“Classical Landscape,” Konstantin Bogaevsky, 1910, WikiArt.

Part 2: Triple-Leaf Vine Sprang Forth

Known Norse world, wagon wheel spokes
Turning, Myndill reaching, fingers touching
Forest heights I flew, neither dead nor alive,
Past all sea reckoning, gods old and new,
Presence mountain descending, my mind-
Opened like blade-turned oyster shells.
“What source?” thought-entering voice
Asked, ageless, benevolent as hostile.
Feeble “Yes,” I uttered, soul-nothingness
I became, tree-top turning tumult.

Decades history of Norse rule single-breath
Reduced, my mind image-filled: “Think of
Stout oak, roots deep-seeking earth deities,
Water of Life, anchoring might.” I nodded.
“Trunked torso, branches strong, myriad
Religious beliefs, broad rivers sea-flowing,
Countless leaves-followers sky-reaching
Prayers, divine light yearning, wisdom of
Ancient Ones.” Sunlit glade I awakened,
Meditated amongst solid oaks, source of
Knowledge, blessings, Gauls, Celts, Druids,
At finger-like gnarled roots, I knelt, prayed.

Within forest quietude, mind angst-clreared,
Inner peace I found, Dyrsella’s sea-offal potion
Separating from madding world. Myndill, all
Norse clans, homesteads, nowhere found,
Long-ship raiding tempered-steel, thirst for
Jewels, silver, women, children slave-taken,
Worst yet, blood on Albion church doors.
O! Bellicose hearts? Had Vikings lost noble
Ways? Had we lost mysterious source of
Magic, guiding kinship of pagan gods?

“Sunny Day in Wood,” Ivan Shishkin, 1891, WikiArt.

Bliss consciousness fading, I feared Dyrsella’s
Potion waning, Myndill shoulders clutching,
Calling, “Brithe, return to us.” “But what source
Shall we follow?” I asked aloud, voices echoing,
Tween heaven’s gate, Norse fiord shores. Alas!
Before me, triple-leafed vine sprang forth, oak-
Tree reaching, ankle entangling, torso climbing,
New sprigs round my arms unfolding, “I am the
Vine, you are branches, one entangled with
The other, nothing without the other, miracles
And mysteries, new faith emerging.”

What mix of religious imagery is present in this poem?
How are they similar, different? Poem concludes with
Part 3. Thanks for reading? 

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