The New Viking

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Long, long ago, (although not in a galaxy far, far away) I posted a poem about Vikings which was called, astonishingly, Vikings. (It can be found here should you wish to re-visit it.

This is a rather tongue-in-cheek follow up.

The New Viking, a Reformed man

 

He brought death and terror to these Saxon lands,

Taking iron and fire to fearful hamlets,

But he was defeated by a woman,

A yellow-haired woman, soft and pliant.

And now the screams of battle are the

Bloodcurdling cries of infants.

 

He beats his sword into a ploughshare,

And grows rows of turnips and cabbages.

His axe cleaves firewood.

Maybe he’ll name his house ‘Dunplundering’.

 

He no longer lives within sight of his beloved sea,

But he watches trees ripple in the wind;

An ocean of billows topped with brilliant green spume.

 

Casting long shadows in warm sunlight,

These immobile giants roaring and sighing,

Desperately attempting to free themselves

Of their earthen shackles

Feel uncomfortably close to home.

 

Those northern winters still call him.

The fire, the mead, the fighting,

The tales of monsters and warriors.

 

Hamstrung by instinct

He shifts uneasily, guiltily, on his chair by the hearth.

His sword fingers twitch and tap and he

Looks for reasons to pick arguments

With his neighbours.

 

Anything would do.

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27 thoughts on “The New Viking

      1. I never understood how deep the river of tribalism ran until moving to Almost Iowa. Shortly after I arrived, I told my neighbor that I would meet him at a local bar.

        “Uh, you can’t do that,” he said.
        “Why not?” I asked.
        “Cause it’s a Ford bar, you drive a Chevy truck.”
        “Really?”
        “Yeah, it could trouble.”

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I really like this! Saturday nights in certain bars, you realize just how thin the veneer of civilization really is, and how quickly it rubs off! Your poem reminds me of the beginning of “Hitchhiker’s Guide,” when foreman charged with demolishing Dent’s home is unaware that he’s descended from Attila the Hun (or beserkers?) and he feels a whole lot better once he’s bulldozed the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I like the reference to ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’ – yes, I hadn’t thought of that! And I agree with your comment about certain bars, absolutely. I’ve commented elsewhere that if you want to just see how racist, unpleasant, and nasty most societies can be, Saturday night in a bar is a really good place to start.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We’ve all got a little viking inside us haven’t we? You can see that tribal instinct in so many places these days from football matches to brexit marches. Nice one, really descriptive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lord dying on the stake, you certainly hit the head of the nail with this one! Should we squeeze a man enough to speak his truth, he might discreetly say “do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘A man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.…”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mick, serious issues taken up within this humourous poem! I wonder don’t many of us feel constraints of modern life … hence long to do something else, if not on a Viking scale! Personally I miss the ocean ..despite never having lived there but wonder if it isn’t in my genes! 😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Annika. Yes, I called it tongue-in-cheek, rather because I was using humour to say it. I agree it’s something many of us feel – I certainly do, although I’m not certain I want to take a sword to my neighbours (although…sometimes…)! And perhaps it’s not something unique to these times, by any means.

      Liked by 1 person

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