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by Akkeri
Rated: E · Poetry · Mythology · #2257177
Words of the witch-seer
I. A King’s Ransom
Although I looked the old man
In his one good eye,
wondering what would happen,
his thoughts lay elsewhen.

‘Go from this place, your time is not now,
my hall is barred to those unbloodied.’

         ‘And go where? All I have is lost,
         I have become unbound, unleashed’

‘You breathe, yet your freedom binds tight,
all you had is gone; all you will have is there,’

         ‘Where? Where the ice wind cannot blow?
         Where sky and land are one cold grey?
         Where there is nothing to be had,
         But the cruel fate of vengeance lost?’

‘As you seek, so shall you reveal,
Yet there is one who knows, who feels,
Who knows you are yet to arrive,
Yet senses the time is worn thin.’

         ‘You lie, waster of worlds,
         Manipulator, instigator,
         Oath breaker, trouble maker,
         Master of the taunting tongue.
         Your word like your missing eye,
         Sacrificed for capricious sport.’

His anger flashed fire-blue,
And the red spread on his parchment face,
The birds returned atop his chair,
Black wings battling against cold air.

‘She sees where I see nought,
And hears the secrets dead men keep,
Soul-secrets their lips never passed;
Yet she names nothing in the nine worlds.

Had I her sight I would scry,
What lies after the sunset;
After the sundering of my home,
After the splintering of my bones,
After the slaughter of all my sons,
After the sacrifice of emptiness.

She is struck low by the sickening sight,
Of all who were, all who are, all who will be;
All who feel the grasping clasp of fear,
All who rasp their first and last of air,
From the pure, pink mouths of babes,
To the tired tongues of the old,
Their lives are not tightly woven,
But she knows what they choose,
She is the Prophetess,
She who sees,
She who knows,
She who weeps.

         ‘What fate awaits me then?
         Death on a down-filled bed?
         My Reckoning has rent a bloody hole
         that your hollow words will not fill’

A snort, a snigger, or something in between,
But in his eye that terrible gleam.

‘Not even she can see the branches of your tree,
Or where the road will unroll beneath you,
And though my one eye has sore sight of you,
I know your paths are forever crossed,
Be they strangling vines, rivers susurrus,
Or the glory of Ginunngagap,
No two were more tightly twined
For glory or for shame, or each of the same.’

II. The Wild Hunt
Right roll forward, left in, one up,
right roll back, left out, breathe in,
The world reels beneath two wheels,
the whistling of the wind,
insinuating, insisting,
the whisper of white line fever.

Her voice soothing, incessant
salacious, capricious
poisonously sweet
she whispers ‘trust me’
as if it were that easy
to release the throttlehold

I seek what I cannot see,
remembering what I never knew,
the needles of nagging doubt,
bleeding me drier than the dusty road.

Saturday night already old,
the ghost of music past
shadows me through the cold,
I can’t remember what she said,
something about love over gold,
before the station left for static.

A single light guides the way,
pushing back the clawing night,
crouched on the back of this beast,
choosing to flee than to stay and fight,

Sometimes, you can see the road ahead,
or twist, and glimpse the road behind,
but sometimes you just have to hang on
and face the high-beams sending you blind.
Because there, in the glare of oncoming lights,
there’s a drawn out lifetime or two,
where there is nothing you can say,
and not a damn thing you can do,
except let go and let something else,
absolve you of the burden of being you.

III. The Crone
‘Had I the sight of which you sing
Would I be rotting in this place?
Or would I have early married
A rich man in the arms of death
Taking his last breath slowly,
The succubus I once was?’

She gasps for breath whilst reaching
for the ever present ashtray
sealing the wax on the fate already woven
and neatly enveloped by time

‘I am not her, nor do I wish it,
but one day she will be as old as I
and you will wish you had never
trod the path you find yourself on.
Go from this place, elsewhere is she
for I am not the one you sought.’

IV. The Matron
Had I the sight of which you sing,
would I not be watching for my child,
tripping the traps that must tremble ready,
for my only daughter, my greatest boon?

She shifts the weight of the world
onto her hip and sighs
fearing the calm lows and giddy highs
engendered in her arms.

I am not her, nor do I wish it,
but one day she will be just as I,
and you will wish you had never
trod the path you find yourself on.
Go from this place, elsewhere is she
for I am not the one you are seeking.

V. The Maiden
Had I the sight of which you sing
would I waste it on watching what comes?
I dread your dream scenes
the future you draw leaves me cold.
To know what is to be, without
the power to weave the world I want

She turns away with a sly grin
as if the moment were eternal
and the beauty of a moment
youthfully indestructible.

I am not her, nor do I wish it,
but one day she was as young as I,
and you will wish you had never,
trod the path you find yourself on.
Go from this place, elsewhere is she
For I am not the one you will seek.

VI. Visindakona
In the temple ruins of a god long gone,
his broken bones now scattered columns,
worshipped only by wrens in shrilling thanks
for shelter from the freezing winds.

Beyond the bleak bones a house alone,
sentinel over the silent god’s grave.
I know she waits within,
Whispering thou shalt know no fear

A room of teak, a room of watered silk,
a room weary of the world beyond its walls.
She embraced the arm of a velveteen chaise,
a supportive old friend weary and worn,
And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder,
when a shadow stole across the room.

‘It was never a sure thing, but I think I knew.’
Which of us spoke I can never be sure,
her lips masked momentarily with smoke,
while mine trembled with the memories
of ten years in the muddy trenches
lost in the no-man’s-land inside my mind

Her eyes the menace of desert skies-
open, boundless, blazing blue
but more than just a whisper of heat
veiled in shadow, veiled in midnight

Somewhen a voice told me not to look
Yet I looked, and beheld,
a pale face with a diamantine tear,
and my eyes could not meet hers.

And in the clarity confusion brings,
the chaos of the moment bound us.
To know the pathfinder may find a path
the prophetess was not prepared for,
and that in the search for the same,
serendipity will rule supreme.
Where mortals must meddle most
is where mortals fear to tread
lest the feelings they feel
be all that truly exists

VII. Waking the Dead
As I saddled up, a glimpse back
only to see a vacant lot.
In the scorched grass
atop a rusted wreck left long behind,
a solitary crow, head askew,
watched the wounded walk away.

And an old man, with one eye,
turning over a broken patch of dirt.
Reaching into his sky-coloured jacket
for a thin and twisted fag-end,
spitting at the intruder in his world,
and rallying against the fate of men.
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