On Grendel’s Deathbed

Okay. Don’t hate me. Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors will return in just one more week. I’ve got something I’m really excited to share, and though Gandolina’s not happy with me, I think she’ll let me live. Since it has to do with her nephew, I was able to convince her to sit back as Grendel takes center stage. This was posted earlier in the week on Stitched Smile Publications WordPress, but I had so much fun pondering the content I had to add it here as well. I was inspired my this post: https://bloggersbeowulf.com/2016/09/22/beowulf-1570-1590/

https://bloggersbeowulf.com/ has outstanding insights into the trappings of Beowulf. Check out this blog ASAP.

Even monsters have mothers. Delve into the psyche of a dying Grendel.

Beowulf: The Midgard Epic … Adventure awaits!

On Grendel’s Deathbed

“What will my mother think of me, returning less and arm?
I thought I was invincible; that none could bring me harm!
The humans shook beneath my wrath; my razor claws ensnared
All men of every shape and size; some thirty if I dared!
My form can grow from small to large; my mouth can stretch around
Enormous beasts, ignoble birds, the wildest creatures found;
The fattest belly should I choose, and yet barehanded one
Has torn my precious mantle piece and seen my life undone!
This Beowulf, how strong his might, and yet I doubted him.
As all the other boasting fools, his light I planned to dim.
But dimmed instead my light, it seems, for blood has gushed and dropped
An issue so relentless; no, the bleeding hasn’t stopped!
I feel the flow of life within me ebb and slip away …
I fear my mother’s healing touch won’t let me live to slay.
The night provides an ample cloak to hide me ere I run.
The water’s edge approaches but I fear that I am done!
The vicious splash reminds me of the sound of my limb torn.
Oh, mother, I am coming; I grow cold; I am forlorn!
Around me beasts at my command appear a hungry league.
Oh, mother, I am tiresome; I am full of sad fatigue!
I fight my way below the deep; these horrors nip and gnaw.
Amazed, I am, by what they do; they trail me, open maw …
Ahead I see the secret cave; the doorway to our land;
A place I once felt welcomed; came and went, and with one hand
I claw and scrape myself unto the shore as breath depletes.
I hear the sounds, familiar, yet they fade in rapid suites.
I see her! Yes, she’s running as my moans depict my health.
About her glows her aura; magic swallowing my wealth.
Into her arms I crumble as my shape and form go limp.
A soothing whisper comforts, says ‘There, there, my little imp …
Oh, Grendel, who has done this? No, I know, so please don’t speak.
My child, I am still proud of you, no, you have not been weak.
A hex and curse upon them all; I’ll make their bodies singe!
No, Grendel, this is not your fault; know I will have revenge!’
A single tear escapes her eyes and drips upon my cheek.
The blood has flooded in my throat; is at its final peak.
Forever, now so final, not eternal, death come cover …
Encroaching is the darkness; as I die, I cry out, ‘mother’ … ”

Here’s one more Grendel themed poem to get us all in the mood for October. Like a little Christmas with your Halloween? This tale that will get you ready for what we mortals call “the holiday season.”

How Grendel Stole Christmas

Christmas in the Hall but not the Spirit of the Feast
Came to pay a visit, no, instead a vicious beast
Barreled down the doorway shifting shape and size in bounds
Scattering the party as they fled beyond the grounds
Grendel had awakened to the noisy revelry
Sounds of someone singing, drunk on mead and sin’s debris
Fetched him from his hollow, burning hunger in his gut
Pressing him to follow, breaking into glutton’s rut
Holly hung around the doorway dropped beneath his feet
Men and women parted trying hard to make retreat
Pine and wooded anthems fell beneath the mighty wrath
Grendel came for dinner, clearing presents from his path
Gold and poultry pardoned as the first four victims fell
Eaten in an instant in his merry, mangled hell
Nothing short of mayhem on this hallowed, special day
Grendel’s nails delighted as his claws began to slay
Men in greater numbers, up to thirty torn in two
Blood and guts adorned where once were festive nature’s hue
Hrothgar sat unflinching and untouched, but saddened still
He alone survived while watching Grendel gnash and kill
Merry Christmas, Daneland, there’s no dangling ornate wreath
Santa isn’t coming, just the grind of Grendel’s teeth …

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Author: jamesmatthewbyers

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master's in 2010. His next epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, will be published by Stitched Smile Publications, LLC in late 2017.

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