SPOTLIGHT: Postcards From Ragnarok by Katy Naylor


Week after weary week we walked
surviving on Kendal mint cake and scraps of conversation
waterproofs and shopping lists and late night wine and texts
our armour

until one day we realized
that the horizon we thought we’d been travelling towards

is in fact a serpent
biting its own tail
and much, much closer than we think


There is a hall
that stands far from the sun

Its doors face north
its walls are made from woven snakes
bodies knotted
heads turned inwards
they spit rivers of poison

A cold wind
through the kitchen window
I focus on each breath
as the edge in your voice
begins to sharpen
and the tiled floor under my feet
begins to lurch

I’d steady myself
but I know my hand will rest on
where the bricks should be


For you I would, joyfully
comb out my mighty beard
ride my goat-drawn chariot
make the sky resound with thunder

For you I would, joyfully
slay giants
devour herds
drain the sea in a single gulp

For you I would joyfully
stride across the hall
outsized, blundering
how I can make you laugh

For you I would, joyfully
battle the ice
the evening shadow creeping around my cup
paint a smile on my face

For you I would, joyfully
wrestle the serpent
that circles the earth

though you and I both know it will destroy me


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