(Photo by Meagan Tutti-Peters, http://www.mktutti.wordpress.com/)
So! We have heard tales told of fallen kings,
The might of those that thread themselves through
The oceans and seas sewing together
Tapestries of war waged and won in blood.
There are monuments made in their honor,
Yet names and deeds slip silently beneath
The waters of time, to those onyx depths.
Mighty warriors once wielding weapons
Have fallen prey pierced by times cruel blade
Left fallen on fields for the scavengers.
Picked and pulled apart piece by piece taken
While keen blue eyes watch waiting from afar.
The raven Kennin keeps watch o’er the fields
For his feuding kin, kingly brothers both
Hugin and Munin mighty servants of
The god of one-eye Odin, giver of rings.
Both brothers atop an armored shoulder
Separated by both head and helm.
Daily they leave on Odin’s beckoning
To circle the world Winding, wind and wing,
Gathering secrets, stopping in the fields
Feasting upon those that have been slain.
There Kennin wanders, wordlessly waiting.
From the west Hugin heralds his hunger.
From the east Munin marks the morning light.
Flesh broken by beak Black feathered brothers
Feast on flesh and blood before their flight back.
Behold Kennin comes caught by words of woe,
Unleashes his horde held by beak and tongue.
“Brothers please heed me! Make peace, feud no more!”
His eyes were as seas, solemn in sorrow,
Flooded and troubled torrents of tears flowed.
“May we be brothers bound by blood again.”
Hugin’s reply is: “In me all is known!”
Munin’s call answers: “All known ends in me!”
Swooping into flight, feathers unfolded,
Both brothers swiftly strike Kennin, beaks bared.
Sinews split, bones break, blood on black feather
Flows, as Kennin declares: “Do not be afraid.”
His spirit consumed caught in both brothers.
Munin and Hugin hold Kennin within,
Burdened by his woe, weighted by sorrow,
Forever knowing, neither will be whole.
Author’s Notes: Hugin and Munin are Odin’s ravens in Anglo and Norse mythology. Translated their names mean “thought” and “memory.” Kennin is a made up name based upon the Norse word “Kenna” meaning feeling or intuition and is related to the word “Kenning,” the Old English/Norse form of metaphor. The first line of this poem is meant to be a play on Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. The line “do not be afraid” is meant to pay tribute to the late Heaney, as they were his last words.