Vala

Vala

Arm rings and bracelets Odin gave you,
came to your cave, his face hard and grim.
What was, what was to come, you told him.
Was he wise to listen, some may wonder,
to the words of a seeress in trance,
the one men called Vala,
who lived high above their fields and farms,
so close to the thunder?

Your dark stone statue,
stood alone on the stair,
stalled my step.
I looked up and saw you.
I will always remember.
In Oslo museum we met.
It was summer in Norway.
That silence of sculpture,
I will not forget.
Folds in your robe, your hood,
I studied, the lines in your face,
your uplifted hands.
Your eyes sealed, so you could see,
blind to be certain nothing from you was hidden.
You made clear to my eye,
north is my land, my sea, my sky.
Bare mountain, cloud hidden glacier,
the sun never thawed,
here I lay anchor, my boat was shored.
Strangely, I loved you, so far, remote from me.
No gifts I had for you,
no brooch, no rune stone,
my words alone sculpt a fine memory.

I saw the ship built for burial,
the long sleep of a princess.
She lay with her jewels, her silver crown.
Who knows what the fates will weave in your web?
Her voyage no wind could hinder,
no sea could drown.

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