Forming the Tree

This is another of those very rough pseudo-verse poems that was dropped on my head a while back. The talk of how the wells and wyrd and memory intertwine with life and death seemed relevant to it, so I have brought it out to look at it again.

I want to convert it to a better Skaldic meter for a modern Vanic Edda that I am (very slowly) working on. I know people may disagree with what it says so far, but it’s what was given to me, so it’s what I have:

The Tree

The Heides of Vanaheim speak:

What there was of the previous worlds we can not know.
Where there is no language, there can be no story.
Where there are no shapes, there can be no image.
Where there is no space, there can be no form.
Before the worlds we know,
we have no memory, nor thought, only distant echoes.

What we have seen is this:

There was a flaw in the fabric, a void.
The threads stretched around the void as it grew.
The seed of wyrd grew from the void,
flowing along the threads.

The first world was Niflheim,
icy stillness, perfect form without function.
When the wyrd reached it, there were the waters formed,
and Hvergelmir, the first well.
Echoes of what was are imprinted within the ice still.

The second world was Muspelheim,
firey tension, perfect function without form.
When the wyrd reached it, there were the winds formed,
and Ond, the first breath.
Echoes of what was vibrate within the fire still.

From the ice and the fire was the green world made.
The third world was Jotunheim.
When the wyrd reached it, there formed the Great Tree,
and Orlog, the well-worn paths.

(It is now what it always was,
flowing and branching in the void
but it was not always a Tree,
it’s paths were not always well worn.)

Spinning from the void,
three worlds balanced on the Great Tree.
Three worlds touched.
Three worlds resounded.
Echoing, three worlds formed.

The fourth world was Vanaheim.
When the Great Tree reached it,
the Tree of Life grew, cycles began.

The fifth world was Asgard.
When the Great Tree reached it,
the Rift grew, choices began.

The sixth world was Alfheim.
The Children of Alfheim were mortal,
who lived and died, and mourned the loss.

A place was needed for those who were lost.
Out of Niflheim was spun a seventh world, Niflhel
To house the lost Alfar, who they called Ancestors.

Alfheim collided with the Great Tree.
(Only the alfar know why. The alfar will not speak of it.)

When the wyrd reached Alfheim, the land cracked,
splitting light from dark and dark from light.
Ljosalfheim chose eternal life and ephemeral art,
upholding the bargains with Helheim and Vanaheim.
Svartalfheim chose eternal art and ephemeral life,
returning to mortal life, no longer beholden to the Alflord.

Between them, a Middle World remained, the ninth world
in all ways ephemeral, and beholden to the Veraldrgodh,
whose blessings brought them life renewed with each season.

((c) Ember Cooke, 2014)

One thing this does not say that I may or may not have to sort out how to incorporate: The three Wells are also one Well, of Wyrd itself, at their heart. Perhaps that is implied, I don’t know.

–Ember–

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