Upon the Tree, by Ragnarök

This is one of those poems that just sort of came to me, for no particular reason, when the itch to tell a story came. I've worked with Odin for nearly ten years, now, and there's still a lot I don't know and can't begin to understand about his ways or goals. 2020 has been a year, and I wonder if the gods saw it coming, sometimes.

Allfather did you know, when hung upon the tree

just what you were waiting for, and what you would gain?

Or did you take a leap of faith, a stab in the dark,

hoping that your sacrifice - nine days, nine nights -

would not just be the end of your days?

It’s hard, as mortals, to understand just what you’ll do

in pursuit of knowledge, in pursuit of truth.

How hungrily you starve for more,

giving blood to the tree, and an eye to Mimir’s well.

To us, these things are less - not being gods -

and yet perhaps we feel their loss more keenly

than you seem to do? Or is it just that those of Midgard born

cannot know, or see, or understand as keenly as you?

We hang on our own trees, in times of trouble;

starvation, poverty, illness, fear.

Though we do know what happens next

or if a sacrifice will help or hinder in the days to come.

Your seers, true, can take a peek beyond the veil,

through the branches of your wisdom,

but you hang for profit, and we hang for security.

So as you hang upon the tree,

or as you’ve hung, or as you will,

think - for one moment - of those down below

who seek the guidance of the Norns with more to lose.

If you would, tell me. Tell them, tell us.

And as you gain, perhaps those twenty four spells of power

could halt our Ragnarök, as well.

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