The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

Category : Poems

When the wind shifts

When the winds shift

When the winds from the place where the Great Bear steps from the sea
Ceases to call me
And passes on instead to other folk

When begins the the Winds from where the scorpion pinches the Scales of Balance
I sniff at the new scent, and look up to the heavens.

My name had been called
By the Herdsman, the Ox Driver
The Bear Guardian points
Beneath his Staff flows the river of air, and in it is borne the report, warnings, tidings.
And maybe… maybe if I knew that language better, maybe a portent.
Or an Omen.

Tantalizing fancy of wandering mind
To conjure up the unknown language of a mythical messenger
Or does it?

Or does the Wind bear on its wings
The Words of God?
Does the rhythm and timbre
of the quivering pines
sing a chant
joining my thoughts to the Great Melody
A song from the Creator?

I feel emotions that the new scents trouble, Memories that ring
like the keys of the marimba
Struck, and vibrating,
setting the air to a hum
The combination of memory,
and scent set to a rhythm I seem to already know
Fills my senses

Fills my mind
With what may be
With what could be
With what should be
When the Winds shift
I am called to remember
To return
To balance

Kisses So Sweet

You stood in the door of the girls dorm 

Alone in the late summer’s heat

I sat on the steps on the concrete warm

And quietly offered a seat

Shy you were then, and I too was scared,

‘Twas a wonder we ever did meet

But there on those stairs in a moment we shared

I found that your kisses were ever so sweet 


You walked up the aisle and pulled alongside, 

Together we promised our lives

I promised forever to love and abide

Together as husband and wife 

Together our lips touched and made us complete

Like honey from heaven, your kiss was that sweet.


You laid on a bed in motherhood’s glow

A child asleep on your breast

I looked at the two of you proud just to know

A feeling too deep to express

A woman whose heart held enough love to meet

The needs of this child, and still kiss me sweet


You stood on the pier in a gray winter coat, 

stretching to catch a first view

I stood on the deck of the barnacled boat,

My memory filled up with you.

Returning from sea, I could feel our lips meet

Better than memory, your kiss was still sweet


Alone in the house, the kids all departed 

And finally space of our own

we boggled at silence, a feeling uncharted 

A quiet road laid in cobblestone

With nothing to interrupt, naught to compete

You filled up the space with kisses so sweet


You in the bed breathe a steady ballet 

of weariness piled in a heap

I came to bed late, and leaned in to say

“I Love you” – I knew you were still fast asleep

And deeper than passion, truer in sleep

Your dream found my lips, and kissed me so sweet 

The Silence of the Dogs

The Silence of the dogs quiets the night.
While the night wind talks with breathless aire
With foreign accent of scents of the mountains
And valleys beyond, where the farmers till up the earth
And more mountains after that, and the beaches, where the sea hurls it’s essence against the land
And the Sea
All these voices come whispering through The Pines
Tourists, buzzing about the coming storm tomorrow, still out west, and south, turmoil coming
But the silence of the dogs, lying here beside me, listening to the news, somehow stills the gossip, distills it’s substance. They worry about what’s important. Which is, right now, nothing.

The silence of dogs amid the forest song
The frogs talk down by the river.A little ways off, I’d have to walk, but here by the fire is a fine place to hear their chorus. The embers crack and pop, with a casual snap now and then, slowly undoing the years of growth of brush, and trees. The fire burns with a confident slowness, secure in its dying. It is interminably calm, confident in a way only the inevitable can afford to be. The silence of the dogs knows this fire.

it is quieter because of them.

The silence of the dogs, in the dreaming glow,
Of moonlit clouds, floating lanterns of the waxing moon.
The bowing trees salute the arriving storm in welcome. I am ready for it. The silence of the dogs attends to the order of the night, tasting it, breathing in its petty worries, divining the relevant from bustling portents. The lanterns pass overhead silently, knowing it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.

The silence of the dogs, a spoken word in its own right.
I hear their speech with a clarity beyond any human voice. My hands lie still on their necks, to not distort their senses. In that stillness, I am free to attend to matters of the spirit with faith, within this circle of silence.

The Silence of the dogs is deeper than mere quiet. It is more still than a mere slumberous laze. It absorbs everything around into it, a sacred sphere of worship.

The silence of the dogs is a holy place.

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung into the air

my mind now lies, I know not where

If you find it, best beware

And let me go retrieve it there.



Kissing Cups

The kitchen sink burbled in its evening state
A mountain of work at an hour this late.
A halfhearted swish at a half-dirty plate.
Betrayed my wish to be in bed with my Mate.

Alack and alas, but try as I might,
Wishing away this malodorous blight,
Merely prolonged this languorous plight
The woman I loved rested gently tonight,
She shouldn’t awaken to this grungy sight.

So standing and scrubbing away at these dishes
And meditating on nuzzly kisses
I found in my work a redemption that glistens
In the reflection of thoughts of time with my missus

Thoughtfully pondered and carefully packed,
Our cups went together like a pair of knickknacks.
Side by side in the dishwashing rack
Cuddled together like love maniacs.

And now that you know the story of loving
When housework and chores are continually tugging
When weariness takes all the strength from your hugging
Just make sure your cups are still touching.

Final Forgetting: The Essence of Memorial Day

One face wept

reddened and smeared with tears

tracking their way through a deep network

of wrinkled and spotted cheeks

The drops of grief cascaded

Through the corners of wrinkled lips

Burrowed down through a wrinkled chin with a fractured assortment of irregularities,

Finally trickling down an odd, deep scar that made one jowl not quite the same as the other.

And so the pattern of tears on his shirt was uneven.


Another face lay, composed,

Eyes closed,

Though if they had looked on that irregular scar facing him, he could have told the tale of its origin.

Indeed, his was the only face who knew the scar’s tale, save but for its owner.

But his wrinkled eyes were closed,

and no amount of coaxing,

Or cajoling,

No amount of bluster or force

Would open them now.


He lay there, not recognizing the scar

Nor the face upon which the scar marked the passage of violence healed,

Nor this anguish.

Nor even its owner’s presence.

There was no remorse left in him to weep away the regret for the years it had been since they’d last spoken.

These two faces set,

against each other across death’s chasm.


They had known each other in a different form for precisely 2 years, thirteen days, and six hours.  Young faces they had been then, at the beginning, unknowing of the dark things of life, thrown together in a strange world,

for reasons neither fully comprehended,

for a time neither could fully remember,

for a fight neither fully understood.

They arrived with a naive lust for the fight.

They left with old men’s wisdom – scarred, twisted, brutal wisdom.

They left with the understanding that a wise violence is a reluctant fight.


For 60 years each face looked out at the other, frozen in memory.




For sixty years, each face was remembered in the dreams of the other, a comrade through the nightmares that only they knew.


Two old men met face to face

looking hardly at all like the last time they’d spoken.

One bandaged

One splinted,

Separated by transport and medics.

What they had said, without speaking, was “Thank you.  Remember me”.


And then there were only memories.

And intentions.


Now one stood, head bent

tears falling in the silent anguish of loss.

The other lay silently closed in death

Light extinguished.

Memory dissipated.

That spiritual realm none may see was now its home.

Too long.

Too late.


The living stood there, finally forgotten.

Left behind by death.

So he remembered for both of them.

And in remembering, he wept his loss.

Face reddened and smeared with tears.


-2017, Glenn Roesener

The Mighty Viking

For Sale:

I saw a sign, seemed strange to me.

“For sale”, it said, in bold marquee

The sign nailed tight, upon this tree

(For sale, it was, it was not free)


So wild and free, and yet it’s not

A hundred thousand dollars bought.

This sign its sale and purchase sought

(For sale, this tree, upon its lot)


Afraid I am, this tree will die,

Hacked and hewn by some old guy.

The lot, it seems, is all that’s free

(At least, the sign says that to me)


On down the road, I had a thought,

about some trees upon their lot.


When Freedom’s dream is trapped and caught

When Freedom’s child is sold and bought

When Freedom’s bloom has been forgot

When Freedom’s blood has come to nought


A treeless lot is not an awful lot.



It Wasn’t My Intent

It wasn’t my intent to wake you

With stumbling around in the night

But now that you’re up

Can I brew you a cup

And sit with you here in the dawn’s gentle light?


It wasn’t my intention to burn

The potatoes and parts of the toast

But talking with you over morning news

I may have been somewhatly over-bemused

and held by your company over-engrossed.


It wasn’t my meaning to intervene

and fiddle and fret with your plans

The worry I express

is considerably less

than the fussing I spent on the burnt frying pan.


It wasn’t my meaning to overindulge

on the cookies you left on the rack

T’was not just the taste 

that made them erased

but thinking of you took me wistfully back.


To when I intended to wed you

and time with you ran at a prime

the things that you baked

became feelings that waked

the thought of you all of the time.


It wasn’t my aim to unload

these troubles at the end of the day

I was really just groping

for a way of eloping

just us two, together forever away


I certainly didn’t want to bore you

with singing and playing this guitar

I took your quiet to mean you want more

imagine my shock when you started to snore

But you’ve got to rest for tomorrow’s morning star


Which I certainly did NOT mean to wake you for.

So, while you were sleeping, there was this.




Yes Dear

Yes, Dear.

I say it despite knowing
the joke of the man so stripped of confidence
that he values himself so poorly
his capitulation captures the derision of everyone.

Yes Dear,
Because I trust that you know this
that you don’t want a man
who is no man,
Who eschews his manhood
Who rages against being who he is
Because I trust that you believe in this man
And whose dignity and masculinity is important to you.

Yes Dear.
I trust this, and trust you.
to take what I give, and return it to its place
having packed my admission of devotion
with your own admission of acceptance
and returned to me an equal measure of devotion
to the Thing that we are

Yes Dear.
Because there is no distinction between you.
and me
We are a Thing unto itself, that cannot be separated
That will not be separate
To say “Yes Dear” to you
is to trust that I am, through you,

saying Yes to myself
This is how We are,

Yes Dear.
is not a denial of my own pride
nor a submission of one soul to another
But rather a statement of pride
in the Us
in the Trust
that you and I are equal participants in We.

Fair winds ride

wind ride 3

The wind from the east is but a wind from the west

bested by throttle,  soul dispossessed

spirit set free turns to wind on my chest

race the horizon, freedom undressed.

Pull of the curve, power compressed

gravity’s laws are put to the test

Howl of the wolf taut muscles obsessed

chase down your quarry, victim possessed.

Full moon overhead, heaven’s bequest

Night Ride purifies, moon goddess’s guest

sins of the daytime brought here to confess

Midnight reflections sets the mind at rest.

The wind from the west is but a wind from the east

bested by throttle, Sanity leased

Days in the wind for my soul’s release

The falcon sent hunting, finds spiritual feast.

wind ride (1)