Rune Poem

– feoh – Frilled is the first form, the finest filigree fraying at the edges in a pattern of cattle.

– ūr – Undulating udders ripple as this cloven form moos in a now extinct sound.

– þorn – Thinking through these dying tones they still stick like thorns in our modern word-tapestry.

– ōs – Out of our mouth they sound out of this world, crooked like the shape of this rune.

– rād – Round rolls this rune of the tongue, having journeyed all-round Europe and changing little.

– cēn – Kindred to both kindle and icterus this splitting form seems to point to the divergent paths all languages must travel.

– gyfu – Gathering meaning like a gift handed down in time, this rune explodes from the mouth for all to hear.

– ƿynn – Words may be wily, willing pain to joy and looking like a modern pin rather than an ancient win.

– hægl – Here, however, they have remained much the same. A single line the greatest difference – Hægl, hagall, hail, hagel, Hagel.

– nȳd – Necessary too, are these lines, like needles to a pine tree. Small nods to shared needs and hardships.

– īs – Inferring their true meaning across time seems impossible. As if trying to find the origin of cold through the pinprick icicles of ice.

– gēr – Jarring the simple line with a round square to point to the circularity of the year. And so we juggle with forms and reap the symbols.  

– ēoh – Intuition brings to me the illogical need to see this form as a yew with hooking roots and hanging shoots. Brown is the colour it should be.

– sigel – Peering into this rune provides no context to its reader, a voiceless shape is paradoxically paired with woodwind instruments.

– Zeal and zest attest to the zigging motion of the saw-sedge that cuts this rune into being. Named by convention, its three lines become one.

– Sigil for a sunny day, sadly turned from shining ray to victory, victory. As with all your alphabetic brethren, the signified surpasses the signifier.

– Tī, Tīr – Two hands is too much and so, one must go. A tear must have flowed, echoing this rune.

– beorc – Bark of the birch as white and fragile, as the empty space between words, as the consonant that builds in your mouth.

– eh – Equal in opposition, the lines of this rune carry man upon its equine back, allowing this signary to continue forward.

– mann – Made of multiple meandering lines, this rune continues where the previous one stopped. It is not a matter of man-made hierarchy but of multiverse continuity.

– lagu – Lost in the eddies that surround language it is only logical that this lagu rune assumed the form of a hook. Piracy might not have been its first choice, but it needs to distinguish itself somehow.  

– Ing – Ink is not used to write these runes, nor are they hewn out of stone. In this typed form they are as incomparable from one another as their godly namesakes once were.

– ēðel – Does there actually exist a relation between rune, form and sound? We find ourselves in this inherited land of language and make assumptions, gather meaning, intuit feeling.

– dæg – Daily we tend our signs and yearly we reap their meanings. Dancing like a Monarch Butterfly this one form forces our mouth to open.        

– āc – Almost arbitrarily we assign this split rune three, two tree, meanings. The one left is god…

– æsc – …ash and oak are significantly differentiated by the stand of the rune’s branches.

– ȳr – Yelling will not clear up the confusion. Yearning to know, I still do, my lips around this dead sound, my tongue articulating.

– īor – I articulate, I overexplain to myself, for myself, the mysteries of these runes. Slippery as eels, transforming from larvae to glass eels to eels, these aging runes travel and forget and remember in a new place.

– ēar – Easing my mind into the sounds I feel two barbs near my ear, enter my ear, and, ringing, lay myself to earth, to rest.

Based on the 26 Old English Futhorc Runes.
Pauw Vos

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