Yggdrasil


This is a fragment of something that I thought of whilst walking home after picking a few thing up at Walgreens.  As I was walking I had a beautiful, immense tapestry of words that just tumbled one after the other, but of course by the time I got anywhere near where there was  a means to record them the only things left were a handful of crumpled threads, bereft of all their bright hue and luster.  So after a day or two this is what I managed to recover.  It is not nearly what I had wanted to say about the idea of a tree so immense that it held worlds, but it has some nice bits in it that may or may not work.  Still, here it is, my offering for the moment.  Enjoy.

It stood for no other purpose than to be an emblem of itself, the ultimate statement of being, alone, immense, nothing else could be as fully and completely as the tree.  Roots starting in the depths as fine as the hairs of an infant’s head twisted and writhed through the black earth until they became broad as highways; armies could march upon them.  The trunk rose as big as worlds, pillar of worlds, the nail to which the universe was pinned, a fixed point around which everything else revolves, spinning madly while only it could be still.  The branches spread out, arching, lifting up the heavens from the black mire below, the sun and moon and all heavenly bodies ripe fruit dripping from the boughs, all the myriad stars drops of dew limning the edges of the leaves, head crowned in rainbow beams.  Truly this would be the home of the gods, the home of all, the center, the life from which all else springs, its breathing the ages of the worlds it held in vast bowers of living wood that glistens like steel, translucent as glass, encompassing all elements, shapes, truths into one being so vast, mighty, pure that it defies every name put to it because no name could ever truly hold it all.  Brooding at the heart of creation it goes about the sole purpose of living itself, it needs no other reason than to be and in being defines all else that the shadow of  its branches can encompass.  If you were to hang from this thing, upside down, bound to it like a pendulum you could not help but know, and in knowing realize that you can only know in part for if it knows all and it is so immense then even you as a god can only possess a fraction of its truth.  Worlds spin out of the darkness, burn for an instant like lanterns hung from the tree and then fade but it will remain and it will remember all of the worlds that have been or are or will be forever for it touches all time, all space, all of it folded into and around it like a serpent coiled about itself biting its own tail, revolving eternally, ancient, young, hoary, beautiful, immaculate, the only thing that ever needs to exist for from it all else can exist because it stands there beating in low throbbing pulse sea foam tidal veins pulling in and pushing out to everything, everywhere, every one, bones and breath and flesh and history and cities and wars all wrought in the twisting of limbs and roots, the secrets told between root tip and leaf tip spoken in half holy whispered sobs that which is divine but of the earth and the black mire of the earth but also of heaven with angels riding light upon the winds ruffling the light spangled crown.  Wisdom, truth, eternity all of these things bound in one massive tower of living might deep down at the center of it all but still rising infinite high, a contradiction of itself, the only thing that could be the symbol for it is itself for nothing else even comes close.  Even these words burn and wither, become the mutterings of madmen of the croaking of ravens, wretched things that claw and gibber in the face of the world tree.

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3 Responses to “Yggdrasil”

  1. blackwatertown Says:

    Coincidentally I was just reading about Yggdrasil yesterday in a book brought home by one of my children – otherwise I wouldn’t have got the hanging from the tree reference.
    Very imposing imagining of Yggdrasil you have come up with. Very good.
    Though given that you were wandering through the shops at the time, I wonder did you come home with very woody produce – lots of stem, not so much leaf? Much twig, not so many tomatoes? (That’s assuming Walgreens sells groceries.)

  2. Actually Walgreens is a drugstore and while they sell some pantry goods they have no produce. I have always had a deep and abiding love of trees and have always been drawn to the idea that the center of all things was a giant tree. The thought that inspired me in this case was that as I leave my house there are these two wonderful, great old trees, sycamore I believe and they got my mind going as I started to imagine a tree with its roots lost in shadow and the trunk and branches rising up through to light with the ones nearing the top clear like they were made of glass. I really wish I had been able to write the words I had then, but these came out pretty good as well.

  3. emisformaker Says:

    Now to work on varying sentence length for purposes of rhythm. You and I both know there is nothing amiss with your imagery or use of words. I only ask that part of the drafting process becomes looking at the printed form of words on a page and considering the shapes they make (or might make); how you can manipulate the flow so that each word enters the head of the reader when and how you want it to; how you can carve the words themselves into an image that reflects or reinforces your theme. Punctuation and carriage returns are a poet’s best friends, even if he never uses either.

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