Thursday, March 20, 2014


artwork by george wright


“I existed from all eternity, and behold I am here, and shall be
to the end of time, for my being has no end.”
--Kahill Gibran.

It reappears like gestures-obscene written
in invisible-ink, always after we become
tumult-tired of our gods & lords,
our bile-bankers,
our philosopher-kings,
the piety-privileged;

final-fatigued by temple-promises,
dream-hollows, mandate-mangling,
we have the clarion-dawning, 
& find ourselves wonder-willing
to topple the gold-tables of the greed-hungry
money-changers, after nausea-waves
lead us to nothing-worship.

Perhaps the dust-prophesies,
myth-misinterpretations of antiquity
were not really folly-misinformation,

perhaps the chaos-blossoms surging up
in this moment-presence in each hidden
corner-crumble of this planet, though
most certainly not fresh-budding,
are truly the blood-flowers heralding
that the age-of-axes has returned,
with its peace-destroy, hope-cleaving
buzz-saw at full-rev, because

it does not require angel-eyes
to witness 
children murdering their parents,
mothers killing their infants, 
as incest-waves sin-swirl,
brothers slaying brothers,
street thugees wilding-gone,
border-blindness, sect turning
upon sect, country upon country,
& sadness-worse, upon
its own people;

for most of us lip-serve consent
& knowledge-accept that the oceans
are rise-rapid, that the sea itself
is dying from garbage-ingestion--

soon, too soon I fear,
we will force-hear the hoot-horrible
of Heimdall blowing taps on the blood-brass
of the Gjallarhorn, as mythos-Norse
performs an ice-blood encore, 
& the Gotterdammerung  will lion-leap
upon us again, & the dream-twilighting
will suffer terminal day-loss, where
no one will be solid-safe, as madness
dark-devours our mind’s-eye,
and the armies-many will become two,
before massing-murderous on the divers-deathly,
eternal-vast fields of Vigrid--

where the mingled-white Aesir will be led
by Odin, one-eyed, wolf-flanked, raven-hovered,
thrusting his god-spear Gungnir toward

the Armies-Evil led by Loki, monarch death-fist,
who will gladly unleash the Frost Giants
& Mountain-Trolls of Jotunheim,
the hell-hound called Garm,
the tenfold-terrible serpent of Midgard,
flanked-fierce by the Fire-Giants led by Surt,
spilling magma-scald out of Muspelheim, 
before sending the dragon-dun Nidhogg
to hunger-knaw at the root-sacred bones
of the indispensable Yggrasill;

God-demise will bubble-burst wound-open
like fruit-rot--Odin will be alive-swallowed
by the great were-wolf Fenrir, 
mighty Thor swinging-savage his war-hammer
would ultimately kill the serpent-humungous 
Jormungandr, but even he would hero-stagger
those nine-steps before poison-perishing,
just as Surt sets the entire world ablaze
with his flame-sword as the earth
in panic-recoil endeavors to sink back
into the sea to extinguish its anguish-blue,
as the burning heavens split open
and the insect-people scurry from their homes,
the dim dwarves stand weeping at their stone doors,
the sun turns ashen-black, and every land mass
silent-sinks into the sea-maw, creating
steam-clouds that hiss-holy as they quell
the flame-prodigy that had been sin-licking
the tendrils-tender of Heaven’s-Gate. 

Yet, even yet, as the pulpy-prophets
& the high-holy dead-scroll texts espouse,
ALL will not, cannot be forever-lost,
for as a species we survived the Great Flood,
the sinking of Atlantis, the loss of Lemuria,
& the Ice-Age, so even after Ragnarok
new-life will triumphant-rise out of the 
gestation-boiling womb-wetness of the

and as planned, 
the survivors-two, whether
Lif & Lifpucir,
Eve & Adam, or
Sid & Nancy,
will repopulate the Earth-clone,

& their descendants will enjoy a new era,
a full century of peace,
where gods & men will live
without wickedness,
all of them dreaming the impossible dream,
attaining the unachievable--
or not. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author reading this Kenning Poem to you?


Mary said...

Well, Glenn, I must say I don't know where to start in commenting this poem. I way it is a kenning of epic proportions, demonstrating your knowledge of literature and mythology &, besides that, leaving me awed and near speechless. Smiles.

Anonymous said...

Not only did you use kennings, Glenn, but you wrote a saga. >KB

Brian Miller said...

like the pairing of the bile bankers and our philosopher-kings....ugh on the world we are we turn on one another....and our lip-serve to consent...yeah....serious write man...def epic in all the touches on myth...that the Thor movies have brought back to the forefront....

mrs mediocrity said...

Yes, wow, I feel like this really has the feel of the Old Norse works and the power of a saga...

I especially love the surviors-two section.

Abhra said...

Oh yes I would love to hear your recitation on this.

Though you say its a kenning poem and you have so many great examples of that - but your creation has a much bigger canvas.

Björn said...

Glenn this poetry reads like a drapa that's the love-child of Alan Ginsberg and the master of kennings Snorri Sturlasson. I feel that we are already within Ragnarök.. with Fenrir beint the beast we have created in war machinery.. Maybe Heimdal is blowing his horn in Ukraine as we speak...

Gabriella said...

Your poem made me think of Scandinavian epics, with a contemporary touch! You certainly seem to have been inspire by the prompt.

Claudia said...

hunger-knaw stuck out for me here... such a placative and felt word... and whew...what scenes you paint here..

Anonymous said...

Absolutely epic, in the real sense of the word. You really went to town with this - I doff my cap!

Heaven said...

Wow, epic write indeed ~ I learn some creative word pairing like clarion-dawning ~

vb holmes said...

So much said--when I was reading I became so engrossed in what you were saying that I forgot this was an exercize in creating kennings.

wielenga said...

Whoa, Glenn...i'm totally over-bowled by your mythic saga...a modern legend with ancient characters, reads like graphic novel

kaykuala said...

Fantastic write, Glenn! This is more than just a mouthful. It gets one to read multiple times and still lots to get to.Great scenes in this epic write as described by others as well!


Anonymous said...

cool! I liked that you ended positive, or not!

Jenny Tacken said...

An epic tale Glenn, read twice to grasp each kenning and you have delivered the modern day with shades of Viking. My interpretation only, very engrossing read.

Anonymous said...

Such powerful images and wonderful use of kenning. A saga indeed created... by your word-pairings that which evoke strong images. And the bringing of mythology after the initial starting of the world as we know today... it just kept getting better and better. Great writing.

Kate Mia said...'s a pleasure to read the depth of the exploration of your a new form..i have not seen yet from you until today..

There is more going on there..than the saloon..most obviously ..;) ..i love the way you use house your truth here..

And a happy ending..with a much smaller human population..
is i do think..

achievable YES! human beings above all..

WILL survive..
come hell or high water..and other everyday calamities..of human challenge...:)

The Bizza said...

I tried reading the Book of Revelations once when I was 12. I didn't completely grasp it, but I understood enough to have it fill me with terror. I had a similar reaction to this poem. It is on a level that I feel is beyond my grasp right now, but I desperately want to get to that level. Even more so, I hope I'm not on the side of the wicked when all of this goes down.

Mystic_Mom said...

Epic. Kenning epic. Wow. Buddy you are just on fire with this one.