Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, October 07, 2019

OctPoWriMo #7: My Viking Blood

Today’s prompt for OctPoWriMo is ‘tongue: tasting and speaking.” I must confess my mind was filled with images I truly didn’t want to write about (although, one, that of eating roasted grasshoppers while traveling in Turkey reminded me of unexpected tastiness).

Something Morgan Dragonwillow wrote about what words we might use to comfort us brought me right back to the current story I’m working on – set in Scotland. Yes, I found and loved for a very long time this Scottish proverb: “Bend, don’t break.”

In my current mystery, The Seventh Tapestry (forthcoming 2020), Sandra, a curator at a small museum in Edinburgh, meets her new boss at Deacon Brodie’s Tavern.
Deacon Brodie's Bar
Edinburgh, Scotland

Now, in real life, despite having lived just around the corner from this rather famous tavern for nearly a month, we never dropped by. Thanks to internet images and articles (even a menu), though, I feel as I have spent time here.

Emblazoned on the bar, “A pledge for all Scots: In Love and Life I hath no fear, for I was born of Scottish blood.” This resonates for me. ‘In love and life, I have no fear,’ and thus, this poem.

I’ve always been proud of
my Viking blood for it sings with fight
when I’m cornered.
I appear soft and sweet, no doubt,
even glasses perched on my nose,
an illusion. Inside, a warrior awaits,
battle-ready to scream profanity
in the face of a mugger, inches away,
shocking him to run.
That actually happened.
I didn’t need my sword.

Those workplace meetings too, when
tongues try to wind those webs, I start quietly,
reason reassured, crisscrossed by budget, staff, and vision,
not always able to change harsh reality.
I wiggle my eyebrows and explain,
“It must be my Viking blood.”

And love, my love, I’ve never needed to battle,
for we share words in the night,
dreaming, hoping, ready for what comes next.


Tomorrow's prompt: Scent.

You can visit OctPoWriMo at http://www.octpowrimo.com/ to read what others have written. Thank you, Morgan Dragonwillow.

8 comments:

  1. I'm part Scottish and part Irish which means I want ta drink but nae to pay for it. My other half is Swedish/Norwegian this poem made me want to give a barbaric yowl or raid and pillage my other half.

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    1. I've heard that Swedes and Norwegians don't talk to each other . . . at least in the past. Your summary of 'selves' made me laugh. Nice take on the Scottish/Irish combo. Really. Thanks for stopping by . . .

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    1. Dear Sally, Thanks for stopping by. I never know who reads my blog AND what they think! Did you know I'm part Swedish???

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  3. It's good to know you have a secret weapon when needed :)

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    1. Thank you for making me smile. Now, I'll wonder what your secret weapon is!

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