The Warrior & The Valkyrie

Who was she that left so deep a mark
upon a warrior covered in scars?
Gather closer to the fire and
allow this
humble skald to
recount the tale.

There was once a warrior
deeply in love
with a woman of
self-professed,
unconventional beauty.
Her eyes were the captured,
cerulean waters
of the fjord.
Her laugh was
the life-breathing wind.
Her silken hair,
the ruddy brown of
freshly peeled
tree bark.

But be assured, such joy
does not last,
and a pest crept into the lovers’ hut
one night.
It passed over the warrior,
knowing that
a far worse fate
awaited him.
The next morning, her
life
was drained as that
malevolent cancer
struck
without warning.
An enemy that even
the mightiest warrior
can not defeat.

Shattered by
grief,
the warrior gave her a burial befitting
her splendor, and
threw himself
into battle with wild abandon.

He could find no consolation
from his comrades,
and on one of the
many
battlefields, he was felled by
another’s spear.
Looking down, he saw
his lifeblood
cascading
from the wound in
his chest.

All thought of pain
left him as
his gaze lifted
with relief and saw
Her;
His love
transformed with
cascading braids of gold
in the visage of
a Valkyrie.
He knew then that
he had been chosen for Valhalla,
where he would
gladly
be a thrall
in her service.

But the Norns had a cruel joke planned,
and rather than
cutting his life’s thread, they
severed
his connection to
the Valkyrie. Just
as she was about to speak
words of comfort,
his soul
plummeted
back to Midgard
into the ruined tissue of
his flesh.

And what did she leave?
Regret and the
backward translation of
lost language
never to be understood.

Finding himself no longer in bliss,
he shrieked a
black song
toward the heavens:
“I will drink of
Kvasir’s blood and
speak
my love back into being.
I will make
a mountain
of skulls to climb
and find you again.
I will carve
my name into
the histories of men;
challenge the
bravest, the strongest, and the hardiest
Until I find one who is
worthy enough to
return me to my beloved.
This, I swear.”

The warrior trekked across
craggy peaks and
dark ravines to find
the Mead of Suttungr;
but mere words were
not enough to conjure.
As an age passed and
drifts of snow began to patch his beard,
the warrior carried on;
hoping to
meet his match.

He continues
his search; a man
aged beyond his years.
But, if asked, this
lone warrior would tell
you not to weep for him;
he has
purpose and the
terminal knowledge of
his quest’s end.
And while his memory
remains true, he never
travels
alone.

by Erik Shinker

6 thoughts on “The Warrior & The Valkyrie

  1. I loved this! Really great narrative poem I really loved the end especially the language you used for his aging, and how when his memory holds true he isn’t alone. Really beautiful, I also happen to be a huge fan of Morse mythology and I love your use of the word Skald!

    Liked by 2 people

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