This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Friday, May 26, 2006


Freya, Norse goddess

The gates of Vahalla are darkened;
   Great Heimdall1 no longer stands guard
Where warriors old Odin2 hearkened,
   Who'd fallen by axe and by sword.

Full five hundred forty grand portals
   Led straight to the father's great halls;
The roofing, the shields of immortals,
   And rankings of spears were the walls.

Bold breastplates upholstered the benches
   Where every brave soul had his place,
Drank mead that undying thirst quenches,
   And dined on the great boar apace.

The broad plain of Asgard3 in stillness
   Recalls the great contests of old;
Men die not by spear now, but illness,
   Heroic tales no longer told.

And Freya4, the boar-riding beauty,
   War-goddess of passion and love–
Valkyries no longer stand duty
   To usher the bravest above;

Their queen has surrendered her powers,
   Retreated to sulk in her home,
To mourn from her far fabled towers
   The silence in Odin's grand dome.

Now Loki the Trickster5 plays ruler
   And cowards have taken his cause
And none is more ugly or crueller
   Than those who would fashion the laws

That bind men of courage in shackles,
   And stripping the bravest of pride,
Their tail-tucking yapping of jackals
   Would all that is noble deride.

The winds of the heavens blow colder,
   But breeze in the desert burns hot;
The North gods grow older and older–
   Now where will our rescue be got?

We call on great Odin: Awaken!
   We call on our ancestors' lines
To roar 'til the sleepers are shaken!
   To shout til they stiffen their spines!

Awaken the gods from their slumber!
   Awaken the men from their thrall!
'Til filling their ranks without number
   The cry has awakened them all.

Then gird up their arms for the battle
   To save all the good and the true,
Ignoring the cowardly prattle
   To do what the brave always do.

Of those who are marked for their glories
   Let spirits convey to the Hall
Where Freya's valkyries6 sing stories
   About the last conflict of all:

The brave–not the glib nor the clever,
   Not cowards nor tellers of lies–
Will live there with great souls forever:
   They only have claim to that prize.

And those who remain with the living,
   Who knew that to shrink was to sin–
Will earn from their brothers thanksgiving,
   And with the immortals be kin.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

1. Guardian of Valhalla, hall of the spirits of brave slain warriors.
2. Lord of the warrior gods (Æsir). God of both wisdom and war.
3. Realm of the gods.
4. Norse goddess of love, sexuality, fertility and battle. She and the valkyries gathered up the souls of the brave slain, to be apportioned half to Freya, half to Odin. She rode into battle astride a great boar, or rode in a chariot pulled by two blue cats the size of lions.
5. The Trickster, god of mischief and fire.
6. Minor female deities in Norse mythology, who served Odin; led by Freya, their purpose was to choose the most heroic of those who had died in battle and to carry them off to Valhalla where they became spirit warriors; those alloted to Odin were destined to fight at his side at the preordained great battle at the end of the world, Ragnarök.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Blue Ridge

© 2006 Rick Lee

The Blue Ridge laundry hung along the sky
   Beyond the highway's disappearing end
Hums lazy longing songs of by-and-by;
   The road, too busy, hurries 'round the bend ...

The heavy sky wore mountain sawteeth dull
   So long ago; the nubbins that remain
Can scarce impede the clouds that boatlike scull
   Along the ridge above the valley rain.

The mountains must remember in their dreams
   Those ancient granite days of grand display,
When caped in snow and bumping heaven's beams
   Their brooding crags looked down upon the day;

Now, crossed with track and trail of bear and coon
   They see both what will come and what is past,
And sleep the endless sleep of rain and moon
   Until the hills are ground to sand at last.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Gate at the End of the Sky

Black Hole
        Black hole

They say there are holes in the heavens,
   Eternity's doorways agape,
Where everything's sixes and sevens,
   Where even the rays can't escape;

Where gravity's monster attraction
   Grabs atoms and pulls out their hair,
And infinite in its compaction
   The matter goes heaven knows where.

If singing the Kyri' eleison,
   Most hopeful for some saving grace,
Our souls sail beyond some horizon
   Perhaps into just such a place,

Then what if that hole is a portal
   That leads to some strange by and by–
Where human life meets the immortal:
   The gate at the end of the sky?

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, May 05, 2006


Cholesterol, 3-D molecular model

I read a list of seven things,
   The habits I should quit;
And worst of fortune's darts and slings?
   Why, honey, you were it.

The other six were bad enough
   To wreck my life for sure,
Like smokes and booze and all that stuff—
   And most of all, amour.

But your seduction's subtle art
   Enticed me toward my fall:
If love be life blood of the heart,
   Then you're cholesterol.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull
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