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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

 

Old God

I donít believe in much anymore.
War poisons and nothing brings
the world courage enough to live
without boundaries.
Even those who remember me
who wear the hammer for a cross
huddle frightened behind barbed wires
herded into races and tribes
as though these things were real.
Only poetry seems real to me now.

Language
is a hammer that quickens us
that drives inspires and shames us
Into the Future.

I feel so very old,
ready to sleep forever without a legacy.
The Great Wise God!
How laughable when I remember
how lost I have been on so many roads.
I draw a book from the shelf and itís
as if I am reading about a stranger:
A young immortal wild with the joy of life,
the first in the universe to make music
and sing a song to the gods.
Always smiling because in a very real way,
I was innocent, not knowing what was to come:
Iron gods with dying desert dreams,
titans striking fire to burn the worlds in apocalypse.

Iíve always been drawn to clever rebels, like Odysseus.
Athena may have claimed him, but we both knew
that trickster was always more mine than hers.
I remember backpacking through the worlds
with flaming chaos, my first love,
and even now it is Loki who still owns my heart.
He is a wound that will never heal.
I see his face as I wander the night streets.
A young man with a knit cap pulled low,
three-day beard, tattered jeans
and a moth-eaten sweater will stop me cold.
Wild hair pulled up in a top-knot will
bring tears to my eye.
I spent the nineties in Seattle looking for love.

So many gods gone,
only the twins remain,
but I am forever apart.
Did I really do so poorly,
fail so miserably?
Are old memories all I have left?

I remember the ships of the Greeks
and the longboats of the Vikings,
thousands of voices calling on me
to bless them as they raged across the world
equating reason with excuse.
Waste!
Loss.
Old age took my hope away.
I remember when my old ash stick
was covered in celestial gold with serpents
hugging it to life.
I remember when I believed more
in the dawn than in the sunset.
Mortals seem forever in search
of proof of their mortality,
inventing new and clever ways to die.
My dreams are filled with fire
and I wonder if the new god is Surt in disguise
or just a tool of raging titans.

I wake up in godsweat to wrap myself in something,
grab my stick and take a walk in the night
looking for something to believe in.

© Jim Wise

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