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A part of this poem is of graphic imagery and suggested for mature readers
The Hag of the Iron Wood had three children,
And the daughter was death,
The son was destruction,
And the third encircled the world.
It is cold in Niflheim, in your cell
Beneath the stone, where you hate me
Redly in your dreams. I am your prey, again and again,
Not out of love but rage, for what I have done to you.
Yet better you take my dreamself,
However deep the wounds,
Than ravage another. I will not hide behind those I love
When the Great Wolf comes; take me, bite off my hand,
Limit and cripple me,
Make me bleed and weep,
Make me remember, every day after,
When I reach instinctively and fall ever short,
The price of my honor,
And still it will be worth the price.
Your feet are chained, predator of the sun,
With the chain made of six impossible things
That you may not run free in the world
And drink slaughter. I know what you would do.
Your lies cannot convince me that you would
Ever be harmless. Nor would you fight for the good.
There is no way around this trap.
You threaten me with terrible things,
Should I shut the door on your cage,
But I will not be moved by threats. The worst you can do
Is hurt me, and should you be free,
That would come of its own at any rate.
At the bottom of the mountains are the caves
Where dwell black things, evil that never sees the light,
The place where you hide from your mess,
And leave me to the binding of wounds
And tearful recriminations. There I chain you,
And there let you lie on damp stone
Beside the echoing trickle of underground rivers.
I will bring you food and drink, what meager stuff I can,
Heavy with the drugs of fantasy and dream,
And you will not die, but only sleep
And chase the sun in dreams. It is kinder this way.
Beard of a gentle woman.
Your phallus is bound, son of the fire,
Most male in a family of slippery genders.
All penetration is good to you,
Cock ramming home into screaming hole,
Teeth slicing through skin,
Tongue gouging into arteries,
Muzzle ripping into the softness of a curving belly.
They are all to be taken, save you
Who never yield yourself up in that way.
You have no color vision, wolf-child,
All is black or white, and you are black,
And that is that. I will not let you forget
The wound, the castration, the inescapable fact
That there is more than man in this body,
Whether you would have it so or not. I bind you
With the symbols of the third, your sister-brother,
Who lies like your coils of chain around the world.
Lust will not stir you. It is kinder this way.
Spittle of a bird.
Your jaws are bound with sleep, you whose teeth
Would rend and tear the very sun.
I sit with raven's spittle in my hair
And sing a croaking song, one that will lull you
Perhaps imperfectly, but well enough for now.
Like the soft music that whines everlastingly
From the radio on the prison's death row,
Soothing each angry man to sullen apathy,
I will sing to drown out your growls
And remind you that I have not forgotten you,
Even if you must be bound. It is kinder this way.
Footfall of a cat.
Your howl is bound, singer whose voice
Turns the blood to ice, freezes the prey
Where it stands unblinking, paralyzed.
Silence rules outside your cell; your whimpers
Will not be heard by others.
Nor will your terrible words of seduction,
Your razor-sharp tongue that cuts and lashes.
You will not lure in any others
To crouch and reach timidly between the bars.
They have no key to let you out anyway,
And their finger-bones are not yours to gnaw on,
Like smug trophies in the back of your cell.
Nor will you hear their voices through these walls,
But only velvet stillness. Nothing will
Disturb your sleep. It is kinder this way.
Breath of a fish.
Your sniffing nose is bound,
Hunter, tracker, chaser of prey;
For when you are free, none escapes its keenness.
You run the trail close behind,
They can hear your panting, the pounding tread
Of your sharp-nailed paws, and their breath
Catches in their throats. Only water,
River or stream, breath of the fish that swim therein,
Can foul your tracking, foil your lethal purpose,
Make you howl in confused rage at the riverbank.
So I surround you with the river of my tears
That you might not be waked from your sleep
And go springing at the bars, only to fall
Choking on the cold stone. It is kinder this way.
Nerves of a bear.
Your endless strength is bound,
Your tireless seeking of new throats to catch.
There is but one thing greater than the Rokkr warrior,
Snarling beast of the pack,
Jotun blood in your veins turned to werewolf,
And that is Odhinn's bears of rage
Who go into battle impervious to pain and wounds.
So must I be impervious to your cries
And never touch the door. You will make certain
That I share that pain, whether I will or no,
But it must never sway me
Lest I come to pity, and in your world
Pity is rewarded only with death.
For I too love you, Wolf - how could I not?
And it tears my heart to bind you,
But there is no other choice. The bars must be strong
And close together, and you must rest,
Close your wild golden eyes,
And not dwell too much on the reality
Of your prison. It is kinder this way...
...at least to you, if not to me.
For Fenris must be chained
Or Chaos will be King.
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