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Tonight when the eye of the sun was low
Silhouetting me, the Storm Crow,
As I mused upon the human hordes
And plotted storms and war and gore
I settled into the nest of night
The warriors drank, the hearths were bright
The stars appeared and the speartips were shining and
I thought it was time for a little reminder.
My venom and hatred and riotous rages
Have pockmarked history down through the ages
I am bringer of fear, the wings of night
I draw upon the Hammer's might
Through any storm or sleet or mist
I can navigate to my Master's wrist
I see all I wish to see
I watch the world from Yggdrasil
I am the power of darkling skies
Of pressure, thunder and stabbing light
I have no care for mankind
And through your darkest dreams I fly
I can tear through the clouds like a stygian rocket
And rip out your brain through your eye socket
Don't fool yourself, spare the derision
You have seen me in your peripheral vision
I am the Crow of lightning and thunder
I see all.  I report back to Thunor
No, I don't give a **** about man
I can bring down darkness on your lands
And after its growling birth
I can call the lightning down to earth
I can peck out your life and sweep up your soul
So don't mess with me -
I am Thunor's Crow.
Magpie cursed, flew right over me and
Threw her shadow for me to cross
The sun was almost as warm as summer
But had bronzed the leaves that lay on the grass
The guelder had dropped its honey-hued berries
Breeze dislodged beech mast that clicked on the pavement
And the sun sank so early that evening and lit
The sycamores in their reddening raiment.
I half woke to her rhythm increasingly strong
A pounding in the distance and a presence very wrong
Then I recognised the noise of the galloping hooves
I feared for my soul but my body wouldn't move
She came with a bound over moors, over gorse
It was the night the sheep learned that the Devil has a horse
Half asleep half awake I was locked in a transition
Of hynopompic trance with a black satin apparition
Her mane was all dressed in a web of darkling stars her
Black hooves set with ragged bloodtipped barbs
She neighed and threw a shockwave like a blast of shuddering thunder
That could knock you down before her malice ploughs you under
He'd left his abode so she didn't come alone
And the sudden chill was cutting to the bone
Her rider pulled the rein in his black gloved hands
She turned and bared her teeth and I saw that they were fangs
But before she could gallop back home in Hell's direction
The rider gave a glare and shot me a question
"You can see me!" he exclaimed,  "What substance are you on?"
"Cheese," I said, "so ** you and the horse you just rode in on."
Beware the dusk, about this time
She tends to break her tether
Trot unfettered in the half light
More softly than her night time rages
She can come with stealth.
Beware the dusk.  Last night this time
It softly wrapped its grey embrace
She came over the barley fields
And nosed through the hemlock
She reared at the Corn Wolf but
He nipped her in the fetlock and
Undeterred she trotted forth and leapt
The hedge, its ruddy haws ripening
In the autumn stillness
Beware the dusk, beware the dawn
From shadowy herds her misty foals
May prance high in the morning dew
Through fields, through time,
Through dusk, through dreams
And they may darkly visit you.
It will soon be over
Blessed this year, without a jacket
An hour of sunshine gilding
The leaves that autumn left behind,
Silence broken now and then
Soft breaths of breeze
In bright-lit houses families feast
There is laughter and babble
Turmoil and tension duly swell,
Break, or averted, swell again
Back and forth, back and forth
The great and much-feared Christmas tide
As turkey curls and crusts and dries
And milk hoarded too soon will
Sour in fridges that it may
Make slimy nodules
On Boxing Day.
I am moving as a spirit.  I am rippling through the rye
I am hunting in the corn with malice in my eye
I run through the fields beneath a misty moon
And cavort in the corn amid the scent of elderbloom
I am stalking in the wind, I am weaving through the hedge
I come and go between the worlds and trot along the edge
I prowl through the darkness until the night withers
Now through the dappling leaves the first daylight dithers
The soft summer breeze ruffles through the thorns
And Venus sparkles brightly in the bezel of the dawn
I run beneath the chorus, the fluting whistle-trill
Of the long billed curlews as they wheel above the hills
A covey of grey partridge is stirring in the spurrey
They see the ripple in the corn and set up wings a-whirring
I skirt around the homesteads with their whimpering curs
And run under the lapwings circling over moors
I come again to cornfields sparkling with dew
The cornflowers opening to reveal their vibrant blue
The first blush of poppies is just starting to bleed
A wavering tide of scarlet along the edge of fields
The days they are longer and so the nights are short
While the moors are being gilded with bristling golden gorse
At the silent casting off of the deep blue night
The lapwings dart over me flashing black and white
And far above the brambles and the dog-rose bloom
The owls doze and dream and wait the day out for the moon
The brown soft-hued ducks and the bright gaudy drakes
Startle and take flight across the sedge-rimmed lake
They are not prey, I leap away over whispering rush-lined rills
That wriggle through the meadows and down the low-backed hills
Faintly growling, I am prowling, I am a mist of grace
Who has swirled for centuries and stalked about this place
Padding through both peace and war, rippling through both sun and storm
Hackling at those I see, yet few have seen my silver form
I run under the thorn trees that spring decked in white
My howl shivers the barley beneath the shortening nights
I run through the hedges that will yield the blue-black sloes
I leap with ease between the worlds.  At will I come and go
I hunt my prey through night and day, through the dusk and dawn
I am the ripple in the rye, the demon wolf of corn
The rattle of the lilac blooms rusting on the trees
Carries on the waves of the summer-scented breeze
I smell the bruised stalks of the purple creeping thyme
The undertones of yarrow and corn chamomile
As a fitful breeze veers towards me cool and fresh
I catch the unmistakable smell of human flesh
They go about their mortal world without a sense of fear
For ignorance is bliss - they do not know that I am here
Modern man has forgotten that I even exist
Only my victims see me form as silver mist
I do not need to eat - I am a spirit of the corn
But do not take me lightly, indeed, be warned
I can manifest at will and the breeze is my breath
And should I so desire my fangs will rend your flesh
In the barley and the wheat and the rye I am at home
Be mindful should you ever walk these fields alone
Ask yourself, if you ever catch my glinting eye
If it's really just a breeze that ripples through the rye.
I agonised my knees
And spirit
Kneeling hand outstretched
Down to you
You never raised
Your deadringer's face
Then again, I never knew
If I wanted you here
Or secretly yearned
To be dragged down with you.
Clear sapphire night
Shock of lilac scent
Thick, mesmeric
Milk moon rose yestereve
Perigee, gigantic
And you returned today while
Almond petals browned
In gutter drifts
Elder blossom opened
Nodding stems, white disks
And you took my breath away
The lilac scent, the blue night
The flutter of the spring breeze
And the sunset skyline's dying light.
You chose this time of
Apples and acorns
When the veil is thin as a
Lifting mist and
The sun dies earlier night after night.
Must we look another way
To find our hope or
Do you wish us to forsake it?
We cannot let it fade
Into the sparkling frost
Of morning.
That time again
Leaves have fallen
Gathered and clustered
Curled in lane corners their
Lifeless backs to the curb
Still too slape
And limp to crunch
Lying and waiting as
Winter creeps closer
Night by night
In the darkening months.
The fallow time is ending
You had better be ready
With your plans of where
To plough and what to scatter
When the celandines
Have withered their yolk
Back down to earth
The fallow time is ending
You had better be off
Your backside ready
To make haste or you
Will make no hay
The milk moon will
Glide down the western sky
And set without a thought of you
The fallow time is ending
Lighter nights have slipped by
Beware the birds of spring
Are gathering twigs for nesting
There is no valid reason
To falter.  Seize the season
By the violets in the hedgerows
By the clearness or the sky
By the warming of the earth
This is the time to do or die.
Pigeons rise with
Almost a thump
Before the clatter
Single downy feather falls
Cat that disturbed them
Checks for a second
Trots on unheeding.
Two nights running this
Stormlight has warned me
Out on the flagstaff
The pennant is torn and
I hear your threat
Ruffle over the water
Chilled menace
A cold tantara
My sword was never sheathed
Though I am old and tired
In stillness I wait by
A dying fire
The rising storm deprives me of sleep
And out there a wolf is eyeing the sheep
Storm closes in
Sparks flare in the hearth
I close my eyes and
Probe into your heart
Know this -
I was warned years before
I became tired and old
I do not fear your darkness
And in its path the sigil holds.
Bird of thunder
Dark against the ochre light
Held briefly by the vortex
Snapshot of flight
Bird of thunder
In the glowering sky while
Below the Corn Wolf
Ripples the rye
And the breeze picks up
Rustles the leaves
Silvers the grass
And whips through the trees
Bird of thunder
Wings spread wide
You tilt away
And darkly glide
Out of mortal view
Return
To your master's wrist
In another world.
I dreamed there were
Three new moons in the sky
It was calm.  It was dim
I was calling for him
A light that should not be lit was burning
The lilac was blooming
The seasons were turning
The shadows were deep in the shade of the porch and
Capella was pinned on the cape of the North
I grieved for him, I grieved for the spring
It was slipping away all entwined with
The trappings of grief and worry
The stonecrop leaves were thick and pink
And swollen taut like strings of berries
Deep was the silence and barely a breeze
The beech tree merely shivered its leaves
He filled my mind, my mind was his and
In the darkness the late spring slid
Into summer, a summer night's sleep
A season of waiting, a season of grief.
Flurries have settled
Lurkers leave fading treads
And behind locked doors
They watch in the warmth
And the crew have gone
Where the bitter wind blows
While the silent deadringer
Waits in the snow.
Thick helping of camaraderie
Light dressing of distrust
A hint of dreams that died
And shrivelled down to dust in the
Land of soulless buildings under
Bitter snow-filled sky
A serving of suspicion
Furtive glances on the side
Evening draws in early and it maybe masks a threat
The deadringer takes a long drag on his cigarette
The lads are getting loud, already drunk and singing
But they still have an ear out
Above the beer mugs brimming
All is going well and
Things seems so auspicious
But they'll turn on a pinhead if
Someone says something suspicious.
From despair I made
Anguished prayers
Received signs
Beyond my dreams
Beyond any wild hope
And they lifted me still
Stinging with tears
So grateful for assurance
That you have made the Bridge
That you are safe and free
And for that last day I am forgiven.
I watched your light burn
So bright it stopped the clock
And sent me feathers
And I saw a shape in cloud
Reclining in the heavens
You remind me how
Strong the bond can be and
For all this I am grateful
I stand alone and watch the West
As moths thump at the window
And weak white sunsets thin the
Leaves as I hold my breath and
Listen as your  dream unfolds
But in the darkness dire red flickers
Shed by Antares sink my heart and
Pitch me back to grieving.
Science fiction moon
Hangs over horizon
Half itself and orange
Like a desert,
Poised and ominous.
Night is busy doing
That breath-holding thing
It does when it's
Shielding a secret.
They knew, you know,
It was all revolving, evolving
A new beginning from an end
That rejected me in its
Writhing rebirth
They had only to wave me in
I would have bent my purpose to them
And folded into their darkness
But I will not restring this bow
I am broken
I will go
I will sing soft words of sorrow
To the hard frost of the morning
It will be the same old song
If you know the words
Face down the wind and I
Might hear you sing along.
Do not believe the sky cannot fall
It can dip and swoop a
Grey embrace like a silent bow
Wind itself in sinless frottage
Through mountains and hills
Across high exposed ground
Misty and mizzled through autumn trees
That stand bright and begowned
In their tiger's eye leaves
The geese are not fazed
They cut through its wrap
Ragged line, briefly seen
Before they pass back through
The solemn grey cloak
Its tendrils swirling
It chokes out the sun and
The night comes down early
The high blues of June
Almost hard to remember
As you walk through the
Fallen skies of November
Death stretched out a skeletal hand
Here ends the life of a mortal man
My master sensed the departing ghost so
Brace yourself for the coming host!
Such paltry grasp of higher powers -
Stand aside!  This one's ours.
The ravens went out and have
Given a sign
They located the prey but
The mission is mine
I drop from the bough and
Go into free fall
Then open my wings and
Glide over it all
Mortal world washed in
Weakening sun
The hordes of men like
Tides of ****
The riders mount.  The horses champ
The sun sinks like a burning lamp
They hear no hooves, no crow, no cry
Those encircling he who died
The grievers standing by his corpse
They see no reigns, no spear, no horse
I hover briefly, see my goal
In one black flash I grab the soul
Then up, up into the coming storm
That takes us north, that takes us home
The wind rises, clouds reel
In my shadow the riders wheel
Metal crimson in setting sun
Swing your gates Valhalla! Here we come!
The night is here.  The ride was long.  
The pole star blinks once and is gone
I see the Bridge with
Its shimmering arc
The ice and fire aglow
In the dark
The riders thunder round the stables
I swoop in low over the gable
To the hammer wielder,
Mane of gold
Behold me, Thunor!
Catch this soul!
Whatever usually paints the sky
Had a change that day and used pastel
Swept a magnum opus of nacreous cloud above
Peonies crisping their petals down to dust
The poppy heads were green and bulbous and
Rowans drooped heavy with orange berries
Holly blue butterflies hung on the burnet
And when the night came to take you
A noctilucent tracery, ephemeral but bright
Sat low in the north, a web of veil that
Wove your shroud in the hot summer night.
Summer Triangle
Has slewed across the dome
Sunset has clenched its fist
Insists on dragging it
Down through the deepening hues
Faint aurora mocks its downfall
Fingers of antidark jabbing
Up at the midnight blue
Summer Triangle
Defies its name
Woefully dragged west
Slipping, slipping but
Still in sight
Listen in the frost-savaged air
You can almost hear it
Scratching the night.
White line of light
Cleaving the night
Unexpected
Silent
Takes my breath
Rips sky in two
In an instant
But it's work is done
It fades more slowly
And is gone
Stunned, the clouds
Hold rigid ranks
Then shuffle north
In rolling banks.
Royal blue deepening
Velvet drift, sky robe
White moon gliding, glowing
Pinned tight, night's brooch
Trees black, still as cut-outs
Unreal sense
Of something's approach
All festooned in magic
And the brooch is smiling
Tempting the future
Rolling like a die and
Laughing at fate
Indoors has broken out in chaos
I just silently stand in the corner
And wait.
Engine pulled in, steam, misty night
The platform would crust over with ice
Hard white shell like that over
Secrets, over deceit, over minds
Your mind, so you gulped down liquor
To drown out the lies
And the engine stood ticking,
Hard shape in the night.

And I thought of you in
That bit at the end, the waiting
The wasting, the downfall to death
Upcoming confirmation of
What is beyond that plunge to the depth
Time was too short to finish your work
And you stepped through into another world
And the clock was ticking
Away in the night

Do you know I looked for your bloodline
Cold skies of spring, long journey
Black building before me, breeze off the sea
Your spirit danced and it summoned me
And I am still mesmerised by your words
They cannot be unseen, unknown or unheard
From out of your darkness you spoke of light
As time ticked away the
Last gasp of your life.
We are the silence
Of the setting sun, vast glow
Sinking west, enormous
Power of such intensity
We are the raucous clamour
Death tumult, tumbling
Harsh-cried then in an eyeblink
Back to silence while
We watch and listen
Inky eyed, pitch attired
Feathers preened, a glisten
We are the reporters
We tell all, we fall
We glide, see all
We are the force of sight
Record all, coverage total
We are the force of night -
Midwinter night
Power raw
Savage or serene
Dark, soul to wing-tip
We are the force of death
And foreboding
We are Huginn and Muninn
The Ravens of Odin
Odd coloured sunset, turquoise hued
Drains and darkens
Owl hurls a shadow across the tiles
And disappears behind the treeline
A vent steams.  The owl screams
And glides along the avenue
New sliver of moon sinks through cloud
Sickle that reaped the death of day
Sharp white wishbone of night
Slipping west, always west and
Finally dips out of sight
Its disappearance breaks the magic
Breathless moment
Transition
Silence wraps the linden trees
And high above these
Proud Capella is posing
And casting a spell to
Ward off the morning.
You saw with the one eye of Woden
Brows of garnet from a world away
Precious helm of echoes
Channeling your gods
Iron dome dragons snarled
Head to head then lay
Beneath fitful clouds and
Verdant sods
No clash or clang that day
From the smithies
Headwinds ruffled river and sward
Up from the river, sweat and toil
Up they dragged the ship from the water
Up to a final resting place then
Down in the soil with the
Gold and the garnets
Down into the acid earth
Down you were rendered
To a slop in the cleft
To nothing more than a stain
In the sand
Digging may have punctured your dreams
Activity on the landscape
Careful scraping and dusting exposed
A riveting find in the sandscape
Shadow ship of a shadow world
Where figures were seen among the hoos
Bodiless phantoms, men of old
Still on guard, holding vigil over
Gold and garnets and echo helm
Wingspread dragon across its face
Under the knoll in the river breeze
Line of Wuffa, blood of the Geats
Are you trapped in time on the other side
Do you linger with your lyre and gold
Are you gazing across the fenland rivers
Or are you looking down, bretwalda
From your version of Valhalla.
I am changed since I was seen in spring
From that great season of fetch and carry
I was thin and tufted from the moult
Do you know me as I skip through hedges
Behold my fresh attire
Black, white and russet like the leaves that
Tumble through the ditches
Do you know these dainty paws that trot
Through bracken and tussock
Do you see me dance and prance and play?
Do you feel my mischief that may
Borrow items you think you own and
Install them in my burrow home?
I am pricking black ears.  Do you recognise me?
I am dancing daintily under the trees
Crepuscular beauty in the silence of dawn
Nibbler of brambles, digger in lawns
Scavenger, loper, suspicious of man
Black-tipped, white-tipped fox I am.
You have seen more of them than
I have in the darkness of the desert's
All embracing blanket of night
Galaxy arm curving out in
A massive soup spill of stars
I know only these local skies
Over trees sighing, unwilling  
To relinquish the summer
Swift drop of darkness
Vast red swathe of cloud
Fades to pink then grey
Light slipping west
Slipping away
Ragged line of geese pass calling
Into the last band of fading light
That swallows them, dims and sinks
The night gathers strength and deepens and
Antares gives us a red eyed blink.
I have not come all this way to harm you
But only to reach for your mind
To fold you in and lock you down
And bend you back to purpose.
I was sent to find your deadringer's face
For I know you heard his call
I know his words marked you
Eternally as one of his own.
You heard his voice swell like the waves of the ocean,
Or a field of corn thrashed by a storm
It had the power to reach across time and seas
Cerebral ****** of ire and unease
And into this cold, forbidding place,
From beyond the grave he sent you his face
You lift your gaze like a demigod
Oh, yes, you know who you remind me of.

— The End —