Hel (Poem + Painting)

NOTE: Happy New Year, everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted in a long while. The reason is that I’ve taken up digital painting again, after some 8 years, and it’s very time-consuming. Here’s the first painting I completed. It represents Hel, the Norse goddess of the Underworld. I also wrote a poem to go with it. (Also – I know what the painting looks like :/ The good news is improvement is inevitable if one keeps practicing.)

hel.jpg

Hel

 

They’re digging underground again,

working on the new subway line.

They won’t find you.

They’ll only drive you deeper

into the heart of your damp palace,

where your hounds,

fierce though they may look,

have inherited your sadness

and turned deaf and mute.

Your cold palace

where orphaned mud puppies

drink the watery milk

from your breast –

that is, the right one,

your living breast.

The left side,

where your heart is supposed to be

was frozen even before you were born.

I guess that makes you safe.

I guess that makes you cursed.

As a child my grandmother made me read

stories of eternal fire –

this was before I found out

there are many ways one can burn.

And so, it is not fire I fear now –

It is your home I fear

where there can be none.

 

And here’s a detail of the face:

hel_det_face

 

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