In the Grail legend’s greatest telling,
chastity is not a needed choice.
The Lord of the Grail is allowed a woman,
whose name appears in numinous script,
in flames on its surface. Unfree he is
to have another. (Now, try he can,
but that course of action does not climax well.)
I quest for the Grail, that quickening hallow,
but by binding myself to that boldest endeavor,
perhaps I’m doomed to have that fate:
those who truly commit to that trying quest
become a Grail Lord in a kind of way.
But a life’s reflection of the legend’s truth
is seldom clear, and we simply cannot
assume identical sexual constraints.
What Grail guidance is given to me?
Which women when? What circumstances?
I seek a glimpse of my Grail inside,
but uncloudy visions of the occult realms
still elude me. Striving anyway,
I try what I can, testing for gnosis.
So I must sense, seeking to know,
and years of reflection have yielded insights
on my ideal women who are deemed by the Grail,
that love I should seek in lights of darkness.
It’s weird ones, always — and “wyrd” especially —
that catch my eye and curious heart.
Normal and ordinary will never do.
They all, it seems, have an outer “darkness”
in personal style. They’ve pride of a kind
and a strong individuality with extreme intelligence.
Not bumbling with herds, they blaze their own trails:
creative spirits with an urge for expression,
distinguished, introspective, with strong inner life.
The “little skald,” a scholar like me,
captured my heart in cold Iceland;
her name had blazed on the noble Grail
for the sweetest of times. Those times have passed;
will they turn again? Yet treasure remains:
the mead of memories of moments so precious.
Others with fire, my eyes they caught.
All have darkness in their inner depths.
I wanted their names to wax in the flames,
of the gleaming Grail, but the grace came not.
Some I will say, concealed in staves.
A sassy smart lass with a smile was one,
genuine darkness in a jaunty devil.
Another was confused, full of anguish,
blinded by pain — she was beautiful once
to me for a moment. Maybe my light
burned her harshly; did it brighten a corner
that she’d keep in the dark? (I can’t see my light,
but a certain few insist it’s there.)
A third is fierce, yet full of tenderness,
with grim cold fire as a galdrakona,
a full paradox that befits a seeker.
A fourth so talented, I fancied greatly,
an alpine darkness with an air exotic
and heart that’s kind behind a mask
of pain and pride, a pretty artist.
A fifth an artist, so fiercely weirdest,
has a voice as deep as the volume is loud
of the booming waters of her borderland home.
Others could be also named here,
but these are a few and they’ll suffice.
Of these wished-for ones, what really of them?
The work of wyrd in wispy glimmers,
from lives in the past, or lives in the future?
Missed opportunities? Imagined opportunities
that were just vain hopes? I journey onward,
and the alchemist’s task — the aim to transmute —
I must perform with those missed connections
to release the lust to alight anew
in my sexual searching for a serious partner.
I need perhaps another quality
in a woman to share my world and life.
One who is burdened, with wisdom like me,
to see how horribly, horribly complex
the world is now, that it needs the Grail,
the Mead of Poetry, and the mighty Runes
to re-make sacred Midgard today.
And so I seek, and so I call
for a light of darkness, a lover with spirit,
to find me here, and the flaming of her name
in runic script to read on the surface
of the glorious Grail. But by growth and quest,
can its grace be influenced and given a nudge?
Or are its choices governed by chance alone?
Always and ever, in all of this,
Mystery remains, as mysteries I seek,
and some of the sweetest, in sex and love.
Copyright © 2019 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.
(Despite the recent release of Eagle’s Mead, The Skaldic Eagle has been very busy on the book front lately. Under Press / Books there will be announcements soon for each of Anthologies, Booklings, and Appearing Elsewhere — there’s a lot coming!)