grazing ground,
remember to keep to the footpaths
and shun the highways,
remember to hang your clothes between two wooden stakes,
remember why the eagle weeps when it reaches the shore.
Remember the grinning wolf,
the grunting boar,
the dancing bear.
Does the moon still know it’s course through the sky?
Do leeks still grow from the green earth?
The sun grows dark and the world slips into forgetful sleep.
Like a fir tree,
limbless and charred,
where once under the roof of gold
and field unsowed.
Who will abide now
in the House of the Wind?
The old woman sits in the Ironwood
while murderers wade deep in the roiling water.
It goes hard on earth
when rootless trees stand
among the hail of reeds.
Keep the ancient promise
and travel with me through the mists of night.
Come resolute of horn,
the stalker on the moors.
what the wolf left behind.
Cast your loss into a deep forest tarn,
and the crone of memory shall whisper to you
from its depths:
“There’s nothing here for you.”
The one who bends the gallows,
Go down into memory and knowledge
On ravens’ wings!
God of carved knucklebones,
Traveler to nine places only known
By the women of the Stinking Nightshade
Wand weavers, horse penis graspers,
The ones who wrap tattered rags
Around the agony twisted bones of winter-dead trees,
To pray to wells and fountains,
To the rich earth slime that bubbles and froths.
Bog-haunters, Fungus-belt wearers,
They are buried in wagons.
They weave while their husbands fight,
And bind the feet of the enemy with invisible hairs,
So he dies screaming in blood.
Whose staff manly hands should not touch,
You have your wand and thread,
I have my fists and mad eye.
I am hanged,
You sit on thrones.
Oak and holly,
run naked into the twilight forest.
Make the others remember why
they once feared the rustling leaves.
They will remember why
the shapes among the trees
haunted their sleep.
They think that those who rest
beneath the vines
But they will see us again
under the shrieking moon.
They will feel the teeth,
the talons, the tusks.
The mists will swallow the world
and all will be forgotten.