“Moss, Roots,” Ivan Shishkin, WikiArt.

Part 3: Thousand Thoughts Conveyed (Last)

When death comes, earth stands still for living
And for dead, breathing ceased, heart silenced,
Mortal separation, empty rooms, cold sunlight.
For Norse, farmers, traders, seagoing fishers
Take solace on cresting waves or forests deep,
Each born knowing soul’s true affinity, trees
Or waves, before tragedy strikes. Death of her
Warrior, Likvané cursed angst-healing ancient
Wolds, where messages arise from far-reaching
Tree roots, or linger as leafy words, speaking
Equally to living and to dead.

Before dark magic spells, what did pilgrims
See? Statues of gallant warriors, pathways
Leading from nothingness to awaiting world,
Stark, angled light falling upon mountain
Meadows, dead gathering for messages from
Grief-stricken families, loved ones, consoling
Words giving rise to gates of Valhalla. O!
Precious forests, how can I, Brædyn, restore
Your verdant spirit, offer ageless rest amongst
Clear-running rambling streams, few mirrored
Sips, instilling messages for those in dire need.

“Shepherdess Watching her Flock,” Thomas Moran, 1867, WikiArt.

To what avail confronting Kikvané, except to
Acknowledge that I know, sorceress, grieving
Norse widow, hearth fires, night-sleeping
Without body warmth. In anger, she struck out,
Axe-like magic spells felling slender branches,
Scarring noble trunks. Lo! Dearest forest messages
Are not words, per se, but gentle touch of hands
Upon dried-leathery face, in silence, thousand
Thoughts conveyed. Yes, I feel forest breathe life
Anew, dusk transformed to rosy dawn, lost souls
Awarded hero’s welcome, Viking warriors’ way.

Thanks for reading this three-part poem.

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