3 min read

Odin's Neural Darlings: Part One

A northerly hush swimming ‘round the south,

Alighting on the trees renders them

Haggard Cajal’s Forests in the cork,

Their yearly dotage during which their branches

Reach from Earth towards the heavens

In a plea for freedom from this purgatory.

Vultures cluster on the spindly pines,

The winter taking a toll on even them.

The ravens coagulate on the concrete,

Discussing in their raucous rush above each other

How to garb the forests once again,

Their sudden concern for the verdant quite a change

From their characteristic love of gloom.

Odin, hearing how his darling birds clamored

From smooth-beaked Hugin and Munin,

Pondered how to dispel the lasting chill,

Wondered so loudly Frigg heard:

“How have only ravens remembered greenery,

No other creature in all Midgard mutters

For the summer to return, have my seahorses

Placed within the minds of men fallen too deep

In their curdling slumber?”

Frigg swept around the corner afore Odin noticed

Her hovering at his blind side, lithe hand pressed against

Her collarbone in thought, her form shrinking as the feathers sprouted.

“A lack of memory is lack of seed of thought,”

She murmured, drawing the reins of her chariot in her hands,

The cats assuming their place to draw her from the Aesirs’ hall.

“They shall forget their duty to prepare for Ragnarök,

Forget the danger we and they share alike—

But I shall spur on my wings and gather tidings of my own.”

Her husband sat in his room, the glistening of his ravens’

Feathers catching in the welling of his eye,

Single tears winding down his wrinkled face.

“I fear lest neither of you returns, but for Munin,”

He murmured, extending his hands for them to alight upon,

“My fear is greatest.”

Frigg in falcon form soared o’er the way of the Bifrost,

Her face set clear towards the drab-dressed world of men,

Her gaze brushed aside the mist draped

O’er the Cajal’s forests and the storm-grey waters,

Sighting in an Estonian parking lot the murder muttering

Over lost memories and summers.

“My husbands’ feathered darlings,” she called,

“Your conference has reached his ears, and you have stirred

The coals of concern, what cause have you to stir up panic,

Why gather when you are carefree carrion folk?”

The ravens scattered as Frigg’s human feet alighted on the pavement,

A strength of memory reverberating from where her shod feet brushed concrete.

Frigg’s feathers gathered themselves into a cloak about her shoulders,

A torc about her neck to be

The golden husband to the argent glint in her eye,

A gaze which bowed the ravens, flocking about her crimson tunic’s edge.

“We alone recall the green season, the vultures and all creatures

That form their banquet wander ‘bout in dull dismay,

Their movements twitch and wobble.

Worst of all, they discuss grey and grey alone,

You above all women understand how we love the drab and bleak,

But Midgard mustn’t be dressed as we want it.

The balance is off, the green is gone, we are the main mourners no longer,”

A raven rasped, meeting Frigg’s gaze for only a moment before

The stone within her gaze froze his heart.

“You alone recall the summer? The seahorses have neglected their duty,”

Frigg murmured, voice rippling softly o’er

The glistening ebony bed of feathers about her,

“Or there is mischief made with my weaving of the mind,

Fear not, ravens, for you have done your own duty

In carrying out the carrion work and worrying for the wellness of this world.

But surely there are men who recall the summer,

Who might they be, have you truly seen none of them?”

A chattering rose from the feather bed, catching on each bird

Like the brook upon debris and stones in its way,

Carried on by the carrion folk all about.

“We know not, Lady Goldtears, but we shall scatter and gather

To bring all tidings to you, our Queen and wife of our overseer.”

Frigg’s hand arched out, a calming gesture of approval,

“Tell my husband’s feathered children of his heart should you meet them,

But I grant you also passage over Bifrost, for he and I

Must conquer what seeks to unwind our twain but interwoven work.”

The feathers from the cloak rippled out over her tunic,

Cladding her in falcon form once more.

She swept upward toward the Bifrost, the Cajal’s forest weeping below,

The ravens’ mourning cries resounding as they spread out in their god-appointed journeys.