Salem

It was all a jest. Yes, Loki did suggest
It, but we all agreed; save the Bright One.
It was those thralls of a paranoid theology;
that breed of wight whose antecedents we once knew
but now were strange to us. (Gone was the thew that bound us in times past;
cast off, exchanged) .
In their deranged cosmology was only room for he whom Bede
Had written of. They held no blot
To hail the sailing of their boat from Britain
To this foreign ground.

The son of mothers nine foretold their madness and cupidity,
False accusations, stupidity and indign executions. In sorrow and distress,
His words unfold their defamations. Of Vinland they knew nought;
and with display they bought and sold the native rights, inviting their doomday.
He held a softness for their race, but we sought only their disgrace;
The whiteness of their skins were ours,
Their sins they would repay.

Their sight was skewed, so simple was it to make
Of them a race of Grendel.
And then the spite spewed
Forth, their days with horror raked,
No trace of honour, faith displaced by base cowardice, until they rued
The abyss their fools created.

We thought
Once they denounced that bloody rule they would renounce
Its source. Not so; we were the fools. And so instead the haze has spread
Its witless ways and brought
Its force to batten on Mid-earth's resource.

We had no need of Midgard's wights, but, being succeeded by the like
Of this, could only be a slight.
And, truth to tell, we liked Mid-Earthen folk, so what had started as a joke
Became the righting of a wrong: their new patron had served them ill,
But still they sang their songs of hope;
Their faithfulness a gallow's rope.

Years come and go
And flowers grow
Upon the barren soil.
What was a jest
Becomes harvest:
Return for labour's toil.

Now Loki's jest has borne new fruit, and Salem's brute foundations
Aspire to celebrate the hangings and the fire. But
In among these Harlequin masquerades, something more serious parades.
Beneath the stain of muzak and the till, the air hangs still; we feel the thrill
Of seidr once again. We bathe in strains of galdr; and the runes
Unfurl the workings of the Tree's nine worlds.

© Alexa Duir 2004

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