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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

Gunnlodh's Choice

Gunnlodh sits in her golden hall,
Turning her spindle, settling her mind.
She thinks of Was and Is and Will,
Knows what Need demands.

A draft of air, a scent of dust -
A snake comes crawling through the crack
And coils its length about her limbs.
She welcomes him with gentle words;
Tenderly, she loves him long.

Carelessly, the cocksure god
Stirs, and grins, demands a gift -
The merest sip of golden mead.
(The grateful girl will surely grant it,
So well his smiles conceal his greed.)

Bolverk empties Son and Bodhn.
Heron's feathers fold around him,
Smother him down to endless dark;
His witless spirit aimless wanders;
Mind is lost and Memory flown.

Gunnlodh raises Odhrerir
And pours a draught of fire, of power
That floods his senses, sets him free.
Ashamed, he sees the shining goddess,
Knows his folly, knows her grace.

On burnished wings, an eagle bears
Her sacrifice towards the sun.
Her heart is grey with grief and wisdom.
The thread of Wyrd is wound.

Š 1999 Ann Grķa Sheffield

Image: "Gunnlod", unknown artist.

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