ISSN:1532-558X - Volume III, Number 1

Peter Stewart Richards


Hell is the place where Norsemen really die,
not like the wild semitic inferno
wherein their desert sun at last burns through.

Hell is an older, norse word, to describe
a cold stone waste beneath an empty sky.

Here, frozen lakes give ice-crack cries, as though
the landscape screams in fear of Winter's cold
hard serpent's coil around the breath of life.

It’s big enough to tear us all apart,
this Winter. We fix windows and make sure
our logs are cut and stacked by St. John’s eve.

Then, from the comfort of a home and hearth,
look out on beauty in the frozen hours
while warmth is our reward, and our reprieve.

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