Even in my long sleep,
I dreamed of this.
A waking by strangers
A grasping of my wrist
And I wrench it back from them!
My dreams beneath the ice
Were warm, in summer vales,
Where children played
Under my watch, old but hale.
An easy thing, my guard was then.
I tend sore limbs as supper warms,
And aching joints inflamed,
And muscles tough as ibex horn;
For a while I can be lame.
And see my copper ax in the red-gold flame.
I dream of how it came to me,
After vanquishing a headsman.
Intruders fell before me!
And I earned this talisman.
Weapon, scepter, power of my clan!
Then I was sent across the mountain,
A lone journey I knew well.
To trade with kinsmen in a the northern glen,
With gifts, arrow shafts and tales to tell,
Never guessing betrayal that walked behind.
Alone upon the highest peak
I ate my last meal by the fire.
To me the gods seemed trying to speak,
As men I knew climbed higher.
We had words, but they were my kin!
In my long sleep I wonder why
These false friends turned to hate.
I’d watched over them, yet they cried
That my rule was done, and it was too late,
So I turned from them and faced my doom.
I crossed the last protruding rock
And now felt safe from them.
But then a blow, beneath my heart: a shock!
I fell in a soft, snowy glen,
And then a dull pain in my skull…and black.
Beneath me, I can feel the ax;
They’d never take that from me!
Nor my arrows, quivers and packs;
And risk the fury of the gods.
They’d taken my power and left a naked soul.
Five-thousand years I spent beneath the frost,
Until I was found and freed.
My scattered ions watched, angry and lost.
They dragged my body from its bed
And my soul from another life.
Now part of me lies in a crypt
Another frozen tomb.
If only I hadn’t run and slipped,
All those ages ago,
I would now lie in sacred ground,
Back in the earth to which all are bound.
Based on the 5,000 year-old, frozen body of a Neolithic man, called Ötzi, resting under a glacier on the Austrian/Italian border. He has been widely studied and they theorize that he came from a transitional community at the base of the Alps in Italy, who were early farmers but also hunter-gatherers. When his stomach was finally autopsied, they found a meal of grain, mutton and greens. He was about 45 years old when he was most likely killed by an arrow in the back along with a blow to the head. He fell and bled to death between two large rocks, which kept his body safe from the moving glacier. Two hikers found him and assumed he was a recent ****** victim. The latter is true. His body is now kept in a temperature controlled refrigerator, taken out only briefly for various studies.