Shadow Child and Great Grey Wolf

where are you going Shadow-Child, are you lost?
said the Great Grey Wolf through his teeth
why do you run barefoot in the tangled forest,
disturbing your ancesstors with your footfall?

I am going to find the edge of the day
where the light and the darkness meet
smiled the dark-eyed child,
I must speak with my brother Twilight Bird

Then you will need a guide
only I know the cliff path to the peak
only I can speak like Twilight Bird with his beak,
I will lead you across the frozen sea

why would you help me ‘walks on four-legs’?
why would you risk the thin sea-ice,
climb the slippery cliff steps into the night
and wait with me for the first dawn-light?

why, to find the edge of the day
where the light and the darkness meet
smiled the moon-eyed wolf,
I would speak with my brother Twilight Bird

and what would you tell him Great Wolf,
far from your lair in the hollow wood
what spirit-story would you utter
so Twilight Bird would let you wait with me

I would tell him the tale of Shadow-Child
and Great Grey Wolf crossing the frozen sea
climbing the canyon walls of the night
to be blessed by the first dawn-light

Patrik Gryst

Like Smoke

like smoke
I conjured your ethereal autumn ghost
now haunting a sixth-form college library
frozen in a hundred poems
mistaking you for doppelgängers
hoping for fated glimpses

I search
for an elusive constant as invisible as gravity
BIRTHS, DEATHS and MARRIAGES
each hope unrewarded, each cul-de-sac
crushing, tugging me back
to nineteen eighty-four’s history section,
where I’m pressed like a keepsake tortoiseshell
in a book that belongs to you

decades autumned in your eyes
have wintered me in sunless Svalbard
hankering a homecoming
from a Quixotic crusade,
a crocus-crowded morning
washed up on your doorstep
welcomed to hearth and table
only to grasp smoke
empty handed

Third Son of the White Shell Woman

what pulls you North with the wolves‎
sullen child, what dark stars guide you?
your will bends trees like the wind,
unstoppable as gravity

what troubled thoughts crease your brow?
you fell strangers with hip-shot stares,
the Navajo name you Dark Cloud but‎
your face betrays you, weary and carrion-eyed

with an iron heart anchored in Helgafjell‎
you stumble under ice, 
scouring ‎abandoned horizons for your last harbour
there are no more monsters left to slay!

Patrik Gryst