Blood in Ice, Ice in Blood. {poetry}

He grips and looks,

surrendered sword, hilt driven

close as honor to bone

he stands above the world

where cold can kill


I am where the cold is strongest.

He burns like the ice on their dead eyes,

against the cold that chills the soul

alive and cloaked


We hold the Northern lights

as they hold the Southern seas,

the night begins, our night,

as day is lost to hope

and the shadow of a dream


The cycle never ends

but still we burn, burn

bright and sharp

into the cold reaches


our hands are hot

against the bitter wind,

flat on the snowy expanses of home,

cheeks ruddy with the effort

of making it back


his eyes are brighter

than they’ve ever been,

and darker than I’ve ever seen

hair wild in the winter chill

as we look down from the highest hill


we have survived.

The night is melting off our skin,

dawn allowing us to see one another,

finally, vulnerable,

the sword he plunged into the earth

straight and gleaming to the stars


aurora has trickled down from the sky

to land softly in his laughing eyes

we have survived.


We have survived.


Sweet summer sun opens her eye

gazing as we lie in snow

she kisses my lonely head,

weeps her rays as he turns far from me


yet still, he comes back.

When the deep warmth

heats his blood

and his duties are done

he will return to my side,

to the furs, the fires,

dangerous clutch of night


the way he breathed when

death was at his ear

was defiance; I’ve never seen

anything I’ve loved more

than the way he breathed loud

as the knife touched his nape.


He is a king

with beggar’s blood

dark and cold

made elemental man


as he rode into the ice,

into the maker of his body

filled with blood heat,

I lie in the flames

and cold settled in my heartbeat


I knew then. From the inside,

from my veins and my bones,

I was defended.

Heat and cold become the shield and sword

against the enemy


I believe he saw death, a glimpse

through the snow

as it whipped past his eyes,

tangled in his hair.

He smiled at the darkness

and embraced it, killing its power

forging his strength.


So the songs go.


The taverns were alive

with baying drunken lords

and ladies whose breath

hitched on his name

but they were alive in war,

in blood and fear

while we retreated to the peace

and locked it in our breasts.


We see each other now

across the mountains

and the army that stands

at his command,

as he sees a sea of bodies,

I rise into sight, smile

to his aurora smile,

move towards his outstretched hands

take them and feel the pulse of me

in his fingers, and cold bite

of his palms on my face,

mouth forming words I have long heard

in dreamlands,

but now they are made breath and bond.


JosephineHicksJosephine Hicks is a poet living her best life and listening to the call of the Universe for her purpose. She longs for a questing existence. Challenge is something she embraces (after digging her heels in a little…) and she is a fighter at heart. She loves love. Unable to settle for long, she is an adventurer. She wants to honor those who are the best at what they do. Fearlessness is her aspiration, and nature is her teacher. You could contact her via her website.


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