Host of the North








The snow is silence to the shadow
of my listening. Its white penumbra
drifts like ashes from steel clouds.

It slows the sleeting lizard streets
to standstill, crusted cowl glinting
a glamour over the glowing towns.

The twisted trees lift trembling antennae,
tendrils grasping iron-clad dreams
strewn in frost across the skies.

Suburban lights like eyes shine brighter,
recalling the gleam of warrior souls
against the cloth of winter’s blight.


Sky over Penwortham






The sky fragments to furious swords,
shattered shields and fractured wills.
Harsh the cheeks, death grey the mantle
of they who’ve known the torment of battle;
tribesmen, knights, a lone swordswoman,
cotton lords, weavers, a line of orphans,
a single mum and her decadent children
dashing in ice before my eyes.

Silence broken by winter winds
travailing from tower blocks, city cold
shivers its terraces, tucks itself in,
fearing the wrath of the frozen North.
Breath blasting from graves abandoned,
the background storm descries a portent:
Though Rheged is dead and Brigantia gone
their spirit and host, in the wind will live on.


2 thoughts on “Host of the North

  1. Rheged is the name of Kingdom that reached from Hadrian’s Wall to the Mersey from the 5th to 7th C. Brigantia was the name for the North of England, ruled by the confederation of the Brigantes tribes during the Iron Age. Whilst this structure ceased to exist long ago, Brigantia, its goddess is still about.

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