Viking: Resilience

Darkness envelopes the land,

Leaving folks at mercy of long crippling winters, and fleeting summers;

When even seasoned farmers must take up arms,

To guard their stores and each other from raiders or rivals of every variety;

And abide the long nights,

When, savagery is the only birthright,

For, in this unforgiving cold:

You fought and lived, or resigned to die;

No room for the weak, when the divide is so slight;

Hope guides the hand,

And in that calloused grip is an axe drenched in blood,

Wielded decisively in the heart of battle,

In a practised ritual of blood sacrifice,

For the Gods’ are rarely merciful,

And an honourable death, worthy of the glory of Valhalla,

Is the only vaunted prize.

Divinity of the Dancer!

A goddess on the dance floor;

Rhythm is her divinity

If this place be the cradle of life;

And music is the root of all self-awareness,

She is the first to experience the beat of the drumming and mimic her body into motion,

Inspiring all to answer her call to arms by standing-up-right!

Many millennia may have passed since that fateful moment,

Is it still any wonder these rhythms and movement resonate within you and I?

Her acolytes still gather to watch her sermons;

Her movements are the orator,

And her body is a testament to her dedication and artistry;

An idol worthy of worship, forged with grace and favour;

Are we not all misfits in comparison?

Looking on at this exquisite creature for answers,

With prayers and offerings for salvation;

A shadow dancer of old, making contortions in slow-motion ;

Leaving all that befall her fanatics enthralled and slack-jawed, even after all this time,

Belying the truth: we have not evolved as much as we’d like to believe;

And remain mesmerised by the beauty of movement given life!

Ol’ Nan to Little Pet (Part 2 of 2)


Forget me not, for I have not forgotten you,

Show me love and compassion, as I had once shown you,

If I could, y’know I would still be useful to you,

As it is, I am trapped in a palace of my own memories,

With a variety of heaven, foreboding and hell – snapshots from a lifetime of diverse experiences -, behind every door;

The barriers of my mind (that could once be trusted to keep my thoughts distinct and separate from each other) have somehow given way,

Forgive me if I can’t place you quickly or at all, for you – like all of my memories – are a jumbled maze,

This glaucoma-like blur clears less and less frequently, if at all;

Be patient with me – a simple human kindness, for any compassion you bear me;

Be kind to me, though I know (in your frantically stress-filled life) it is not easy;

The end is rarely pleasant, Little Pet;

But you must be strong throughout;

I am glad you are doing what you can for me, and that must be enough;

For only the rarest few achieve that sense of finality in life;

And, you and I (I’m afraid, my sweet Little Pet) will not.

‘Little Pet’ to Ol’ Nan (Part 1 of 2)

Streaks of tears flow from ol’ nan’s rheumy eyes;

Is it her tear ducts or is she terribly sad? I don’t know which!

Her face is an age-old mask of wrinkles and parchment;

Turned into paper mache-

Changing from haunted, stern, angry and sincere, each time I visit;

I can no longer read which is which,

She can’t seem to recognise me, I don’t know why!

It fills my soul with helplessness enough to suffocate,

Love isn’t enough to cure you Nan, and the realisation is tearing me apart!

A hard-working woman all your life filled with duty and warmth left virtually an empty shell, where is the justice in that?

Remember, you called me ‘Little Pet’, no one else does now or ever will again;

I fear one day I will visit you and you’ll be gone, and I’m not ready for that!

Please, Nan, show me that you can hear me and come back:

To see my growing family, to give you all the comforts you deserve, and a chance to say ‘I love you’ one last time!

I need that!