11/11 (and one to grow on)

Support Our Troops
Bravery?
What if they gave a war
and nobody came?
What if our ethos gave up
on targets to blame?
March of disorders;
unstable bonds break down,
crush frightened innocents
to dust.
We meant to serve our nation.
We meant to save rights, defend
threatened treasure, stalwart
bulwarks against disaster.
We meant to honor sacrifice, work of
our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers
for the good life:
family, God, country
and a wholesome recompense of pleasure.
Not executors of horror so intense
as to reverberate through our
remaining consciousness.
Who is advanced?
Who left in pieces that never heal?
God is on the battle field
not as commanding general or inspiring
mascot,
as witness
and gentle minister
of last rites
to shattered soldiers.
Not in Our Name
Nobody wins in a war
(well, maybe a few financiers of war industries, but)
Not us, not them, not humanity
Not the dead, not the living
Not the yet to be born
Not the land, water, air, our natural resources
Not the roads, buildings, pipes, utility lines, the infrastructure
Not love or peace or morality
Not human nature
Not Right
Not Justice
Not God
Not the battlegrounds or the cemeteries, or the unhealable wounds in our souls
Whatever we may hope to accomplish with war,
There are better ways.
Child of War
My daddy died saving our country.
My mommy cries, so sad and lonely.
But I can see, she’s also scared.
Our neighbors spit our names like swears.
I try to be respectful and kind.
They curse out threats, scream “We’re not blind,
you people are evil, your faith makes you kill.”
Sometimes if I stand, eyes closed, so still
I can hear my daddy say “Be strong,
my beloved child. Those people are wrong.
Wars aren’t decreed by Gods from above.
War is the sad fruit of the failure of love.”
Soldier
Soldiers, persons of honor, heroes of
common cause, deserve concerted worship on the throne
of myth.  No longer men or women alone, adrift,
seeking meaning, solace for their losses,
receivers for their gifts. Sins and virtues 
washed in wars’ conflicting visions, no longer fit
collective debt.  Cynics’ crimes against our mirrors
deserve reflection.  Does the command of empire
demand recursive lies, impossibility of true
repentance, vicious alibis, endless pitches into
death?
Early learning cast the play of we and they.
Blood, bone, face
is not man, soil intent on destiny.
Shadow marketeers sell swords, honour,
blessings to follow the faith as good fathers demand.
Soft blood dries — throes of maggots and microbes
cunningly feast on folly.
Can the wage of war pay to feed our habit?
Vegetation of these mythic forests grows
twisted, tinged in dark crimson layers.
Smell terror, violent death —
fresh meat, or fresh enough for remnant
gnashed snarls of teeth and salivation.
Lullabies drenched in sweet hope
snapped for a dream.
War, to improve the species,
cull the less fit or fortunate,
revitalize with hybridization.
Trained adversaries of different kin join in
biocultural cross-fertilization.
New semination, ideas, vigor, replace those
destroyed in battle.  Hegelian dialectic played out
in donnybrook and brothel,
conquered and conquerors commingle in the everyday.
Warrior upon warrior.
Young, aggressive, strong, culturally arrogant,
seeking honour, adoration, through attack.
Like young male cats
of the archetypal jungle, sent out from the tribe
to trouble the enemy.
Lesser punks relegate to jail.  Yeah, yeah, get the scofflaws off the street;
scapegoats for collective demons need be punished well.
While locked in hell, too, losers from the gene pool.
The privileged and their entourage
seldom serve time.  Innocents sans means
get rousted and warehoused.  The holy encourage:
Keep ’em chained until aged weak beyond appeal.
Modern reason might usurp these adaptations.
Species, in danger of elimination, needed arrogance
to demand resources
to feed more warriors
to keep each kin group scrambling
for position.   To get more competitive, through competition.
Billions of voices shout cacaphony.
Sentient choices blend better as harmony.
By liminal command, young aggressors channel
to sport, fantasy war, adventurous work.
Next level survival demands we assess, re-learn.
War Games
More and more
get less and less
the best sacrificed
to great God Success
Anger
building
brick by bloody brick
Is it a surprise
(“Look!  Into my eyes!”)
when the peasants cackle
resurrecting the guillotine
Raw power
hot metal shooting
making unmistakable mark
burning ragged skin and guts
and glory
.
Tell me a story, daddy
about before the war
when water flowed
in abundant freedom
when the air was pure
of the stench
of progress
when everybody had
a sacred right
to feel
and believe
and dance in the moonlight
when we could afford to be
young, untried, open
to possibilities not cut off
by a sacrificial knife
repeatedly deeply severing
vital organs
without regard to the waste
with no respect for place
or the people for whom that space
holds stories
.
Weapons forged in anger
built up shattered layers of
desperate pride, disrespect, grief
create festering wounds
poisoning the populace
unto the Seventh Generation
caught up in some grotesque
morality play
Hiroshima
Fight for peace
Our sacred honor
Arrows fly
piercing armor.
Piercing amor, pride’s
full measure.
Wrath, revenge,
mortal fear, coiling
paranoia
bayonet strong.
Toddlers at play,
unarmed, unwary,
skeletally still.
Bared secrets slip
from space and time.
Scorching pinprick holes
in heaven’s fabric;
petrified souls thrust into
premature rebirth.
Hellfire ripped from metaphor
rends scream-echo,
palpable texture,
daring phantoms,
death’s brigade.
Crying “Peace!”
— unheeded command
because real glory
belongs to destruction.
The Enemy
Hiding from bombardments.
Thick, black water.
No thirst is worth this
indignity.
Running through rubble,
recently devolved
homes, commerce, community.
Extended families,
aunts and cousins,
good neighbors,
valued friends
devolved to shattered corpses.
Wailing at the wall of freedom,
of humanity.
Chaotic prophecies whisper,
Hell reigning upon
modern Earth.
Policy statements fly
in protective formation.
“We can not give in to
the enemy.”
Study War No More
What lesson can be applied?
When imperialist troops crash down upon a people’s pride?
When might as right meets the instinct to survive?
When Midas greed lashes out to destroy?
We’ve been here before, o my brethren, o my children —
repeating the fouled lessons poured into our thirsty minds,
pushing back the horror before our eyes with blinding rage
forged into weapons by mortal foes
who hide in plain sight.
The only thing I know —
The lesson repeating agony in all our souls,
Haunted by the pleading eyes and bloody hearts
Of the slaughtered sacrifices to malignant gods —
There is something vital here to learn.
They win a stupid, miserable battle because they’re all about the fight,
all about taking out any foreign concept or perpetrator of perceived slight.
The war continues because soldiers are so much fun to play with,
so easy to control by those who enjoy divide and conquer games.
For the few outsiders who don’t want to play, well, we make good
training exercise targets.
Fine, be a “hawk”
go to war with the other hawks
in a hawk war stadium
kill each other off
to cheering crowds
all the blood and glory you so

badly crave

It’s a strange philosophy,

making war the ultimate decider of conflict or disagreement.
Over and over it fails, miserably, tragically. Yet the demand persists.
What you say about the military life, it’s just life.
We are all in a way soldiers,
soldiering on in whatever function we find, in getting through.
There are occasions for heroism,
for that adrenaline pumping into action we never knew
we could perform.
There are all the horrors that we may or may not encounter,
how we learn to live anyway.
War may be a more condensed way of living,
a faster ride,
often on the most brutal side.
There was a Roman soldier bored with war,
with whores, with bloody babies.
Hoping to escape, he wrote a history,
moved into
his Holy fantasy.
It’s but a Shangri-La, a piper’s dream.
Metal men, formed from clay,
scream upon fields of hostility,
when scathing nerves
catch up with senses.
Soothed with martial melodies,
gratefully they rise to serve.
Ballad of a Modern Hero
Young Julius Jones
Born in the month of his naming
Trained in the fine art of gaming
Grew in the wilds of Manhattan
Among the sticks and stones.
Young Julius Jones
Learned soon to hate with a passion
Whoever was most then in fashion
Learned soon to pummel and flatten
Whoever was not of his own.
He grew swift and strong
A fine looking man, and a tough one
With women was always a rough one
But knew how to use all to please him
Sure of his own right and wrong.
He went off to war
Glad to be raising his station
Proud to be serving his nation
He’d ne’er let the enemy seize him
Of this he was sure.
He shot proud and true
And sent letters home to his mother
Of how he had killed yet another
Taught those damn Commies a lesson
Gave ’em what they were due.
He died in the night
And when, in the morning, they found him
It was nothing new to astound them
Someone just said, “What a mess.”
And soon he was out of their sight.
Young Julius Jones
Born in the month of his naming
Trained in the fine art of gaming
Gone from the isle of Manhattan
Among the sticks and stones.
Young Julius Jones
Had learned well to hate with a passion
Whoever was most then in fashion
Learned well his lesson and that
In the end justified his bones.
Honoring peace
Honoring lives left behind
not in consecrated fields
open to air and sunlight
tended father to son,
mother to daughter.
Dust to carry forward.
Lives not given, not shared.Taken.
Ripped asunder.
Limbs, guts, glory.
Shrieking abandoned waifs,
wailing inconsolate lovers.
Screaming bombs, squealing tanks.
Arms shattered,
vision scarred
for peace, for Fatherland, for prosperity.
Today, cold, raw, ice flecks
obscure a longed-for Sun.
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witch night

The room, low in lighting, spare in furnishing, enclosed by walls, floor and ceiling painted in cosmic fantasies, existing as a box within boxes, surrounded on all dimensions.  Not so much a door as a semi-permeable veil that could, with an intense act of will, be penetrated to take in vast kaleidoscopic tellings of tales, all sides and all seasons envisioned in an eternal play.
Officer Mirsky had a powerful hate on for them witchy folk.  “Always messing with my head, telling me to do things.  And not nice things, either.”  They weren’t telling him to find himself some sweet young thang, fuck her every which way to exhaustion, cutting her throat when he was ready, then chopping her body into handy sized bits for easy disposal.  They never told him how to get away with such wholesome activity neither.  They just wanted him to be happy to serve their fine selves.  “Grateful I should be that they keep commerce running ever so smoothly, plenty of profit for all so long as well all know our place.  Think they have a right to act all superior to normal folks who leave each other’s minds alone and get by on codes of unmentioned rules that everybody knows.  Keep yourself to yourself, fit in, join the crowd and take what you can when no one of any importance is looking.  If you’re really swift, become someone of importance by stealing big and making the right moves.  This forced cooperation is for migrating birds, not human beings, each man king of all he can compile.
Don’t look at me like that, you witchy folk, all superior, knowing, like I don’t count ’cause you’re better than me.  You’re not better than anybody.  You’re certainly not better than everybody.  We can democratically eject you.  Once we get you out of our minds.”
Tune in for more; tune out for internal reflection.
*
*
*
*
Today’s Jam
*
*
Marionette danse
Sad canyon howls
echo deadly sweet sister.
Chants ricochet with
infusion of stardust.
Spindly Purple Witch of wood
caresses soldier boy, cackles bony sorcery.
He grows in appreciation.
M’Dame, M’ Lady, blessing strokes,
charade of bonny play.
Look! Old potty rabbit hops
center stage.
Wary wilder symphony
choreo-fleet, chiaroscuro.
Gentle Pierrot laughter shrieks,
strings a-jerk, akimbo.
Thrush in plume ready to bloom.
Just before the denouement, the riddle.
How brash the Moon.
How cast away the Star.
How close the moment,
performance to applause.
Childish phase unveiled,
balanced on the head
of a pose.
*
warm, resonant purr
catch my aha
my epiphany
my cultivated air of mystery
mist armors me
defense of camouflage
eye to beam
*
caught up in adore, in lust
give up the circus to follow me hormones
semiotic gestalt
a holographic assault
we humans forget
’tis our nature to founder,
open wide to where we once belonged
*
Bertolt and Muriel glance kiss aye to eyes.
Wood palm arabesques.
Zoom astray into caricature throng.
The very paean of life, a Holiday song.
Metaliminal passion play diversive actions.
Foggy notions, risqué crystal robes.
Limbic video bliss.
*
love for your supper
love so you won’t be a whore
burn through sanity; clearly witness
mutually assured derision
*
the antithesis of alien
ps and qs
pleasing cues
amusing pleasantries
*
*
*
*
Tick Tock
*
*
Another clock, another tower
sketched out in the sky.
Long-bearded sage bells epochal secrets
in cloud-talk as flocks wing by.
As clouds roll by in the wanton sky,
no matter, no mind, no derisive spirit,
no sense in these days of wicked ways,
of the wise
*
’round midnight
witches wander.  Merry meet in
heathens’ woods.
“up to know god, I tell’s ya”
It’s all about how we arrange to appear.
Scraggly hobo, ascetic seer, abomination
(or a-bomb a nation).
Pitch a well-earned vacation
on points-of-view stocked in
mindbank.  Mind blank?
Enjoy the ride.
Twin jugglers set on stage.
Nature and nurture combined
through tidal trails inside
— a seamless tryst with fate.
Hear eldritch tale, my star lit dear
of how we now have wandered here.
Now’s waiting; don’t be late.
*
*
*
*
Early autumn firelight
reminiscent of witch hunts, ghosts of calvary,
dire warnings and endless hide and strike
The game, the funhouse, turns deadly
Sanctuary calls, demanding sacrifice
The noble phoenix fed on frankenseed
can not rise
Skies descend, dark mirroring
Smell the woodsmoke, intoxicating, soft and sweet,
masks the taste of bitter bile, secret vomiting,
starving despite harvest’s gay array of treats
Faded, nearly blind, falling in and out of
shamanic fever, primeval native callings beyond sight,
ripple of tribal beat at the periphery
ecstatic vision dark/light/agony and brilliant breaks
starbright constellations
Traversing worlds
Twilight of Goddess Revelation
*
*
What twisted so maliciously your mind?
Your God — Created that greedy leaders may more easily prevail?
Is it guilty shame, seeded by consistent training insisting that you fail?
Lost to balance, whole possibilities, unable to be free or sane.
Eternal life is yours, we scream, while you destroy our birthright
in service to conjuror’s dream of denial.
*
but it’s just for a while, while we learn what we were from the start,
each creature alive to the beat of a self-reasoned heart
*
II.
*
Born other than imperial, torn into what we are told is real
without power to protect ourselves from venal brothers of the order
spreading hatred like any venereal disease.
We no longer need to meet you cowering on our knees.
Karma’s a hot potent bitch unschooled in mercy.
Witches reclaiming noble heritage, reframed herstories will prevail.
Though born, forced to service, in our master’s jail,
lost and lonely midst the masses, masked to fit expected forms.
*
but it’s just for a while, while we learn what we were from the start,
each creature alive to the beat of a self-reasoned heart
*
III.
*
Listen, little one, watching every moment for our chance,
we will break free to adventurers’ romance; dance away the chill of
foreign hills enrapt in leaves and grass. Hiding in primeval castles,
tightly aligned to a bright inner sphere, holding to hope of life to hold dear.
Learning to fly, ride to some unknown side, escape from the herd hate stone,
can’t be as hard as learning to stand alone.
*
but it’s just for a while, while we learn what we were from the start
each creature alive to the beat of a self-reasoned heart
*
*
*
*
We are called.
We answer.
That’s all a witch is.
Self-complete conduit,
self-defined.
No god’s bitch.
Devotion quid pro quo.
Service to learn – unbound
when we know, to go forward.
Self-Creators playing chords of destiny,
witch’s dance.
Pandora’s Cauldron
Encapsulate.
Bubbling up collected molecules
manifest fairy stories of creaky old goblins,
sorrowful witches, ancient deities
with too much to prove.
Effervescence, coated in
bitterroot for resilience.
Caught, an instant in amber,
latent pain layered in ages.
Slow, malignant, poison.  Corrosive
drip through epithelial walls.
They call, taunt yet again.
I pretend not to hear, not to feel,
not to want to believe.
They call with raucous derision:
“Dear Hope,” they spittle,
“a flying thing, a winged chariot
pulled by clever orphaned doves.”
Thirst pulls me to their malevolent well.
I dare not drink.  It will never kill me,
but torture, weak and broken.
I will never grow whole enough to
venture forward, to seek vigorous remedy.
Jagged mirrors cut skin, vital arteries.
Viscous blood held captive loses oxygen.
Blue and cold wintry depths.
Interred, hidden within this tumbling metal crucible.
Disturbed curses’ icy stinging deny the gift
of sleep.
Dark Magick
In the still of the dark of the moon
after the revelrie has passed on
deep, deep into the frozen fields of dreamless sleep
we, walking, silently, along the riverbed
breathing in ancient ash of woodsmoke
breathing out long-growing tears
to weave ghostly tentacles
along our path
take each others’ hand up to our heart
to pray, to kiss, to whisper
thus casting an eternal spell.
Meta-Science
Magical thinking
creating room for the power
of possibilities,
nuances, shades between,
molecular space
unexplored, unexploited.
The magic of synaptic awareness,
unlikelihood of consciousness,
Dreams, Visions, Reveries,
ineffable emotions
too dear to deny.
See, smell, taste
chemical reactions,
hear reverberating air.
There is no limit
but that I impose.
Strict chanting and ritual
keeps reality in line.
Raising Hell
Not true sacred magick.
Cynical sleight of hand
turns sweat and dreams,
lives of desperation
into neat bundles of greed.
But the pain burns through
not content to be twisted
into fast cars, high-stakes games,
brilliant careers in glad-handing.
It wants its payment.
False wizards of arrogant charm
play with chthonic force
more angry and deadly than flame.
Unaware of the cursed seeds
they cultivate,
now strangling life force from below.
Unsupervised children
playing with matches,
grizzled and gray as some may appear,
laughing at the bright spectacle
as homes burn.
The balance is always paid.
Magick is never free.
Will the lesson ever sink in?
Be careful what you conjure.
Ever After
*
*
Pan, old ugly friend
screams “You’re alive!”
Respond?
Retreat into familiar fairytales.
Witch  Waif  Warrior
Who emerges from the
cold dark water?
Disgusting wounds ignite
in the presence
*
Making every effort to appear
normal, sincere
(not veering on the edge)
(not dangerously explosive)
“Don’t mistake my weakness
for that loathsome foe
we daren’t name.”
Shame
overwhelming homeostasis.
Crawling, mewling on unswept floor.
Unable to gain equilibrium enough
to walk away.
Lock the door; hide behind barricades
made from
blood guts gore
human remains after they have
vermified, defiled.
My core cries
“One sweet kiss.  A taste,
sense memory
stasis of desire.”
I leap whole
into eternal fire
beyond pain; burning sensation.
Pan smiles.
Beltane
Brazen witches fly, legends say,
dark Moon nights; arise, stealthy, silent
in their joyous revelry.
Bonded to Earth’s creation;
learning at mother’s breast
to manage life’s gifts and lessons.
Historic Man may proclaim, may murder
for fealty, to swear allegiance to
their hunt’s command.
They may elevate their One True King
to kneel and obey.  They may employ
counting measure, ceremony and sacrifice,
taunting and torture or other trials
thus finding for each loyal swan a pond
to plunder, to parade in royal colour,
their place of pride.
Cruelty descends, more master than tactic;
it is the enemy of joy, of flavour,
bonding, works of love and honour.
Yet men, on real ground, work companions
to soil and rain, engineers trained to each
moment’s urgencies, philosophers of stone and mud,
reason and toil, persist.  Their sinew and bone feed
the ages, build clay and richness on which
wealth relies.
Wisdom knows the sweat of practiced movement,
flexible to unexpected obstacles, able to modulate
quiet or loud as the crowd ebbs
or grows in credulity.
Where wisdom seeps through, counters
prevailing poisons, invigorates blood to nourish
minds and hearts, look there for blessing.
Arise, lovers!  Bring forth better days,
ours to play in open revelry,
neighbors enjoying shared labors and our fruit.
Accept truth of magic; imagine life into this world.
Enchanted Garden
*
*
Homespun among
cozy field of roses.
Gated inside lush technicolor paradise.
Who would think once?
None would think twice.
Overpowered by rose scent,
velvet elegance, dazzling sensation.
Safe from dangers outside
this cinematic fence.
Who would knock once?
Who would knock thrice,
open the spell?
Who would give wishes a
wishing well, instill water with
witch’s wiles under potent roses?
Remember the curse.
Remember fairies bedecked in roses.
Remember you begged for a chance,
a second of sight.
Then begged to forever forget.
Stoic soldiers,
wistful roses of forgetfulness.
*
*
*
*
bird songs
*
*
I’ve been through this before,
pre-dawn morning
birds chirping, infiltrate my airspace,
awake when I should be long oblivious.
Good girls dream of princes,
subliminal desire to be slain
by love piercing enshrined virtue.
Gold hued birds in crystal cages
incant witchery for food —
hair of newt, spleen of worm; smoky
syllables induce pleasure.
Warm hearts beat together, no bond
of pact
or sentiment.
Lore is explicit; no crime to commit.
Vexed, inconvenienced by the regular
comings and goings of
the natural world.
Birds of a feather exchange their
social pleasantries.
It is I who should be sleeping,
conjuring brave new worlds;
ambient noise translated into
neoteric lullabies.
Singing to the Chorus
Getting warmer
Days numbered by travelers,
barbarians rushing in to conquest.
Taken in to longer view,
tumbling through the ages ~
Sundials exchanged for
binary spiders click-clocking,
tabulating the enormous sum,
only a summary of things gone before.
The reality of childhood, striving creatures,
pulling upward from bootie straps,
scrambling for a place in the pile
near enough to the top
that derision, pouring downward,
obliges them to only the fiercest of Lords.
Merrily spending the pocket-change of
dollars flowing upward.
Old games reign under the big top.
Solemn children in the circus stands
betting on which clown will fall.
They speak to you of evil, o’ my children,
Church Fathers swearing to the sky;
cold, withered Mums hoping for a crust
of noblesse oblige.
Evil is the providence of Satan,
cloven-hoofed, dancing in the circle’s
centerpoint, playing the pipes of Pan.
Oceans made of blood boil
Leading edges swelter, crisping into
conflagration.
In Summerland children play, dancing to
rollicking pipery.
Naked under beaming Moon and starlight,
they act out tales well-loved by All.
It’s Magic
Magic is not part of me.
It is every molecule,
holding together by some higher intent.
Tracking the winding trail
stars and moonlight exhale potency
spells, incantations, hidden meanings
flickering in malleable divinity.
Living Earth, patiently moving through rotations,
inhales stardust.
In darkness, creation recycles.
Magic is all.

eve of Hekate

Stars’ Crossing
*
*
Crossed roads, slowly swaying
entrance beads from day to night.
Slip in between to become
for that instant of eternity
dancing gypsy calling to
Moon, to storytelling stars.
Embrace that mystery, train tracking
adventure.  Breathe forgotten fields,
lush or shriveled, dependent on water
and feed.  Let go of all but one brave
hand solidly grasped to the doorway.
Let go; let fingers fall reaching.
*
*
*
*
Second Star to the Right
 *
*
Traveling beyond Persephone’s garden
on the etheric threshold
‘tween mortality and death.
Taking an oblique path at the crossroads
onto an accessway
along the axis of bliss.
It’s not a road on which
the dramas fade.
It’s not about a numbing block
to pain.
Drama unfolds —
my chemistry responds exquisitely.
Touch is just touch;
sensation translates information.
All the appointed tasks,
routine errands of the everyday,
little pauses along the bliss path,
allow me to breathe the scent
of endless possibilities,
as path and consciousness expand
blissfully aware.
*
*
*
*
Liminal Spaces
 *
*
Twilight, the wee hours,
the dark of the moon,
liminal spaces,
places where magic dwells,
crossroads, crises, cusps.
*
There is static on the radio.
A song
my voice was singing,
rhythm of sound
takes flight to surround me,
a comforter of down
to ease my soul.
*
I’ve been trying to define a taste,
a sense of bittersweet and salt.
I’ve been trying to find a trace
a footprint in the desert,
a sight, a scent,
a memory.
I’ve been trying to discern a trace of me,
a piece to fit the puzzle,
my contribution to the grand design.
Seeking in shadows,
the space between
myth and matter,
those places words
cannot define.
On those insubstantial plains
of myst and awe,
the stuff of dreams,
threshold of wonder,
creation is spawned.
 *
*
*
*
Crossing the Threshold
*
*
At the crossroads at midnight
My lady did swear
That she must be alone
To face up to her demons
*
“Please understand that I must
be aware of just who I am
and where I’ve come from.”
*
I sat by the bridge
as she set forth her tools,
her sorcerer lore, her alchemic runes
So she’d know who to honor, to break
and to blame
What she’d been made for,
her journey, her truth.
 *
At the crossroads, past midnight,
just before dawn
My lady thrice nodded and
stamped out her flames.
She beckoned I join her out on the meadow
to kiss and rejoice
and reveal our true names.
*
*
*
*
Cross Purpose
 *
*
At hours’ crossroads, Reason drowns
in rage, scathe,
irradiated rain, treasonous air.
Weary of care, of punishing,
bottomless anger, of sobbing men
robbed of their right to give birth.
Wrested from Mama’s warmth, from
the cave, to play brave.
And it’s ladies’ choice as you squirm
in fool’s corner.
Such a chore — kissing at this
and that for a chance to score
the shame, the blame from stuck-out
tongues, the bloody laughter.
“I could bite off that little thing — make
you squat to pee.”
Wired to fight, at any cost,
because, of course, the Cross proclaims
“We’re right.  They are inherently wrong.”
“Those below must be taught to obey
our superior tools, to be broken,
that we may ride.”
Against our better fate, sad race divides
along strict lines, by difference
nature devised to spawn us strong.
 *
*
*
*
Alchemy
*
*
Simple acceptance.
The dancer with the dance
entering pre-dawn mystery.
Quiet interval, enchanting music.
Undulating reverie.
Alone in Hekate’s garden,
breathing in memory
of jasmine and spice.
Weary roads traveled
crossroad to crossroad;
the journey continues.
Weary days have found sustenance
in secreted hovels, dimestore romance.
Convoluted talk, empty gestures,
soul-less ritual
take up the stitches of time.
Some brave midnight,
if I learn my lessons well,
I will eat the fruits of Hekate’s garden,
dancing in piquant reverie,
leaving my tears and anguish
along the windswept trail.
Ebullient music
dances me
as the Goddess kisses
my tearstains into
gold.
Degree of my natal Hekate —
a liminal year for the dweller
on the threshold.
The search is for clarity,
expanding borders, introducing
elasticity as integral character.
To see, to feel, to merge and undulate
through; to discover, uncover, swim
in the glory of original grace,
ecstatic beauty.
To see, to feel, to breathe in
all exquisite luxury of prescience; to hold,
transmit as cellular energy.
To paint upon translucent canvas
subliminal etchings, private symbols 
generously revealed.
Sagacity gifted, re-gifted,
planted in potent fertility
of visions, of cantations.
The tinsel of starlight;
the subtle scent of conflagrated pain;
the feather touch of eternity.
I fall into velvet voice, enchanting form.
Move with the rhythm;
caressed within word and worlds’
mysteries.

Eve of Hecate

As we approach the 13th of August

celebration of the Dark Moon Goddess

under shining Moonlight,

Faery Queen or fabled harlot

stirs potent night blooms, expelling myths of

what we cannot bear, cannot overcome

Feel in the electric falling starlight

Spells of renewal, of power to look back

upon our falterings, to find the seed now grown

yet changing still and ever, able,

willing, co-creating in the illuminated shadow

invoking the peace of dissolving twilight

of midnight’s hopeful resurrection

of the hinting flame that lightens before the dawn

take peace into each breath, each incantation

from the strength to align impeccably

with your deepest truth

The transition to the transformation of death is a different kind of birth. Hecate would understand, the Goddess of birth and death and the spaces between, thresholds, doorways, crossroads, limbo. Goddess Hecate, I understand that I am in your realm for this duration, for this direction in which you are moving my consciousness. Bless me, Goddess. Give me your strength of purpose and will, serenity within the maelstrom. The future is one moment at a time. The time is always now. Who I am to become will amaze me, I’m sure.
Hekate Is My Cellar Door
I am in awe
I am prostrate in acceptance
of such power as you bestow to me
by incultation of your love
Dynamism
resounds in every fiber
I breathe you in
without resistance
My exhalation
is the stuff of bliss
Tell your sisters
to breathe with me.
I have been working with an inner image of Hecate, the underworld, ancient, self-empowered goddess of birth/death/life. As I am understanding, her lesson is about becoming one’s true self, unafraid of social appropriation because not in need of permission to totally embrace one’s own magick. To begin to find this inner core (unless, I suppose, one is lucky enough to have never lost it), one needs to go through, truly feel and accept, all the pain and miseries of one’s life, to learn that these are not what life is about, not punishments, though sometimes warnings, but just an interpretation of what is. A very long time ago, on a cold and windy winter night, a friend told me: open up to the cold and feel it, don’t resist — it is really warm. On those nights when I remember and try it, it really is.
Hekate’s Child

Child of Hekate,
sweetness and light?
Where is the mark
of your entombment?
Buried prematurely,
to strive for growth
in dark enclosure
striving for a breath
of the pompously negligent
Sun,
of the blushing Moon
of the squabbling sons and daughters,
of daylight’s pleasures.
Striving, tenderly
twisting around corners
aching for an unknown touch.

“Tell me, sir, then, how’s it going now?”
Looking up narrowly from a tepid meal,
all at once remembering
playfellows on the schoolyard
running, out of breath,
filled with pride
a jolly good game.
Always someone begging
my attention,
but it wasn’t really me,
just a story to steam off
or a butt to joke on.
All the silly give and take;
only time is taken
and that in big hungry chunks
of no tomorrows.

One long day
now the part all groggy
waking from fevered napping.
It wasn’t supposed to be a tomb
nestled in Transylvanian bloodlines.
It was meant to be a child’s cot,
freshly laundered cotton lace.
But the rats got in,
once the cats had been slaughtered.

Slowly wakening
I strive again to find my footing.
Learning to walk
was never as easy
as forgetting to fly.

Caught up in my Hecate role,
I feel the power of my soul.
Rain and wind and ice and snow
I feel you all from here below,
and revel in elemental energy.
I am the wind, the seas, the fire
I am all will and all desire.
It is me you love, and me you hate —
I am the master of your fate.
Yet I am hidden from all sight,
beyond the reach or need of light.
I have found my peace,
my place, my voice.
Take heed, O’ mortal,
create your choice.
Create it every day.

salute to Hiroshima

nuclear quiet 
.
 .
Tremble.
Terrible holocaust.
Fragments, smoldering ash attest inferno’s horror
beyond any concept of fright.
Tremble.
Desirous destruction
engulfs, combusts, devours the night.
Ghastly imbroglio to contemplate.
Holy emission of erupting sky
obscuring, engorging, torching heavens and Earth.
Maelstrom behind closed eyes of flesh-rending fire
razing, exploding, resplendent in awe filled
agony;
transcending density into shocks of deadliest
tremors.
Yes, tremble and think not of that night.
Caught in a thread which ravels to end in
throat-clutching screams.
Send dread escaping, sad streams of molten tears.
Endless, enduring, yet rent past all mending.
Quiet, so quiet tonight.
Kept closed — quiet tonight.
Unable to catch breath; unable to cry; unable to go on
— But, God, I don’t die
just quail ‘neath flames descending, howl
without a sound.
Tremble, just tremble — there’s no soul around.
.
 .
 .
second flooding of Megiddo
 .
 .
I’ve got rain.
No words.
No fancy maledictions.
Pounding drips against
my inner scream.
Out in the valley,
obscured by smoky haze,
gathering armies.
Bright polished armor.
Weaponry clean
beauteously shines,
stars behind dark clouds.
No roots to cling to.
Flood water rises,
drowns fire, air, ability to
speak of sorrow.
Ashes
fall unevenly
through seeping valley.
 .
 .
 .
 .
Hiroshima
.
.
Peace
Fight for peace
Our sacred honor
Arrows fly
piercing armor
Pierce of amor, pride
outside all measure
Wrath, revenge as pleasure
Coiled paranoia
bayonet strong
Toddlers play,
armless, unwary
skeletally still
Bared secrets slip,
burn scars in time
Scorching, pinprick holes
in heaven’s fabric,
petrified souls thrust to
premature eviction
Hellfire ripped from metaphor
Immolation scream-echo palpable, 
texture ascends
Daring phantoms,
death’s brigade
wail “Peace!”
— unheeded command
because real glory
belongs to slaughter
 .
 .
 .
Veneration
 .
 .
Honoring peace.
Honoring essence left behind
not blessed in sanctified fields
open to air and sunlight,
tended to father by father,
mother to sacrificed child.
Dust denied transcendence to
holy loam in presence of love.
Lives not given, not shared, but stolen,
ripped asunder —
limbs, guts, glory.
Shrieking abodeless waifs,
wailing abandoned intimates, kin.
Screaming bombs, squealing tanks.
Arms, throats lacerated.
Vision scathed, scarred.
For peace, for country, for prosperity.
Today, smoke, cinder flecks
obscure a longed-for Sun.
 .
 .
 .
devotional haiku
 .
 .
happy day to die
amid man’s and planet’s ruins
reverberant Hell
.
starshine uncontained
potent messaging released
DNA cackles
 .
Japanese songbirds
born to nuclear wasteland
shriek mass destruction
 .
 .
 .
Logic of Evolution
 .
 .
Successful progenitors
survive to sow seed
by force or persuasion
or hiding off screen
or banding together
that more may succeed,
and upgrade conditions,
enhance the breed.
But, for such teams to work well
we must
learn to respect, honor, and trust;
expect to contribute and take and share,
accept the caring for and care.
In community varied seeds are sown.
Thus is a thriving future grown.
Or, sibling rankling infests
to neighbors as scorn.
Barriers proliferate,
preparations for war.
Who is emboldened by
destruction and blood,
blowing civilizations
back into mud?
Are these principled people
filled with kindness and joy?
Those who can create good;
the lacking destroy.
Guns, bombs, cruel words,
contempt, angry sneers,
promotion of pain,
preying on fears,
paying us naught but
unneeded tears
and advancement of certain
unsavory careers.
We can reject their lies,
realize the prize.
Here! before our eyes.
Simple. Easy. Free.
Expect, accept, embrace
the abundance
of Peace.
.
.
.

dark musings

Twilight at the Dark of the Moon
Moving inward.
Spiraling
into deepest silence.
Feel me here,
oh my most darling.
Here is the free-est flow,
river of bliss.  Bounty
of years of grey resistance,
incrementally awakened to
swirling shades —
mystic purples,
mad magentas,
sky-eyed blues.
There is ancient music,
crescendos to peals.
Layered millennial ears,
creatures of seas to trees
murmur through.
Ripples of soundwaves,
broker wisdom
not yet condensed into words.
Romances spun of clay and sand,
woven into fashion’s fabrics.
Hearty voices join,
create regaled mythology.
Star-shaped world story
reverberates with
chill and heat.
Nascent strive for enriched clarity
that must open ever more widely,
a luminous spiral
up, out, in, around.
Come, brave as you imagine.
In that brief eternal interval
all of energy
coalesces.
Dark Magick
In the still of the dark of the moon,
after the revelry has passed,
deep, deep into the frozen fields of dreamless sleep,
we, walking, silently, along the riverbed,
breathe in ancient ash of woodsmoke,
breathe out long-growing tears
to weave ghostly tentacles
along our path,
take each other’s hand up to our heart
to pray, to kiss, to whisper,
thus casting an eternal spell.
Brave New Age
I have traveled beyond the waters,
acrid, poisoned water,
bound and bleeding daughters,
wail of senseless slaughter,
blinded by the rain.
I have walked
sands of endless hatred,
crumbled stone as hate did,
explaining “It was fated.”
relinquishing the blame.
Dark of the night, quiet,
unable to lie,
I search for the truth of
my age in unfathomed sky.
Not Heaven, not Home to a
rescuing I — the Mystic’s mystery.
Hugely greater than a Creator of history.
Stars, Galaxies
without end
Liminal Spaces
Twilight, the wee hours,
the dark of the moon,
liminal spaces,
places where magic dwells,
crossroads, crises, cusps.
There is static on the radio.
A song
my voice was singing,
rhythm of sound
takes flight to surround me,
a comforter of down
to ease my soul.
I’ve been trying to define a taste,
a sense of bittersweet and salt.
I’ve been trying to find a trace
a footprint in the desert,
a sight, a scent,
a memory.
I’ve been trying to discern a trace of me,
a piece to fit the puzzle,
my contribution to the grand design.
Seeking in shadows,
the space between
myth and matter,
those places words
cannot define.
On those insubstantial plains
of myst and awe,
the stuff of dreams,
threshold of wonder,
creation is spawned.
dark of the Moon, dark of the Sun
liminality, intense opening of magical portals — where do you see your being on the other side?
Perhaps what I am finding so profound is indeed simple elementary knowledge to others here. That take on the human narrative is: our entire “reality” is an abstract construct based on what we perceive as the general social narrative into which we are born. Much as some religions refer to a “maya” an illusory story we blend our self-narrative from, or as visionaries, madfolk, psychonauts perceive a vaster reality beyond the veil, we all have the capacity to see through the story and recreate it in an image more suited to our individual pursuits and pleasure. In fact, religion (yoke) is a social construct to better control the flock by self-appointed shepherds who may have a greater picture than apprehended by the masses, or at least a greater instinct for the prerequisites of power over. Ultimately, the more profound power is not power over, but power within, the power to move beyond the socially accepted narrative and write one’s own. This is the essence of Magic.
We who are part of an ancient tradition of art are always taking up the helm, seeing what was and making our own comments based on our own experiences. However, as to the whining and wallowing, people throughout time have had serious issues to deal with, some similar to what we are going through now, some perhaps less relevant at this time. We had “the bomb” Vietnam, the draft, Agent Orange, CIA, Hoover’s FBI, all manner of incredible social changes to acclimate to. You know, I’ve been marvelling during this just recent “Black History Month” that when I was a teen I was marching for civil rights so that my black friends could live in the kinds of neighborhoods that my white friends took for granted, could get real jobs, could not be lynched with impunity. My gay friends were jailed or worse, incarcerated in mental institutions and given shock treatments, even lobotomies, because they had a mental illness, not a different orientation. My woman friends (I included) were also kept off the job market, or given low-paid service work which included a heavy amount of sexual harassment that had to be endured. We were not allowed often to rent spaces because we didn’t have a man, or have our own bank accounts, or heaven forbid we had children due to divorce or out-of-wedlock, we were pariahs and so were our kids. I could go on forever, but hopefully you get the point. We all have our crosses to bear, each individual and each generation. As artists it is our job to take it all in and use these adversities to make our art more relevant, more real, more true to who we are. And, btw, check out some of the earlier psychedelic movement art — it’s certainly not all sweetness and light! The so-called flower-power hippies were more a media artifact than the real thrust of what people were doing and believed.
Sodomy, defined by celibate priests who I guess thought we were too good for sex, includes all sexual acts outside of the sacrament of marriage, other than the missionary position, and for any purpose other than procreation. Sodomy is condemned as serious sin in Christian theology of the middle ages and on to well into the 20th century, even into the 21st.  Apparently God gave us these intense urges just to test us.
I have been experiencing complicated thoughts about the meaning of art, its purpose culturally and personally. For the most part, I’ve not liked poetry, though often I have found poems that did deeply move me or give me a radically new perspective in a way that other writing forms rarely can equal. I had very recently been going through an internal conflict about writing style. People have criticized my writing for being too difficult to understand when I thought I was being crystal clear. I started working toward using simpler language, but that doesn’t seem to be the cure. Now, I am leaning more toward the idea that my job is to express in my own way my own realizations, since that is what I can do that is original and meaningful, to me at least. You can never please or even necessarily communicate with all of the people all of the time. If I am true to my own vision, at least that will be out there for those who do wish to see it. It is important, though, I think, to be clear in the manifestation of that vision rather than obscurant, to give full attention and intention to every word.
It cracks me up that the Republicans are touted as pro-free-market conservatives. Real conservatives are conservationists. They understand that there is no free ride from planet Earth, or anyone else. They believe in the creative entrepreneur who has a stake in finding useful and profitable solutions so the buying public will beat a path to that door. Real Republicans, however, seem to be about preserving the territory of sacred special interests. As was suggested on a conservative think tank panel broadcast on C-Span about other issues, probably the best way to come up with real world solutions is to offer a high cash prize to whoever comes up with the best ideas, or at least to offer low-interest financing to get such projects going.
I drink them in, your words
of lithe and light and falling into
meaning.
Hot, parched soul that I bring
to party through the changing
moods and captured essence
enrapturing liquid emotion.
Capturing brief moments
dripping down my throat like song.
Blowing through life, into a magical canyon
Stygian rain ignites wandering visions
Madness unbound by resplendent derision
rocks into devastation of lullabies
expressed through Lilithian eyes
way past the limits of light and reason
In a gentle corner, made of more glorious dreams
love’s candle burns
warming celestial clay
New worlds orgasmic in grace
explore passion.

Substance (from night’s pages)

Substance
http://nightspages.blogspot.com/2013/10/substance.html

Smells lose cultural connotations.  They are information,
trail and detail introduction to their source.  Emotion,
exertion, state of decay, debilitation, danger.
I smell dawn approaching before telltale lightening
of the sky.  I smell Autumn approach my hidey-hole,
and know my day is starting, hear its rhythm in
synesthetic sympathy.
The day is warm.  Her aroma is charged with the city’s
hum and drain.  As refuge, audience, soulmate, I am
called by her entrance into her spell.
Despite the heat, she has energy to burn.  We play
a dance game.  In turn each will dance while the other
devises accompaniment in song, lyrics in tune with the
story the dance expresses.
Autumn leaps out angry energy.  Wild rage soaks through
her t-shirt and short pants.  She pulls them off, incorporating
that motion into her rhythm, flings the clothing aside like
token barricades against her avenging fleet.
My unnatural body takes no note of cold, heat, naked
humanity.  I am immersed in singing anger, outrage, clean
intensity of desire to emote, expel.
Seer of fire burns denial
Caustic screams pierce blocked ears
Stomp, crash, splinter, tear apart
Venial enemy ducks darts of wrath
projected from fierce protectors
Demolish leering jokesters.  Smash smug detractors.
Craven brutality, vengeance a mad extension
Slash, smash ruinous ecstasy aroused in righteous ire
Ground down to dust, unappeased,
I whirl into icy wind; blow you away!
She furiously acts out in total seriousness, outward
abandon, a pure physicality.  All in, all consumed,
concentration on an inner mapping for full effect.
Trapped emotion released, she winds down.  A sodden
lump, she quietly declares intermission.
I emit a round of stunned applause, her adoring audience.
Her song, I humbly acknowledge, pulled from me by the
force of her movements.  She smiles, gives seated bow
head into chest with arm flourishes.  Winks as her head
rises to face me.
She holds long pause, regaining balance, calming breath,
relaxing connective tissue.  Not long, she is ready to
reanimate, to take refreshment of more simple energy.
She motions for me to pass her backpack, pulls from it
an apple, her water bottle and sketchpad.
“Look.  I want to show you how much work I’ve done on
our superhero adventures comicbook.”
I take the sketches.  Her cartooned image appears
remarkably true to life.
“Is that really how I look?”
She smiles a broad affirmative, though the pictured child
seems to shine with almost ethereal innocent grace.
Autumn continues to eat the apple, then studies the seeds
for what they may tell of her future.  Seemingly satisfied,
she throws seeds and core into a small plastic bag for
later disposal.
“I’ll throw them in sidewalk cracks.  Give them a chance
to sprout, or maybe get carried along to somewhere they
can survive.”
Intermission over, I take my turn on stage.
I galumph through silly walks, poses, play the fool
promoting laughter.
Autumn leaps up, out to grab my hands.  We jump about,
singing silly phrases, laughing into each other’s laughing face.
Eventually, emotion exhausted, we fall onto a pillow, curl into
each other’s outline, become a dance of contented silence.

Between Worlds ~ Persephone to Caela

Between Worlds ~ Persephone to Caela

I want to write her story, but it isn’t ready to write. I imagine it as a painting, swirling colors and intricate spectral figures, everything moving at once, a kaleidoscopic panorama. When I was a kid, I used to wish on the Moon, the big Full Moon. It was so much grander than any sparkling star. I would twirl around and around on the dewy summer grass, electrified by blinking fireflies. Then, I would flop down to watch the sky swirl like a Van Gogh Starry Night.

What kind of Solstice celebration would she have? Would they have comparable seasons? They would have to have a whole new system of astrology, if anyone bothered with that Earth-based lore. They would have ceremonies, celebrations, dancing and romancing and offerings of special performances to keep in touch with the mysterious. They would be a spiritually aware people, happy in the shared wealth of their culture. They would know to honor, value, celebrate the individual as the ultimate resource of the common wealth. Empaths have no ambition based on suspicion, no need for hierarchical arrangements to be secure in one’s place. The year, or whatever passed for one, would no doubt fall out differently than our years. What constellations might appear? How many moons? Does it matter? Important occasions are marked, harvests and births, rewards for hard labor, sacredly meaningful losses that we move beyond through honoring sacrifice. What else must be honored, must be held holy? There would be celebration for the occasion of the moment when the spirit is strong within the tribe, when there is need for release, tears and laughter, impassioned artistic rendering, raucous song, frenzied dance, the strong scent of blazing emotions gone wild in the loving safety of tribal union.

**************

She found the children, understandably frightened but so far unharmed. The telepathic ability which had condemned their parents had helped to save them. She knew this to be a time of crisis, a crossroad, which must open an opportunity to end this unnecessary enmity, these unnecessary tragedies.

Caela was called. She chose to answer. She was uprooted as a child, but within the caring arms of community. Within that communal embrace, she was able to learn her power, use it for the communal good. She enjoyed a happy, balanced life with family, friends, fulfilling work, peaceful spirituality, the grace of natural beauty. At the point when her life as it had been had taken her as far as it could, she was called to a sacred journey, a mission for her own continued growth of soul, and for the transformation of a world long divided, a healing of the wound dividing the people of her world. It all came as a natural progression. She was always given all she needed to be able to give what was needed by those she served.

Gentle eyes, but much more, eyes anyone could stand before with no shame. Self-evidently these eyes were ready to accept and respect what they saw.

She speaks to me sometimes. No, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

She speaks to me in my own voice, though, perhaps, in a different register. She comes to me in a dream, a recurring dream. It was so clear and powerful. She is beautiful, full of life, full of magical power. I feel safe with her. Perhaps she is some kind of totem, spirit guide. Perhaps she is someone I could become, in the fullness of time, as some kind of metaphoric singularity, familiarity, familiar inner voice who has always guided me.

I feel a special affinity to cats. They are so completely themselves. I love the strong sensual flowering scents of Spring. Yet, I am a creature of the Winter of low lights, of shadow and multiple realities.

I call her Caela.

She makes me happy in a special, secret way. I have a sparkling, shining secret. No, it’s not schizophrenia. In a way, it is sanity. She helps me to understand who I am, who I could become, free and self-empowered. She is like a fantasy mother who is giving me everything I need to face my fortune. She is a gift from me to me.

Moon in Virgo, maybe? I’m losing track. It’s all one long wintry night.

None of that life so mine so few months ago seems real to me now. I am not that person who lived there. Can’t go back; don’t have a clue how to go forward. Celia’s still taking care of me — I have no financial woes. I can stay here for probably longer than I would ever need to, meeting all my 21st century needs, even indulgences, without having to concern myself with paychecks. One less thing.

Pandora cuddles up to me, lets me blubber and cry all over her. She doesn’t make the demands of human friends for coherency, consideration, a semblance of self-control. Yeah, I miss me, miss them, miss us. It’s like I’m being told, simply, in strict terms, that here and now I am not that girl, that womanchild. I am not clear on who this metamorphosed me is becoming. A great, golden cockroach comes to mind. But I am not ashamed. I have no family to fail, no social position to lose. I am not a golden butterfly, simple grace flying from flower to flower. Often I feel like a wraith, between worlds — not of one or the other. Am I my namesake? But in what realm am I Queen? No, I am not taking over your place, sweet Pandora, so solidly Queen of the household. There is solace in the awareness of another life, a natural way of being.

I am Persephone in her mother’s home. It is Demeter who has been taken by the minions of death, her body barely holding on to life’s sweet definition. Strangers minister narcotics to soften the veil, blur the journey.

That is where the dream comes from. The potent journey; the aging mother, crone, no longer a complete integral of her tribe, no longer anchored to her long-time position in life. Is she called to a sacred mission? Is she a possible guide to my own salvation? What do I need to be saved from? The endless days that make no sense, unanchored, dependent on inspiration? It is getting dangerously close to dawn on this not long enough winter night. I can’t bear to see the light as if ordinary routine of weekday activity could be my expected, accepted norm. I feel so much more naturally alive in Caela’s world, as I diligently figure it out in a faithful inner theatre of cinematic splendor. This has got to be a good thing, this insistently reveling imagination that hugs me with warmth and ecstatic emotion. So much more than a distraction or psychotic state, I believe it is meant to heal and elevate. But what do I know, pretending to be somewhere other than this sad little apartment in this sad little neighborhood, someone more grand than sad little me.

This lassitude is not like me, or not like the me I like to be. I do remember other times when life was too much with me and restlessness without activity overtook me. I need a visionquest. I can attain that even from this restraining lassitude by projecting my mind onto another, more vital, life. I can follow that path of no resistance, encounter demons and deities, solve the puzzle, claim the prize, reemerge, shimmy down the beanstalk refreshed and reinvented. Perhaps I must. It’s hard to know, living on all these levels, in all these layered dimensions of cosmic meaning to random happenstance, how to go about continuing.

It’s not the drugs — anyway, they are only mild antidepressants along with that old central nervous system shut-down stand-by measured in proofs below 30. I’m a self-medicator from way back; but I have considerably grown up and cut way down. I refuse to touch Celia’s pain medication, even though she left quite a nice stash behind when they evacuated her. Or, what is the word? They removed her from her former life to watch her die. I should evacuate myself, get back to where I once belonged. I should get over this private pity party and find my way to be useful and productive in the world. I am drawn into this fantasy universe as if it were the one that was real. I imagine channeling is like this. So now I am the gypsy witch of fairytales casting my scrying eye into other worlds. Anything’s better than being nothing, no one, lost, drifting, alone.

Yeah, melodramatic and untrue. I have wonderful friends who I just can’t seem to reach out to. But, you know, I know, I’m used to being alone. It’s restful, familiar, delightfully irresponsible, just me. Yet I’m never alone with my insistent imagination ever entertaining me with charming characters playing out stories. I will self-indulge for awhile, take advantage of this luxurious lapse into insanity to see where it lands me. I can’t think of any reason not to that makes any sense to me. I’m sure if I get too loud the neighbors will complain. Just a ditsy witch with her cat and inner crucible, listening to jazz, smoking herbs, drinking wine, writing fantastic journeys. If Celia wanted more from me, it’s too late for her admonishments now. Danny wanted nothing from me. Maybe some absolution, but I’m not in that business. What do I want from me? That’s the question worth pondering. Maybe Caela will tell me as I follow her visionquest through the brave forest, discovering who we are, what we can do, where we belong.

Hours melt into hours, navigators’ objects move across the sky outside this progressively filthier window. I feel the luxury of my hand losing itself in soft fur as Pandora purrs beside me on Celia’s couch. From time to time as it occurs to me, I pretend to write cogently, for something to pretend to do. Yes, I know there are vast ventures of exciting adventuring, or even simple chores I could engage in, if I could engage. Gulping down wine when the feelings get too close to the surface probably is not helping my thinking to find coherence. The radio music gives me an illusion of being somewhere, some connection to a greater world out on the airwaves. I can ride those airwaves like a magic carpet to imaginary places, people to whom no responsibility can be owed or expected.

I somehow hypnotically manage to do the few daily chores necessary to maintain me, cat, plants, to keep real squalor at bay. Going through those motions with minimal consciousness is not responsibility. I don’t have to answer for or explain myself, keep up a conversation or show appropriate emotional responses. How did such simple everyday bits of business become so exhausting to even contemplate? It’s not just that I’m not the person others expect of me. I am no one at all. There is no cohesive sense of me to explain or hold together an acceptable identity. My memories don’t feel of me but like some old tv drama series of connected stories. Do you remember that episode when Persephone and Tom made love on the beach at dawn, hidden in the water though there was no one else around to see? Or that one in the earlier seasons when Danny explained to little Persephone why he wouldn’t be living with her and her mom anymore? Seasons and seasons of this long-running soap opera in which nothing is ever resolved; no strong central character emerges complete with her happy well-rounded life, a joy to her friends, a boon to her neighbors.

Or is that Caela, the refugee? Not that I think I can find myself in her; lose myself in her is more where I’m aiming. But maybe, Goddess willing, I can lose myself in her, live out her story in my inner movie, to find myself later, after the show, curled up in the shelter of some hidden woodland tree, a sprouting seed learning how to be this new creature as I become. Or maybe I’ll just get lost in my own insanity, no good to anyone. Happy pitty party to me, lazy and selfish and brazenly morose.

Who do I think I am? Secretly:

Once upon a time a princess grew into a queen, and then into a crone, and then into a legend that never dies. When all she wanted was a world that made sense in which she could feel free to be alive. But that makes no sense. That’s not me. Must be the alcohol talking — in vino a lot of nonsense, hyperbole, and sloppy thinking.

Caela wouldn’t need wine. But they would probably have come up with a process for making fermented fruit juice, along with everything else they would need to come up with as a community creating their own existence outside civilization as they had known it. So much to consider in creating a new world. I suppose this one happened bit by bit and all at once like most endeavors over time. Is that how it happens? Threads and consequences moving together imperceptibly until there you are, hemmed in by rules and customs and history? If we travelled back along every thread to the less than conscious decisions creating consequences along the way, we would probably find much better ways of making it all work out. But I’m not that conscious or conscientious; nor are most people getting by or getting behind in our narrow little worlds. Those with real vision come off just sounding crazy. Caela’s people, despite their unique situation, would most likely fall into their own level of complacency over time.

Goddess, what would you have me do? I feel there is some purpose of yours in all of this, not just my little personal devolvement into insanity. Of course that feeling of destiny could easily be a symptom of insanity.

No doctors! No prodding or psychotic drugs or setting myself up for nasty incarceration or reindoctrination to normalcy — whatever that is. I will follow my own damned path, wherever. So, Goddess, I guess we are in this together until you abandon me too. Those dreams of sinking into mushy ice on blue frozen tundras, there is a way through, beyond — or am I frozen in stasis, merely waiting for the frostbite to reach vital organs? It all remains to be seen. Walking unsteadily between the worlds, I could fall forever I suppose. But wouldn’t that become its own level of complacency, falling without thought, receding into a normative back-drop for lazy, selfish, morose self-entertainment? Let’s pretend there is a future-place where all the threads come together in colorful, festive array that make perfect sense on reflection. It’s just a matter of making it from here to there. So, dear imaginary Caela, what can you tell me?

I feel a kinship to Caela. It’s not just because she is a creature of my mind, woven from bright bits of thought, feelings, fantasy. It’s like she can see inside me and understand as I look into her, learn her. She does not look like me. I envision her as slightly tall, strong frame, dark hair and eyes, swarthy skin, quiet, pensive, yet with a strong sense of somewhat ironic humor, a merry open laugh, sweet loving smile, mischievous grin, dancing countenance. She is intelligent, not erudite. She is compassionate, loving, kind with that strong solid kindness that tolerates fools with enduring good humor, never maudlin, never haughty, but never obeisant or credulous. She stands tall, moves gracefully, takes in each scene, each lesson, each conversation or reflection deeply, holistically, completely. She is intimately connected to her people and place, yet always able to stand apart and accept her own vision. She is quite imperfectly human, and very comfortable with exactly who she is. She loves and lives without reservation, yet with deep, complex reflection and an eternal sense of wonder. She is not representative of her people nor her time, yet she is completely enmeshed with them.

I feel comfortable with her. Her presence in my mind calms and inspires me. She is an amazing friend and confidante. I feel compelled to tell her story though it is nothing like mine. Probably there are metaphoric parallels that I, my deeper self, knows I can learn from, can delve into to discover my own intimate secrets, to grow and heal. If I fall into this other world of my own creation and never return to conventional reality, it will harm none and expand my horizons. But that is getting way too ahead of where I am now. Most likely I will go through this little experiment in traversing into a different realm, find myself on the other side an experienced dimension-shifter, cosmic traveler, no more lost to insanity than most who dare to follow the art star to personal freedom and multiple awareness.

Okay, Caela, tell me a story. Tell me stories for a thousand nights in whatever time zone we can agree on.

My mother told me stories all my life. She was very certain of the line between fiction and fact; but she was also aware of the kind of truths that can best be understood through myth, fairy tales, poetry. Celia, in your death bed, do you see and understand your morphine dreams? Are you just fading away, or are you finding answers to your lifelong mysteries? I know you no longer need or want to talk to me, to share with anyone your last ecstatic visions or drooling pain. Will I feel that why too at my end? Right now I only want to live in my spinning fantasy with Caela on her world where it is all quite wonderful and far away from here. It’s not that I get to control this world of my creation while the real world is too far out of control for me to come to terms with. It’s that I get to make wonderful discoveries, to leave the routinely painful neighborhood of planet Earth and think big thoughts, experience my wild and crazily manifesting dreams.

Pandora wants to cuddle, presses her purring body against me. Another magical companion on my road to Goddess knows where.

Tom has left several concerned messages: why don’t I respond? Isn’t he my magical companion?

My wine glass needs refilling. The curtains are drawn against impending dawn.

I thought of calling Danny, but there’s too much to say. I’m not ready to say any of it. Thank Goddess I have this time, this place, to dissolve and, hopefully, resurrect. What do people do when their reality fragments and they have no realistic choice but to keep moving forward, doing the day job, paying the bills, supporting the family, acting responsibly? Guess that’s why pharmaceutical companies make the big bucks on anti-depressants. Then there are those who crack and become homicidal suicides. It’s always the quiet ones, so they say. I can understand that. When I was more actively alive, I was so much noisier. Not that I’m about to be outwardly dangerous, or actually suicidal. I’m just going on a little sabbatical within a dreamscape.

I can see her now in her teen years. She is full of passion and purpose. She is in love with the lover of her life, waiting for him to pursue her. She is happy and reasonable and ready to take on the world with no idea what awaits her. Transitional times.

Caela wouldn’t have the astrology as we Earthlings developed it, being under different skies. Still, I see her as a Scorpio. She is a healer by going within and sharing deep content. She has power of her own, independent yet entwined in her relationships, deeply intuitive, a person of total integrity. Talk to me, Caela the naturally wise, of the integration of my soul. I feel split into ethereal bubbles wafting into unknown space. I will concentrate, become as one with my imagined healer. I know you will carry me through into my best destiny. I will learn and emulate you, my very personal hero. We will become a legend in my mind to carry me forward.

I am moving forward, though not at pace with the outside world. I am on my own time and space with my own reasons. I am on my educational sabbatical, exploring an other world, other ways of being human, to discover who I am, separate from everything I’ve known.

I get to overdramatize in my own private theater. And I harm none, I get to do what I will, imagine what I will, will what I imagine to hold me with divine mothering arms, rock me with lullabies and fairytales. Twilight’s future is the heroine’s journey.

I understand, compassionately, that too much choice is overwhelming to an individual trying to navigate a reasonably safe, reassuringly livable, life. That should not excuse or glorify obstruction against less usual ways, more ambitious or far-seeing strategies. Caela does not feel the pain or outrage of the outcast. She is happily enmeshed in her community, comfortably acknowledged. The solitude and self-directing she has carved out to accommodate her gifts, honed into skill for her best contribution, are well respected. If she wants to leave the group to follow her own dreams and visions, that is her choice and right.

The newer generations of her people no longer keep an outcast identity. They are woven into, continuing with their own threads, the rich fabric of a community that creates their experiences and goals. Her daughter, as an integral member of this younger, self-integrating generation, lives in a large home of like-minded self-identified professionals and their children, sharing familial chores, responsibilities, celebration, physical and emotional care. Caela is happy on the outskirts of the community in her small, cozy cabin. She visits and enjoys visitors, but spends much of her time on her own.

I am learning who these people are, slowly gaining their acquaintance. They are more real, immediate, than the world outside my self-absorption has become for me. I ask questions about how they live, what their world gives them. My grateful mind forms moving pictures, so beautiful, engaging. The scenes, the backgrounds, change to meet my changing expectations. It doesn’t matter if I ultimately put it all together in cogent words. It is the world I need now to be formulating, a soothing, enlightening meditation.

I keep getting caught up in the details. Lovely, soothing details, like doing sums in grade school. Weather. What would the differences in planetary physics do? And even if I am no scientist, how have they developed economic and cultural norms? How have the planet’s — let’s call it Eden — natural lifeforms (because if it is capable of sustaining life it probably already does) dealt with the invasion of life from Earth? I surmise they would have brought embryonic and seed life on the spaceship to continue farming once land was reached. Would there have been combinations, mutations, some species devouring others to become dominant in that ecological niche?

I recall attempting some preliminary research about space colonizing, some proto-musings about this race of genetically engineered empaths that seems to have morphed in my subconscious into Caela’s witchfolk. At that time I got too caught up in immediate living, abandoning forays into an imagined far future.

If I get too caught up in these endless details I could ensnare myself and be unable to continue. I can let them percolate, let the questions come to a head and seep through my imagination. Looking deeply into my metaphoric crystal, I can watch these people, see their details play out, feel out what feels right for these far off colonists and their descendants. In the mysteries of time and space and fantasy, I can watch these people I command into existence assemble into their customary daily lives for my inspection. See the scenes. Note the salient points. Feel the poignant stories. Those devilish details don’t daunt me. They will fill out as they will, as I will, once the grounds percolate and become more clarified, more real than reel (omg, what mixing of metaphors, what a mish-mash of maudlin strings). Willingly giving myself over to this fantasy, somehow this is who I am, at least for now. It feels right and safe. It’s like I want to be scared, but can’t feel it. But what is there to be scared of? I am protected by the great power of prepaid bills and social anonymity, the strongly purring cat beside me, the blessings of alcoholic bliss, and a total lack of real world responsibilities. Whoever the Hell I am, must be some mumbo-jumbo mystical power there. Caela would know about that kind of power. I see the beginning of a beautiful friendship, despite the boundary difficulties between worlds. As long as I’ve only myself to answer to, reality can be whatever I agree to.

Young Caela was able to adjust and thrive because she was tuned in to herself, to her own perceptions and power. Her parents, Lev and Letta, they exist within her, but so does all that psychic energy moving through her. To make use and sense of that, she needs integrate experiential impressions, integrating a trusted sense of self.

How moderate can temperatures be? Do we have the ranges we do have because of some specificity of size or shape or orbit and distance form our Sun? I’m not picturing Winter on Eden, despite its frigid everpresent reality for me here and now on Earth. Fall I can see, the harvest season. But why not several harvests like in the sunny warm states? Out in the farm areas beyond the city’s structures, they have greenhouses, even hydroponic technologies from the ship. Even if the planet has a variety of climate zones, they may have settled in an area less likely to freeze. Would it be sweltering in the Summer in the city? They would know how to build for minimizing that, design to encourage cooling winds, maybe have air conditioning. They would plant trees according to ecologically thought out plans for shade and water retention and air cleaning. The cultural norms would include a slowness of outdoor perambulations, light-weaved clothing. I see bright colors, even in the enclosed atmosphere of the built-up city. There is an appreciation for art, culture, color, design. It’s not that they don’t enjoy diversity. They are worried, frightened, that they will be left behind, out-classed, unable to successfully excel in competition for what they think to be scarce resources, even such nonmaterial resources as public appreciation and prestige, as well as whatever passes for wealth in their culture. They have closed themselves in to this city. Those of true valor and adventure have gone off exploring. Those who can’t abide fences and rules have been sent to the outer reaches to work out their destinies as farm labor or defense trainees or bucolic eccentrics.

People jammed together with their secret inadequacies and fears can build up a psychological squalor. People who present as clean, upright, hard-working citizens can be harboring petty and grand mal demons who rule over their potential better natures and insist on penance without respite, respect or concern. The empaths are not immune from demons, though are to some extent insulated from personal devolution by their mutuality of feelings, the ability to if they so choose never be alone. They will be able to take advantage of distance from the closed in city to develop a culture of their own design. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. The dialectic of socially evolving mankind prevails. This is not a story about man against nature or man as part of nature, but about human nature; but we are not alone in the Universe. There is no clear division of background and foreground. The picture includes waves and landscape and sky and all the rest, as far, as near, as detailed, as the artist bothers to render; as the eye bothers to see. All I can do is look deeply into the crystalline vision, and respect, describe, reflect my impressions, my perceptions, my emotions and their creations.

Jase was Singer’s father, not Aron. She had heard Maris talking with her father, Lev. Aron was Maris’s husband, father of her three daughters, though apparently not of her youngest, her son, Singer. When the troubles started getting serious back in the city, Aron had not felt his wife and children worth the sacrifices of standing by them. He was not an empath, had only married one. He had become resentful over the course of that marriage, feeling that Maris was better than he was in every way that counted. She was, but not because of some special talent. She was naturally practical and loving. He was naturally neither. He had been young and charming, confidentally ambitious but privately shy. Over time he had become uncomfortably aware that this wonderful prize of a wife he had won neither made him a better man nor failed to see his flaws. Be careful what you wish for. Keep your eye on all the clauses and subparagraphs. Relationships won’t heal us, only give us comfort and anchoring when we do the work to heal ourselves.

If Jase were Singer’s dad, not Aron, Singer was full empath, unlike his sisters. Jase was a sweet, good-humored drifter of a guy, strong and smart, always ready to help out, but mostly a loner. He and Maris had been close friends since childhood, back in the city. Neither were the kind to deny their feelings, or broadcast them. Maris and Lev had become good friends since the relocation. She was at the moment ranting a bit, reminiscing a bit, in the company of a friend she found easy to talk with. He was happy to listen. He certainly had his share of venting, ranting, sharing memories secondhand. His wife, Letta, Caela’s mom, had become unreachably ill, unable to participate in conversation, to show evidence of reciprocating his love which he now sometimes felt bordered on tragic.

Like children everywhere, Caela picked up bits and pieces of gossip and common knowledge listening to adult conversation as it drifted through her day. She had never met Aron, but did feel the distinct negative tinge given to memories of him by those who had known him. Everyone loved Jase. She supposed Singer had gotten the better of the bargain without consciously thinking about the matter at all. She loved Singer and Maris, similarly though differently from the way she loved Lev and Letta. They were all family, intertwined lives.

Though she was a few years older than Singer, they were left to play together while the grown-ups worked, often looked after by one or more of Singer’s sisters. There weren’t a lot of children in this new community. Everyone did what they could to make sure all were cared for, all the necessary work got done and done well. Everyone taught what they knew, shared tools and techniques, learned what they needed to. Separately and together they figured out how to make a life that worked. Singer and Caela took on what chores they could as time went on. Still, there was plenty of time for playing, just being, figuring out who you are and how that’s done. Friends are good mirrors, sounding boards, brain-storming aids, quiet companions.

True to Maris’s intuitive naming, Singer loved to sing and was incredibly talented at contriving a wide range of soundings from his voice and various musical instruments he was finding ways to fashion from what came to hand. He could keep those around him singing and dancing as well, lightening chores, enlivening leisure. Certainly he was quite a popular figure, central to celebrations. He took this popularity in his gently smiling way, always generous, always bubbling with fun. Music is magic. It excites, inspires, and heals.

Caela found she could heal in another way. She knew without thought that she had profound feelings of empathy, profound insights, much more than was ordinary for the extraordinary people of whom she had been born and nurtured. She had from earliest times learned without knowing she was learning to encapsulate the feelings driving into her from all around that she might work through and understand them without being overwhelmed. It had always been like a special extra mother within her teaching and protecting, perhaps an extra gift from Letta who had not been able to learn such necessary protection well enough for herself.

Though little girl Caela had tried and tried to use this gift of separating, working through feelings to move in with care and incisive healing, to help her beloved mother, Letta, cope with the demons that crippled her mind, she had not the power to effect that cure. Letta had not learned to protect herself. She had not felt the need in her protected environment where her naturally strong healing abilities had given her a fine, well-respected career. She had never expected a need to prepare for her denouncement or the escalating troubled times eventuating in exile from the life she depended upon for emotional anchor.

Though Caela’s efforts to heal that breach continued to be heartbreakingly unsuccessful, the failure did not deter nor break her. It was like layers of strength being built by practice and reflection. She found, bit by bit, that she could look into the core of dis-ease and injury to encourage and accelerate natural healing processes of those who suffered. She was also drawn to learn about healing plants, meditative practices, techniques of touch and movement. Not all callings are so strong. Perhaps she had been learning from Letta, even from the womb, to take this offered gift farther, to develop the instinct for self-preservation needed to make it a blessing rather than a curse, even should her world fall apart.

Lev had been a writer in the city, a journalist of wry social and political commentary published regularly in the most popular news magazine. In this new life, he was finding artistic and physical outlet in learning carpentry — a craft he had never been exposed to in his former life. It amused and amazed him how much he enjoyed working with his hands to miraculously create a useful product. He had been quite appreciative of Maris’s skill in weaving beautiful fabric of the fur and plant fibers of their now farming community. He continued to appreciate her creative skill, even more so, as he learned his own craft. Former city business types were having to relearn how to be alive, become people they had never known they were, processing radical change, a broken linear norm revealing to them that it was only a convenient fantasy. For Caela it was all perfectly natural, the colorful adventure of life.

Nothing is promised. A great deal is possible.

Singer’s sisters, Mirra, Cali and Arla, were cheerful, responsible, warm and witty like their mom. Even in appearance they resembled her and each other, though they had not yet achieved her manner of calm wisdom. Though they might appear less vivid younger copies of Maris, each had her own distinct flair and essence. They were all wizards of cloth, weaving, sewing, designing clothing and other useful textile wares. They had their own cottage industry, producing for their own use and trade as well as teaching others who wanted to create their own clothing and furnishings.

Though no one had thought the need to come up with “money,” there was plenty of rudimentary trade. For big projects, work and outcome were shared. It was expected that everyone help out as needed. Beyond that, individual enterprise took over. Tools were shared on rough timetables open to disruption by urgencies. Adaptations often had to be invented suitable to available resources, repurposing, devising tools and processes as necessary. Of course there were angers, resentments, frustrations, but this is where the skills of empaths excel. There are those naturally soothing presences who help to keep good feelings flowing. There is not the kind of awkward or tragic miscommunications to slow useful negotiation. It helps that there’s plenty of cohesive goodwill, shared sorrows and celebrations, respect grown from working together, playing together, sharing humor, philosophy, and everyday concerns. Recipients of an interconnected web are intimately in tune to enlightened self-interest, true vested interest in success for all.