bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: poetry

5 years.

A Poem for Pulse

By Jameson Fitzpatrick

Last night, I went to a gay bar
with a man I love a little.
After dinner, we had a drink.
We sat in the far-back of the big backyard
and he asked, What will we do when this place closes?
I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon, I said,
though the crowd was slow for a Saturday,
and he said—Yes, but one day. Where will we go?
He walked me the half-block home
and kissed me goodnight on my stoop—
properly: not too quick, close enough
our stomachs pressed together
in a second sort of kiss.
I live next to a bar that’s not a gay bar
—we just call those bars, I guess—
and because it is popular
and because I live on a busy street,
there are always people who aren’t queer people
on the sidewalk on weekend nights.
Just people, I guess.
They were there last night.
As I kissed this man I was aware of them watching
and of myself wondering whether or not they were just.
But I didn’t let myself feel scared, I kissed him
exactly as I wanted to, as I would have without an audience,
because I decided many years ago to refuse this fear—
an act of resistance. I left
the idea of hate out on the stoop and went inside,
to sleep, early and drunk and happy.
While I slept, a man went to a gay club
with two guns and killed forty-nine people.
Today in an interview, his father said he had been disturbed
recently by the sight of two men kissing.
What a strange power to be cursed with:
for the proof of men’s desire to move men to violence.
What’s a single kiss? I’ve had kisses
no one has ever known about, so many
kisses without consequence—
but there is a place you can’t outrun,
whoever you are.
There will be a time when.
It might be a bullet, suddenly.
The sound of it. Many.
One man, two guns, fifty dead—
Two men kissing. Last night
I can’t get away from, imagining it, them,
the people there to dance and laugh and drink,
who didn’t believe they’d die, who couldn’t have.
How else can you have a good time?
How else can you live?
There must have been two men kissing
for the first time last night, and for the last,
and two women, too, and two people who were neither.
Brown people, which cannot be a coincidence in this country
which is a racist country, which is gun country.
Today I’m thinking of the Bernie Boston photograph
Flower Power, of the Vietnam protestor placing carnations
in the rifles of the National Guard,
and wishing for a gesture as queer and simple.
The protester in the photo was gay, you know,
he went by Hibiscus and died of AIDS,
which I am also thinking about today because
(the government’s response to) AIDS was a hate crime.
Now we have a president who names us,
the big and imperfectly lettered us, and here we are
getting kissed on stoops, getting married some of us,
some of us getting killed.
We must love one another whether or not we die.
Love can’t block a bullet
but neither can it be shot down,
and love is, for the most part, what makes us—
in Orlando and in Brooklyn and in Kabul.
We will be everywhere, always;
there’s nowhere else for us, or you, to go.
Anywhere you run in this world, love will be there to greet you.
Around any corner, there might be two men.

Kissing.

~~~~

5 years ago today, many people were killed or wounded in the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida. It was one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

Jameson Fitzpatrick, “A Poem for Pulse” from Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence.  Copyright © 2017 by Jameson Fitzpatrick. 

2021 Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation 61 W. Superior Street Chicago, IL 60654 USA

Month for Loki: Fourteenth

You flow easily

Weaving a web within

The boundaries of Wyrd

Burning with knowledge

Seeking stillness

Ancient mage

Clever fool

Your laughter echoes

Through time.

Artwork: ‘Genasi’ by Nataliya Barteneva
on Artstation

Month for Loki: Ninth

LOKI’S GIFTS

by Mordant Carnival

Hail Loki, honour to Loki

To Sif you gave her golden hair;
You have given me renewal.

Honour to the Son of Laufey.

To Thor you gave Mjolnir;
You have given me strength in the face of my enemies.

Hail Loki, honour to Loki

To Frey you gave Skinbladnir;
You have borne me over mighty gulfs.

Honour to the Son of Laufey.

To Frey you gave Gullinbursti;
You have been a radiance for me through the darkest times

Hail Loki, honour to Loki.

To Odin you gave Draupnir;
You have given me wealth uncounted.

Honour to the Son of Laufey.

To Odin you gave Gungnir;
You have given me victory.

Hail Loki, honour to Loki.

Honour to the fair One,
Honour to the cunning One,
Honour to the generous One,
Hail the Son of Laufey.

  candlelokiprayer

(poem from ‘Be Thou My Hearth and Shield: Prayers in the Northern Tradition,’ Elizabeth Vongvisith, editor; Asphodel Press, Hubbardstown, MA, 2009; p. 124.)

Month for Loki: Fourth

Lately, I’ve had runes on my mind, especially in terms of expanding upon the layered meanings held by the runes in Loki’s name, and this post concerns the newest thoughts I’ve had concerning Laguz.

As I’ve written before, the changing flow of water invoked by the rune Laguz is very representative of Loki’s shape-shifting abilities

More literally, one may recall how Loki takes the form of the salmon that swims to the source of waterfall, but more often, metaphorically, working with Loki can feel like being brought down into the water of the subconscious to do emotional/shadow work.

underwater (1)(Photo: Medical Daily)

This is yet another aspect of His purview that I believe can be symbolized by the Laguz in His name.

At least, this has been my path with Him, and one that I find especially evocative in the following poem, written by Jacob Ibrag

Deeper

It feels like sinking.

Like you’re trying to break the waters

surface with every kick your body delivers.

You remember that panic causes

more panic so you try to remain placid.

Deeper.

You think about love and if you really

had it.

If it was really love then why hasn’t it lasted?

Maybe if it was real love, you would’ve

already been found.

And if it was real love, how could it ever die out?

Deeper.

You try forming

a symbiotic relationship with the water, letting it take you so you can become a part of it.

You’ve always belonged here.

Deeper.

You let go, giving up the fight.

Remembering

that it was all in your head as you wake up in the middle of the night.

~~~

Worried.

Month for Loki, 6: Trickster (poetry)

A lovely poem about Loki by Sophie Oberlander:

 

Trickster

by Sophie Oberlander

“I never sought You.
Those places deep within my heart were far too burned and scarred
To let You in, hard like misshapen stone.
Or so I thought. But I gave much
The first time I hung on that Tree.
Not enough, by far, but just enough to shatter that wall of stone
The barest fragment breaking free.
I heard Your whisper, but turned aside my face
You could not be speaking to me.
I felt Your gentle touch cradling my wounded spirit
As You cradled Odin,
His body bloodied, His spirit on fire beneath that Tree
Long before I climbed its branches.
Was it through Your laughter that You taught me to love You?
Or through the tenderness of Your caress?
I have seen a face of You that few bother to see.
I have felt Your burning passion, gentle and tender beneath the Tree.
Brother, Lover, Friend,
No image of God quite prepared me for You.
You eased away my terror with Your wicked cavorting,
Making a broken child laugh by playing the fool.
I have seen Sigyn’s quiet contentment,
And the love behind Your games.
I no longer understand the trepidation in which others call Your name.
I have seen Your other face too,
When You took me to Your daughter’s realm.
I have seen You, locked in ecstasy,
Summoning up Her wards and wights for me.
My heart’s stone did not so much break
As melt beneath Your flame.
I have tasted Your rage, Your fury at my hurt,
Reveled in the darkest glee
With which You opened the gates of Niflheim to defend me.
No one told me how much You cherish Your children.
I have seen You, Trickster, weeping in anguish
Every one of Your children’s’ wounds piercing Your heart.
And I have seen You in battle, Odin’s equal,
Though Yours a far darker art.
I have heard Your song,
Far sweeter than I ever knew it could be,
As You took my hand, and led me from that Tree.
If it Your stories I cherish most, as we walk Bifrost bridge,
Dancing patterns amongst the stars.
You placed my hands upon the web, and taught me songs to weave.
As I hung for Asgard, through You, for Hella’s realm I reached.
I know how You are feared, or mocked, or thought long bound.
But I know too, it was Your hand guiding me
Through my darkest despair and pain.
And how can I fear Your deepest love,
When it is the freedom of my heart I’ve gained?
Loki, now it is Your burning that I seek.
Let us mingle songs beneath the Tree,
For I adore the flame you have ignited in me.”

Sometimes I just need poetry.

~~ The Journey~~

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.~

~Mary Oliver

Deeper.

Deeper

 

Written by Jacob Ibrag

 

It feels like sinking.

Like you’re trying to break the waters

surface with every kick your body delivers.

You remember that panic causes

more panic so you try to remain placid.

Deeper.

You think about love and if you really

had it.

If it was really love then why hasn’t it lasted?

Maybe if it was real love, you would’ve

already been found.

And if it was real love, how could it ever die out?

Deeper.

You try forming

a symbiotic relationship with the water, letting it take you so you can become a part of it.

You’ve always belonged here.

Deeper.

You let go, giving up the fight.

Remembering

that it was all in your head as you wake up in the middle of the night.

Month for Loki, Day 24: Pieces of poetry, pieces of prayer

Loki, bring me to change

Loki, teach me innovation

Loki, be the cleansing fire

The source of my liberation.

Hail Loki!

Truth-Singer

Gift-Bringer

Hearth-Fire

Funeral-Pyre

Innovator

World-Breaker

Month for Loki, Day 13: A Prayer for Loki (poem)

Sharing a fun little poem that I found on Pinterest:

 

A Prayer for Loki 

a poem by Victoria Verney