Samhainic Verse

Caught up in my Demeter role
I brought winter to my grieving soul.
Numbing ice, concealing snow,
No nurturing soil for seed to sow.
Longing to sleep in dreamless haze,
Aching for peace from ravaging rage,
I ask to serve, to give to others’ lives
what I am bereft of.
But the gods in their wisdom,
send me to fools,
wicked, nasty fools who mock me
knowing not my sorrow, knowing not what I disguise.
Hiding behind hysterically blinded eyes,
I prepare for my journey deep below.

Others have travelled this path before me
and lived to tell the tale,
strengthened by their devotion
to their stolen loves.
In a bubble of my own clouded atmosphere,
I shall fear no evil.
Blood coagulates around my heart
allowing no feeling
but deadening pain.
My lips are bound.
My tearducts desiccated by vacuum.
Thus am I prepared.
I am not prepared at all
for what I may find.
But neither do I care.
This is all about desperation.
This is all about emotion so intense
that I am beyond response;
there is nothing left to feel.
Step by step
I descend.

Something about a veil.
But more like
a brick wall —
there may be explosives
hidden behind that solid image.
It seems unyielding.
There are glimmers,
minor crumblings.
At times the bricks seem to shift.
Unexplained.
If I let myself,
if I am very quiet,
molecules move silently,
disarming resistence,
there will appear a stair
to my senses of solid granite,
wet with the drip of
melting ice.

Treacherous.
A misstep could kill me,
falling all the way,
breaking stair by stair.
I must take care.
Make careful measure:
What is the true worth
of what I might find?

My weight is unsteady.
Gaping below —
a colorless vortex,
a lake of emptiness
sucking in all sensation.
It is enormous, all-consuming.
My salvation.
I leap.
Overwhelmed,
I am sucked in and through,
breathlessly,
silently,
alone in the Universe
of silent, inexorable,
intensity.
Pulled into an event horizon
a singularity
another, nether realm.

Every act
Every thought
Every dream
Every wish
Everyone I’d lost
at every stage of
our shared experience.
Every sin.
Here they live,
each acting out it’s own story
in a cavernous space,
of encapsulated diaramas.
I don’t sense my body
— only a vague weight
of uncertain dimensions.
It is time released —
all happening at once eternally.
No choice but to let it wash over me,
wave after chaotic, metaphoric wave.
Sound/light/fragrance/taste/touch/emotion
craftily embodied in exquisite, endless pain.

Is there a voice here?
Is there a way to make it talk
in reasonable tones?
Is there a way to unravel the senses,
to frame neat packets of sense
and talk with them reasonably?
Is there a rationale within which
to deal with the feelings,
to put them in place,
rational and calm and dignified?
Is it too much to ask?
And of whom?
There is no guide, no authority,
none but me, infinitely mirrored.
What will become of all these “I”s
staring at me, demanding
retribution, stark, cold justice
Just Ice and Cold and bitter, stinging snow
to wrap my frozen soul in hope of sleep
while Nazgul track my dreams.

The innocent must bear the sacrifice.
Power too dangerous to the wise
and power-enabled,
that would overtake their skills,
turn them to evil purpose,
may be safely given to innocent hands, destroying
only the sacrificial lamb.
The wise, in their compassion,
may suffer unhealing wounds
of painful knowledge;
but the innocent are destroyed,
pitted inside out by corrosion,
unable to fight,
unable to understand.
I am not wise, nor innocent.
I look into the battalion of
mirrored images
and am left just short of
destruction,
picking at scabs,
unwilling to heal
my agony of remorse
and betrayal.
I didn’t know,
couldn’t know,
no one told me.
They said:
“Do what you are told.
It will all be alright in the end.”
But whose end, right for whom?

What is the treasure I have come here seeking?
That sweet, sparkling child,
who played upon the hillside,
picking flowers
to weave into our hair —
I didn’t mean to leave her unprotected.
I left her in the care of trusted friends
while I went off to earn our daily bread.
The screaming
in my heart
as she was taken,
the shattering reverberations,
I’d never known such pain.
It stopped me in my tracks,
overcame my senses,
never leaves me, never lessens,
though in time, like anything, I guess
recedes into background noise
that I may hear my orders,
do as duty demands.

But, duty to what demands?
The gods,
my very brethren,
I realize, have betrayed me.
Cut to my womanly core
to drink my blood in bacchanalia.
The mirror images smile grotesquely.
I am sickened,
brought to my humbled knees,
not in obeisance.
I have not the strength nor will
to stand.
Perhaps I shall dwell here in hell,
unmoving,
unresponsive,
bleeding out,
pale and ashen.
Serving them no more.
No bread upon the table.
Just Ice and snow.

II.

“Mommy,” she cried, dead eyes open,
awash in tears,
“I didn’t mean to leave you.
I didn’t know I would be gone so long.”

My desiccated heart bathes gladly
in those soothing tears.
I am brought back to my journey.
The mirror images have softened.
Every face, every form, every failure,
every sin
I can’t quite grasp why it would matter,
how these essences
combine with mine.
Perhaps I am hallucinating.
Perhaps none of us
exist at all.

Baby girl, I have always loved you.
Hated you for dying.
Hated life and death for dividing us.
Hated, blamed,
damned to hell,
all those mirror images,
all those wraiths and wretched
wayward souls who pass me by.
I have loved and lost and
lonely wandered.
And wondered why.
I hold you close as
I look into the mirror, deeply,
drink of the magick of lethe.
Falling, gently, easily, even leisurely,
letting go and drinking in,
all that Hell allows
now that we create the rules.

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.

Old King’s Cold/Grail King

And the old King dies.
transcends his mortal ghost
to gain Olympian plains.
“I am the mighty he;
ruled wisely while I was allowed;
sold my soul to please the crowd;
withered on the vine divine.
There is no more of me to kick around.”
Drink from the golden Grail,
oh New Found King.
Adorned, adored, supreme.
A bright dawn upon the now
offers sparkling hope,
better days aborning.
Don’t despair poor peasant folk,
though you think despair all you
can cling to.
The Fisher King has roared in, high
on his desert adventures.
He brings ebullient tides to
slake the thirst
of this arid land.
I beg you yet again
to take a stand.
Take harness, plow your pastures.
Believe that the seed will take hold.
Listen to shamanic heralds
shouting lines in the sand.
They know great flood impends
after many a hard rain —
but don’t despair!
It is a flood of fertility,
a harbinger promising carpets of grain,
lush vegetation.
All this is foretold if you
do your part.
The old King, so long dying of dank,
festering wounds, has poisoned our past
with ill-fated rule.
Cast out the poison from your hearts.
Tend your fields with bold will
of nobility.
Never forget you are free.
Never forget that responsibility.

Ascent

Ascending spiraled steps in hope of eventually reaching a solid surface, more a chore than a mission as we continue inexorably day by day. Or is that eternity by eternity? There’s not much choice, as these stairs, though solid and seemingly endless, do not provide enough solidity, enough surface, for other sustained activity. There is not even room to climb by twos, thus enabling the solace of close companionship. Certainly there is no room to make love between, stair to stair, to find what respite or pleasure such loving might provide. Perhaps for some of the more daring (as we are by force unaware of each other as individuals) an occasional rearguard rape may be accomplished, coming from behind as it were, never seeing the face of the victim. A temporary digression from the rote work, hand over hand, leg up and leg up, monotonous unfulfilling dance.

There has been word sent down from time to time, messages in popping soap bubbles. No one is quite sure what they say, written in unfamiliar code, dripping from the watery former bubbles. Some take faith that since we have no soap or water, the fact of such material proves the surface is not far ahead. How far can bubbles fall before popping to release their secrets? Others suspect this phenomenon to be some sort of rain, a creature of sky, not surface.

We have always been upon the stairs. No one remembers any other existence. If there were surface below, from which we started our climb, there are no stories to describe it.

Sometimes some one will let go in disgust, give up on climbing to take a chance on a less strenuous eternal fall. We never hear them hit a bottom, only senseless screaming tapering off into distance, silence.

There is a myth, I don’t know how I heard it. Perhaps subliminal messages are written upon stairs along the way; or it might have come as lyrics from the times of spontaneous singing. The myth claims there is a method of mindplay that can allow us to metamorph into birdlike beings who can open vestigial wings and fly swiftly beyond the stairway to wonders of land, sea, continents, oceans, possibilities beyond imagining.

I have attached my mind, all my will, to that one thought. I can almost feel my wings stiffening, getting ready to fly. But to fly, I will have to release my grip by grip on the stair, leap into faith that flight is even possible, and more importantly, possible for me.

Or is flying just another way to define falling?

Scrying on the Moon

~twilight of the goddess, call to song to aery dancing, lady fair your fiery trance rewinds our souls; enjoy these offerings of fancy: all art is yours ~

By sibylline light
images I recognize,
creviced captures of my life.
I know her judgment to be my own.

“Nourished by Moon rivers
mythical cavern blooms
unseen by sunlight
glow green.”
Thus she sets the scene;
becomes the prophecy.

“Purest white simplicity
curved to suggest fragility
faith fed maiden ready for
plucking,
given in bondage to womanly woes,
hard rows to hoe
for tight human hug through
crying of night.

Fate of mortal soldiers, sacrificed to lust.
Seeking relief, beg for the boon of drama
high adventure
sneaking into sad hotels
for a fix or a tumble.
Laughs,
deadly play,
danger, a real chance.

Barefoot in the snow
icy roads
winds so strong
I could not make you hear.
I thought you were my destiny.
Crazy thoughts, far from clear;
but I believed
song lyrics from Saturnine deities
would not lie, leave me
dying, fading into winter’s grey
drifting clouds,
endless sorrow endured for naught.
Lost on this careless corner,
dreaming of oblivion, intent on visions
like rain
tapping against eternity’s
vast windowpane.
Scenic serenity.
Nature’s gradations of green
soothe tired eyes,
trembling nerves, throbbing veins.
Slivers of moonlight reflect,
disperse through refrains, unearth secrets
embedded in song
effervescing through cool pure air

cleansing the uprising nestling
set aflame
resurrected
tempered mettle,
pure, wise, tested
engorged with the will
to rise”

Liberty and Justice for All

I was living a quiet life, survival plus contemplative creativity being pretty much the content of my days. Just a little bit of fertile land, clean flowing water, sticks and stones with which to build shelter, my books and writing gear, a simple wooden flute and hand drum for dancing, not much more required. When they jailed me for thought crime, I really didn’t expect incarceration to be a hardship.

My fellow political prisoners were an odd lot of anarchists, conscientious objectors, pundits for peace, rabble rousers, visionary artists, blasphemers of the official faith. We were crammed into a large concrete cage secured with razor wire encrusted with sharp broken edges of metal. There was a spigot from which to obtain clean drinking water, but no way to wash, so the stench of sweating terrorized humanity continually built. Nutritional pellets were also provided, as were chemically treated latrine holes. They weren’t trying to kill us, but to entrap us in a living hell. On occasion random groups would be taken out to participate as guinea pigs in psychological warfare experiments, or as test subjects for developing weapons. On rare occasion some of those taken, the ones who survived, would be thrown back in with the rest of us, more broken than before.

Amazingly, I was able mostly to keep myself internalized with my meditative exercises, able to move my consciousness into a beautiful, serene fantasy. Some of my fellow inmates would become curious about my seeming peace in the midst of all our pain and horror. Some of them took lessons and learned to join me in our spiritual escape. It seemed to be the best we could do, much better than our captors had ever expected. Taking us from our homes, our seats of influence, systematically and gruesomely destroying us, was meant both to make us ineffective and as a warning to anyone who might think they could make a difference to the rulers’ plan. Yet here we were, still finding ways within and among ourselves to make the best of whatever we were given.

Raw, crude power will find a way to win. Our cages now daily flooded with gaseous neuro-chemicals designed to agitate, disrupt thought, insinuate intensely painful nerve signals through our consciousnesses. The only defense I’ve found is to convince myself it is all a dream. Someday I will awaken, renewed in purpose, stronger from the extremities of illusioned experience. For now I need to learn to envelop with my fellows in a dream of possibilities. Perhaps, with perserverence and practice, I will learn to move that envelop to embrace the guards, their superiors, all of us, and we will all be freed.

Songs of Persephone

Pluto’s Wife/ Demeter’s Daughter

Persephone, your will is free
Even as your living is in bondage
to forces much older in their power
You are free to reconcile your fractured life
Daughter in Summer’s sun
smiling warmly, playing at innocence
with charms long practiced
Mother’s Fool
Mother’s Lamb
Saved from that horrible man —
Well, joint custody
Ever Her beloved child
While it is no secret
Down below you are honored Queen
among tortured souls ever needy of your
attentive care
Far from noblesse oblige, it is your
chosen career, though not chosen by you
Are you told enough:
“You do it proud.” or even acknowledged
for the prowess your will gives existence?
Free Will, not Free Choice
It is learning to make of the whole sad cacophony
discrete instruments of harmony, of divine symphony
to find, realize, act with
impeccable integrity
as child or Queen
or someone between

Persephone’s Worlds

I have wandered far from thoughtless girlhood,
am woman grown, a Queen
in my own right.
Yet I am treated with the expectations
of a mindless child
in my mother’s Summer home.
The Gods are all agog with Zeus,
fickle, abrasive, free to take full stance
above the laws he so imperiously commands.
My Dark King is so much more a man,
sincere, deeply feeling, committed to his realm,
compassionate, if not always kind.
Yet, this season I must obey the crowd,
display charm and grace
in haute couture, make small, insipid
conversation with useless socialites
decorating Zeus’ lawn parties.
Up here, life is meaningless,
All flash and doggerel
to amuse, O’, do entertain us.
So tiring to endure the ennui.
Those not privy to opulent entitlement,
relegated to the dregs of servitude, or less
endure for their time, brutal, painful, short,
for no good reason.
I hear their horrid tales,
back in my rightful place and purpose.
Shrunken souls, shriveled by life time hungers
still growling beyond the grave.
I am balm and wise mother.
At last they matter, their stories opening in me
a marvelous passageway through which they are
taken into paradise.
My life above, the petulant daughter,
the pampered goddess spawn,
I endure coldly.
Summer’s trivialities, properly obedient to
rituals of social condition,
know nothing of my true calling
under Winter’s glory.

Persephone’s Breakthrough

This is where the idea is born.

Soft green meadows gently transforming into fall
Sounds of dying, scent of woodfire and candlelight
No separation between what is becoming
Accept and be revealed

Summer’s wild adventures
Spring was a torrent of clarity, precious rain,
Earth coarse, ready for fecund pleasure
Queen of night in daylight’s realm
obsessed in flowering
roses and daffodils
valleys and nubile hills
all is vanity and laughing vice
“But, Mother, I’m not a nice girl.
I’m a creature of the breeze; secure in shadow;
alive on the cutting edge of the storm.”
Myth in revision
Standing at the back of the playground
learning theater, tucking metaphors
into interstices of sense and anticipation
In spring, kicking stones along sandy riverbeds
reading the classics
to savor practice: valor, glory, dramatic lines

Summer deceives
the stink of rot where flowers bloom
ancient feuds, retaliations, rage
tyrannosaurus feeding future waste,
absorbing a zeitgeist of want, of predation

Within greed-swollen seed infectious fear
makes merry with misery’s habit
Mythology frustrates, curls back on its own ash
Eyes burn with hazy summer wine and wilding
Feet connect dust to sky — but only in designated
spheres, with designated peers, self-selected inhibitions
Sweat out poison into the ground; now, eat the bounty
Midsummer farce, far from honor, far from sunrise,
counting out the chimes as if time were treasure
Silly summer madness as if what matters
is so circumscribed, so predictable

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
seasons, years, moments of clarity
no need to navigate, to invent boundaries;
dance of the highlands warmth and sustenance
permeates
makes whole

Approaching Winter

Twinkling lights. I remember twinkling,
clouds resplendent awaiting snowfall.
It’s Persephone’s season below,
growing in power, regality.
Friend to post-living souls,
hearing their stories,
sharing her own,
from the above time.

Flitting about,
we hum comforting phrases,
sweat anxiously in crowded malls
over inner demands for a never
remembered perfection.
Children standing in awe below
magnificence of glowing giant trees.
Cities return to primal forest
for an imaginary interval.
We recount ourselves our stories,
pray Santa finds us worthy
of that shiny plaything that will
make us all right, make us happy.
Happy little children, so Mama
and Papa might be proud,
stop fighting,
sing us happy children holidays,
take us back to the Garden.

Deep below, Persephone combs
her loosened hair, long tangly
root
core
essence.
Magical petals of bliss, succulent aroma,
blow about within the Garden walls.
Perennial flowers sleep, blanketed in
millennial layers,
reverberations of legends,
plotlines thick with arboreal lore.
Snowflakes twinkle, lightly falling,
drape long-growing trees
peacefully awaiting their Queen.

My Pet Goddess

We ride creative waves.
Chaste Goddess child, frisky muse
picks daisies, pilfers beehives.
Sweet as to please
deities craving
for innocence.
Secret games whisk us
to deep intimacy.
Supernatural companion, she
comforts me, familiar with these
cycles of light and dark
responsibility —
cosmic irony.
Mother’s reward.
Father’s Hetaera.
Beloved of mordant Destiny.
Beguiling affection, she cuddles
into my simple, abyssal fears.
She licks the eyelids of my
inner vision, coaxes me open.
Together we transcend
hierarchy,
frolic
dimensions between.

The Lay of the Land

The Lay of the Land

I.

From your smoke-coughing cities
to your desolate plains
The children of Midas have taken the reins
And left you besoiled in blood-splattered stains
With none fit to wash you to purity.

The air-waved cacophony pleads for a song
That will once more unite you ennobled and strong
To take back the glory to which you belong
To wrench freedom from dreams of security.

The old man, he wanders through librium clouds
The young take their distance
to move through the crowds
And every one fitted for life-draining shrouds
Reflect only on death’s dance of conformity.

While poisoning rays permeate land and air
The high class step out like they haven’t a care
They’re bound to discover their world-rending tear
But can they comprehend the enormity?

Ridiculous sages exhort peace and love
Say we each have our choice of reality
So we fight over contexts and deny what we can;
But reality marches on.

II.

Journeyman upon the road
Listening to the jungle drums
learns to bring it all together
as nightly his guitar he strums.
From the Woodstock Nation on to ’84
With his banner of music he learns to keep score
And the score, as it’s written, keeps costing him more
But it’s also what’s keeping him dancing.
With a beat in his heart and a song for his soul,
it keeps him journeying on.

III.

Winter creeps whitely over streetlamp and spire.
Muted to whispers the Grand Freedom Choir.
A clattering chatter overtakes the high wire
Pure white like the night of beginnings.

The children have nestled all snug in their schools
In joyous rote marching, they take in the rules
Determined to never be taken for fools
Or give back an inch of their winnings.

Silent, the singers are searching for voice
They know in their souls it’s a matter of choice
They need to find reason, a cause, to rejoice,
A newly turned path to felicity.

A new day is dawning, but where is the sun?
Our freedom and faith are defined by the gun.
The symbol of power overrules everyone
‘Til we create our own electricity.

But under cover of darkness a banner’s being stitched
Of patchwork-bright colors and radiance
To someday soon be unfurled in the breeze
As we march to freedom’s song.

IV.

High upon a sacred mount,
Hearing now soft strands of sound
Journeyman no more, but quester
Nods benignly; ear to ground.
He’s learned his song clearly, and clearly he sings.
Hearing an echo, he knows what it brings.
The time is approaching to fasten his wings
and swoop down to join the festivities.
A new day is dawning, and he is the son
And it’s time to rejoice in the dawn.

V.

But where are the marchers, the pipes and the drums?
Back in the schoolrooms, relearning their sums;
Or sleeping with vermin, despised in their slums
Unable to speak more than mumblings.

From time to time daylight enbrightens their souls
But most of their time’s spent enslaved to the doles.
The wonder is not the dearth of their goals
But that they’ve not given up on their stumblings.

The class struggle’s nothing compared to the fight
‘Tween having it all and doing it right
’cause whether you’re black, brown,
red, yellow, or white
You’re hooked on the sweet rush of buying.

But the dollar’s declining; and so is the yen.
From swords we’ll build plowshares and take up the pen
For here is the where, and now is the when
And the choice is ‘tween living and dying.

Is winter receding? Is spring on the rise?
Do we hear on the air a new melody?
Do we strive to accept; do we try to deny?
Or awaken our voices to song?

VI.

Having witnessed, having spoken
Having reached the cusp of change
Standing midst the still unbroken
Deploying troops throughout the range
A new age martyr need not die
But only stand beneath the sky
And sing each soldier’s battle cry
To emanate strength and courage
To keep them true upon the course
— An emissary of the dawn!

VII.

We shout our faith clearly, without fear or shame
We’ve learned to play music — and not play the game.
We’ve let loose our captors and broadcast their name
That they be captured and cleansed back to purity.

It’s a tried and true story we chant here anew
Of a born again many set alight by a few
Remember the Beatles, the Stones, Dead and Who
Back when freedom meant more than security.

We’re learning to share in an effort of gain
To harness the sunshine and bring back the rain
To take off our blinders and learn to be sane
Yet maintain self within that conformity.

Each singing in glory, permeating the air
Feeling good to be cared for, and better to care
As we mix up the glue and mend the great tear
Finding courage to face the enormity.

We don’t need the sages to find peace and love
We don’t need to fight against reality.
We need to learn rhythm and reason and rhyme
And raise our souls with song.

VIII.

Knowing now his goal completed
Having given all he’d learned
On his private mountain seated
Enraptured in the peace he’s earned
He sings his song clearly, with joy and with fire
It’s all that he has and fulfills all desire
It’s getting him high, and then bringing him higher
And setting his spirit to dancing.
With a beat in his heart
And a song for a soul
Wafting aloft . . .
And he’s gone.