Brocken Spectre

(Lyrics written for the band hvíldarlauss dauðr and their forthcoming album)

 

brocken-spectre

 

Rich descendant of its

Poor and stupid ancestors.

Hoard-obsessed giant,

Arms wide on its mountain.

 

“Oh yes, I am the light.

A rainbow shines out of my face.

Shadow-cast your little minds with

Crazed joy – keep you in your place.”

 

We are of dust and mountain rock

Crumbling like ash and powder,

Scattered about like stars

On pitch black.

 

Feet fused with foundations of rock,

Too much time to roar and stare.

If its face had formed, it would have

Mouth contorted in a grimaced grin.

 

Delirium – you’re blind to its cloud-stride,

Trembling bones at laughter’s crack,

Shivering in spatters of cold rain.

Yet the little feeble chant comes back:

 

You are of mist and mountain rock

Crumbling like ash and powder,

Scattered about like stars

On pitch black.

 

(That poor mortal tragedy,

Necks bent, shuffling in the dark.

Overshadowed by the mountain giant,

Ever crawling through the mud.)

 

Poor giant, as the light dims,

This light illusion blurs and breaks –

The cloud shifts, disturbed and rolling,

Pierced through by jagged peaks.

 

It ends, curled up, foetal,

Imagining its mother’s arms

But falling through dispersing fog

Turning to a broken ghost.

Brocken Spectre

On the Harvest

van gogh wheat field with crows

A song for the harvest, based on an old tale of folklore… (Painting by van Gogh – Wheat Field with Crows)

In early spring, young dreamer, Silas Crow
Did so lament ‘is status as a farmer..
Nah full o’ fortune, rather full o’ woe:
When came ta growin’ wheat, ‘e were nah charmer…

Crow was ‘is name ’cause ‘e was friend o’ birds.
Nah chased ’em off ‘is field, at cost o’ yield.
The crows ‘e favoured, by ‘is very words,
‘is admiration truly ‘ad been sealed.

One day, while ‘e was fightin’ wi’ some weeds,
(Who seemed to laugh at ‘im – this farmin’ joke)
Young Silas tumbled back, scatterin’ ‘is seeds…
‘e banged ‘is ‘ead… ’til sunset nah awoke.

An’ when ‘is eyes did open, lookin’ down,
There was a friendly crow who opened beak…
Unsure if t’was the injury to ‘is crown,
Young Silas jumped as it began ta speak:

“Farmer…” it started, in a raspy tone,
“Ye wish a noted harvest for the year?”
Silas did nod. “Then seeds are to be sown –
Don’t waste yer time a-sittin’ on yer rear.”

The man got to ‘is feet an’ Crow did spake:
“I’ll ‘elp yer to a rich an’ fruitful yield…
If ye do as I say, wi’ nah mistake,
Yer’ll ‘ave the fullest bounty o’ yer field.”

And with that, Crow did ask of the young man
For half ‘is seed ta feed ‘is birdy friends..
Silas agreed, open to any plan
That might result in any fruitful ends.

So as the year rolled onwards, Summer-bound,
The crops did flourish well, nah pecked an’ small.
Silas came out for battle wi’ the ground,
The ritual pullin’ o’ the weeds so tall…

But suddenly, alighted ‘is friend Crow,
Who merely stood an’ slowly shook ‘is head.
Young Silas stopped an’ leaned upon ‘is hoe
To listen to what Crow came forth an’ said:

“Pull up the weeds, but leave them not to die.
Instead, replant ’em, borderin’ the field.”
Silas, ‘e frowned, an’ questioned Crow: “But.. why?”
Crow laughed: “Ye’ll find a fuller crop so sealed.”

So Silas did ‘is biddin’… an’ come time
Ta reap the fruits o’ harvest fer the year,
‘E did indeed each farmer’s yield outshine.
‘E gathered crops an’ grinned from ear to ear.

After the grand harvest celebration,
When Silas took the crown fer best o’ show,
The bird flew down an’ by ‘im took ‘is station.
Silas did thank an’ praise that wily crow.

The crow explained: “Plants are like earthly balance…
Each brother needs ‘is siblin’ to be close.
A man can have a lifetime full o’ talents,
But listen to this Crow, so well verbose…”

“Without the vicious weed, there is no flower.
Without the lengthened nights, no rest for sun.
For now, ivy takes oak within its power…
The tapestry o’ nature here be spun.”

On the Harvest

Nancy and the Mud Man

3beaa32c01a2807baf3ef338709abbd0

Out on the fens, one mornin’ chilled,
Where fog trailed fingers low,
Upon wood walkways men did build
A young maid she did go.

She tripped along, ta berries seek,
This maiden known as Nancy.
For she knew this landscape bleak
Had nibbles for ‘er fancy.

Nah long she’d followed that straight road
‘Til heard she a strange sound…
A suckin’ squelch… and so she slowed
And cautious, turned around.

A sight o’ horror met ‘er eyes –
A monster o’ the bog!
A man o’ mud did steady rise
All drippin’ in the fog.

She screamed an’ turned, this frightened lass,
To run fast from the beast.
But ‘ere she did, she heard: ‘Alas!
I’ll never be released!’

The woeful pain within the voice
Made Nancy stop and look.
The mud man stood, all brown an’ moist –
His head forlornly shook.

She tentatively took a pace
Towards the muddy mess.
He sadly raised his sloppy face
And sobs did he suppress.

‘Dear miss,’ said he, ‘I doesn’t try
Ta frighten merry folk.
I only wants ‘em ta come by
And friendly talk an’ joke.’

Young Nancy listened to him moan
And muttered ‘Ye poor fellow…’
And he explained an aged crone
(with skin all wrinkly yellow)

Had told him ‘e could twist ‘is fate
If ‘e could find a maid
Who’d nah look upon ‘im in hate
But kiss him, unafraid.

He’d transform to a strappin’ male,
All ‘andsome, kind an’ smart.
Nancy listened to ‘is tale
And felt it in ‘er heart…

She said: ‘I’ll grant ye a true kiss,
Nah gave in fear, but free.’
The mud man cried, ‘Oh bless ye miss!
Ye’s filled this beast wi’ glee!’

So stood she up, upon toe-tips,
To kiss the mud man’s face.
She grimaced as she suffered sips
O’ mud an’ earthy taste.

And as she felt she needed air
Amid the runny slop
She found her lips were glued fast there:
She found she could nah stop…

She screamed out muffled as her head
Was getting sucked in too…
She wriggled, kicked as the monster fed
All gulpin’ without chew.

And in due time, she was all ate…
‘er legs an’ feet an’ toes.
The monster cackled at her fate
‘That’s ‘ow the maids all goes!’

‘Fool they be but feast for me,
All falls fer my smart trick!’
They’s all soft-heart an’ nah does see
Or uses wit so quick!’

And so ‘e slopped along the planks
All built by men in’t fog.
Heavy with lunch, he crossed the banks
An’ sank into the bog.

(Illustration – Nøkken by Theodor Kittelsen)

Nancy and the Mud Man

Spider

Spider, will ye trap a fly tonight?
In darkened corners, watchin’ still an’ calm.
Each leg does flex, a-beckonin’ the sight
O’ some winged dish, so unaware o’ harm.
 

An’ so ‘e buzzes, straight towards yer bed,
An’ sticky substances from deep within.
But at the plunge o’ that poor bugger’s head,
‘E finds the trap that she was born ta spin…
 

And so it grows, the web, with every pluck –
The thin silks creepin’ to yer very door.
All sparklin’ by morn, wi’ dew an’ such…
As she creeps down an’ hides beneath the floor.

Spider

Oh Egg….

Oh egg – behold ye – snug in nest,
And feathers, fluffy down.
Naively locked – so firmly pressed
In shell o’ flawless brown.
 
This perfect curve, infinity,
Still keeps the world outside,
A-holdin’ some divinity
Trapped fast, nah time allied.
 
A tiny orb of innocence
Content ta sleep within…
But when ta press an’ strive for sense
A worm may burrow in…
 
Whether pecked or premature
Cracked open for a feast,
That step into the light, fer sure
Twice breaks this poorly beast.
 
The sun will melt upon a plate
Before ye mercy beg,
Despite perfection, ’tis too late…
For troubled little egg.

bird_egg

Oh Egg….

Black Wings

When world were young, and gods they spun

The cycles into place,

There were but one who ‘marked upon

Wi’ frown upon her face:

Should tides turn rough and strong enough,

T’would grind the stone back round…

And moon would come in place o’ sun,

And up be going down.

Like in the bakin’ sunshine,

Wi’ salt crystals on the deck…

What might be just the gems of fools

May also break yer neck.

So watch ye fer the bigger birds,

‘Cause fer the corpse they come.

The feathers bright into the night,

But black against the sun…

Black Wings