Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Holly and the Ivy



Seasons Greetings, TAoOMers!  Just a quick post to welcome in Yule.  We'll be away from the keyboard next week (eating eating eating) but we'll be back in the New Year with a preview of some of the exciting things to come.

This week's offering is a re-rewrite (probably) of one of the older known Christmas carols.  The Holly and the Ivy goes back quite a ways and its origins are veritably unknown (it is attributed to some dude in the 18th Century, but he didn't write it).  However, due to the amount of Pagan imagery (holly, ivy, deer, etc.) it seems unlikely to have originated in the Church. So here's Phil's version.  No babies, no sinners, just Yule and the changing of the seasons.  Simple, wintry loveliness.

Happy Holidays!

  

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Varulfür Sestina



We'll sail by King Vargr's straining Moon,
Dragon-prowed from Thüle, north by north.
Flesh of foe shall soon adorn our fangs.
We bear the blighting horrors of the cold.
Bowels will stream like water to our howl,
As heart's blood freezes unto blacken'd ice.

See... my fortress carven all of ice;
A deathly blue beneath the heartless moon.
Beware ye of the might of Castle Howl,
Unmatched bastion lording o'er the north.
Gusting from its walls a stinging cold.
Its crenelations stab the clouds like fangs.

I am Kulmahampaat Silver Fangs,
Chief of every wolf that treads 'pon ice.
My rule is ancient, iron-wrought and cold.
My Varulfüren, snarling 'neath the moon,
Comprise the fiercest troop in all the north,
Yet even they must cringe before my howl.

(One there is who bows not ere my howl:
That mighty cat with stabbing dagger-fangs,
The elder lord Nimravus of the North.
Wielding hammer wrought by spikes of ice,
Fear he casts 'pon all beneath the moon.
I shall not rest 'til he lies dead and cold.)

O King, we bring you wolfbears from the cold;
Ferocious brutes that slaver, snap and howl,
Spraying drool, and madden'd 'neath the moon.
The foe will sag and rip betwixt their fangs.
Their mighty claws are cold, and sharp as ice.
Ysengrinir; terrors of the north.

We are the winter'd wolfmen of the north,
Hamrammr, white-furred, warm against the cold.
Our ships come threading through the floes of ice.
The calving bergs give echo as we howl.
Aurora lambent glitters 'pon our fangs,
As we sail 'neath the Vargr's ruptured moon.

The north shall hear my long poetic howl,
This cold sestina flung forth from my fangs,
As shards of bloodied ice transfix the moon.