East of the Sun…

Here is to the closing of the week.

Some nice stuff to read and to ponder…

Take some time to ponder, and to wander around a bit head to the sky.

Cloud Watching Recommended.



On The Grill:

The Links

East of the Sun, West of the Moon

Poetry Charles Algernon Swinburne

Art in East of the Sun, Westo of the Moon: Kay Neilsen

Kay Neilsen Bio:

Kay Nielsen (whose first name is pronounced “kigh”), (1886-1957) was a Danish illustrator who was popular in the early 20th century, the “Golden Age of Illustration” which lasted from when Daniel Vierge and other pioneers developed printing technology to the point where drawings and paintings could be reproduced with reasonable facility, He joined the ranks of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac in enjoying the success of the gift books of the early 20th century. This fad was able to last until roughly the end of World War II when economic changes made it more difficult to make a profit from elaborately illustrated books.

Nielsen was born in Copenhagen and studied in Paris. He began publishing in 1913 and in 1914 issued his classic book East of the Sun and West of the Moon. After World War I he became involved in theater design, and in the 1930s went to work for The Walt Disney Company, where his work was used in the “Ave Maria” and “Night on Bald Mountain” sequences of Fantasia. In 1940 he was laid off, and he eventually died in poverty in 1957.


The Links:

Emo Power!

Unrealized Moscow…

Oops I did it again: Dreaming Burning Man…


East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon

Once on a time there was a poor husbandman who had so many children that he hadn’t much of either food or clothing to give them. Pretty children they all were, but the prettiest was the youngest daughter, who was so lovely there was no end to her loveliness.

So one day, ’twas on a Thursday evening late at the fall of the year, the weather was so wild and rough outside, and it was so cruelly dark, and rain fell and wind blew, till the walls of the cottage shook again. There they all sat round the fire busy with this thing and that. But just then, all at once something gave three taps on the window-pane. Then the father went out to see what was the matter; and, when he got out of doors, what should he see but a great big White Bear.

“Good evening to you,” said the White Bear.

“The same to you,” said the man.

“Will you give me your youngest daughter? If you will, I’ll make you as rich as you are now poor,” said the Bear.

Well, the man would not be at all sorry to be so rich; but still he thought he must have a bit of a talk with his daughter first; so he went in and told them how there was a great White Bear waiting outside, who had given his word to make them so rich if he could only have the youngest daughter.

The lassie said “No!” outright. Nothing could get her to say anything else; so the man went out and settled it with the White Bear, that he should come again the next Thursday evening and get an answer. Meantime he talked his daughter over, and kept on telling her of all the riches they would get, and how well off she would be herself; and so at last she thought better of it, and washed and mended her rags, made herself as smart as she could, and was ready to start. I can’t say her packing gave her much trouble.

Next Thursday evening came the White Bear to fetch her, and she got upon his back with her bundle, and off they went. So, when they had gone a bit of the way, the White Bear said–

“Are you afraid?”

“No! she wasn’t.”

“Well! mind and hold tight by my shaggy coat, and then there’s nothing to fear,” said the Bear.

So she rode a long, long way, till they came to a great steep hill. There, on the face of it, the White Bear gave a knock, and a door opened, and they came into a castle, where there were many rooms all lit up; rooms gleaming with silver and gold; and there too was a table ready laid, and it was all as grand as grand could be. Then the White Bear gave her a silver bell; and when she wanted anything, she was only to ring it, and she would get it at once,

Well, after she had eaten and drunk, and evening wore on, she got sleepy after her journey, and thought she would like to go to bed, so she rang the bell; and she had scarce taken hold of it before she came into a chamber, where there was a bed made; as fair and white as any one would wish to sleep in, with silken pillows and curtains, and gold fringe. All that was in the room was gold or silver; but when she had gone to bed, and put out the light, a man came and laid himself alongside her. That was the White Bear, who threw off his beast shape at night; but she never saw him, for he always came after she had put out the light, and before the day dawned he was up and off again. So things went on happily for a while, but at last she began to get silent and sorrowful; for there she went about all day alone, and she longed to go home to see her father and mother, and brothers and sisters. So one day, when the White Bear asked what it was that she lacked, she said it was so dull and lonely there, and how she longed to go home to see her father and mother, and brothers and sisters, and that was why she was so sad and sorrowful, because she couldn’t get to them.

“Well, well!” said the Bear, “perhaps there’s a cure for all this; but you must promise me one thing, not to talk alone with your mother, but only when the rest are by to hear; for she’ll take you by the hand and try to lead you into a room alone to talk; but you must mind and not do that, else you’ll bring bad luck on both of us.”

So one Sunday the White Bear came and said now they could set off to see her father and mother. Well, off they started, she sitting on his back; and they went far and long. At last they came to a grand house, and there her brothers and sisters were running about out of doors at play, and everything was so pretty, ’twas a joy to see.

“This is where your father and mother live now,” said the White Bear but don’t forget what I told you, else you’ll make us both unlucky.”

“No! bless her, she’d not forget and when she had reached the house, the White Bear turned right about and left her.

Then when she went in to see her father and mother, there was such joy, there was no end to it. None of them thought they could thank her enough for all she had done for them. Now, they had everything they wished, as good as good could be, and they all wanted to know how she got on where she lived.

Well, she said, it was very good to live where she did; she had all she wished. What she said beside I don’t know; but I don’t think any of them had the right end of the stick, or that they got much out of her. But so in the afternoon, after they had done dinner, all happened as the White Bear had said. Her mother wanted to talk with her alone in her bed-room; but she minded what the White Bear had said, and wouldn’t go up stairs.

“Oh, what we have to talk about will keep,” she said, and put her mother off. But somehow or other, her mother got round her at last, and she had to tell her the whole story. So she said, how every night, when she had gone to bed, a man came and lay down beside her as soon as she had put out the light, and how she never saw him, because he was always up and away before the morning dawned; and how she went about woeful and sorrowing, for she thought she should so like to see him, and how all day p. 26 long she walked about there alone, and how dull, and dreary, and lonesome it was.

“My!” said her mother; “it may well be a Troll you slept with! But now I’ll teach you a lesson how to set eyes on him. I’ll give you a bit of candle, which you can carry home in your bosom; just light that while he is asleep, but take care not to drop the tallow on him.”

Yes! she took the candle, and hid it in her bosom, and as night drew on, the White Bear came and fetched her away.

But when they had gone a bit of the way, the White Bear asked if all hadn’t happened as he had said.

“Well, she couldn’t say it hadn’t.”

“Now, mind,” said he, “if you have listened to your mother’s advice, you have brought bad luck on us both, and then, all that has passed between us will be as nothing.”

“No,” she said, “she hadn’t listened to her mother’s advice.”

So when she reached home, and had gone to bed, it was the old story over again. There came a man and lay down beside her; but at dead of night, when she heard he slept, she got up and struck a light, lit the candle, and let the light shine on him, and so she saw that he was the loveliest Prince one ever set eyes on, and she fell so deep in love with him on the spot, that she thought she couldn’t live if she didn’t give him a kiss there and then. And so she did, but as she kissed him, she dropped three hot drops of tallow on his shirt, and he woke up.

“What have you done?” he cried; “now you have made us both unlucky, for had you held out only this one year, I had been freed. For I have a stepmother who has bewitched me, so that I am a White Bear by day, and a Man by night. But now all ties are snapt between us; now I must set off from you to her. She lives in a castle which stands East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon, and there, too, is a Princess, with a nose three ells long, and she’s the wife I must have now.”

She wept and took it ill, but there was no help for it; go he must.

Then she asked if she mightn’t go with him.

No, she mightn’t.

“Tell me the way, then,” she said, “and I’ll search you out; that surely I may get leave to do.”

“Yes, she might do that,” he said; “but there was no way to that place. It lay East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon, and thither she’d never find her way.”

So next morning, when she woke up, both Prince and castle were gone, and then she lay on a little green patch, in the midst of the gloomy thick wood, and by her side lay the same bundle of rags she had brought with her from her old home.

So when she had rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, and wept till she was tired, she set out on her way, and walked many, many days, till she came to a lofty crag. Under it sat an old hag, and played with a gold apple which she tossed about. Her the lassie asked if she knew the way to the Prince, who lived with his stepmother in the castle that lay East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon, and who was to marry the Princess with a nose three ells long.

“How did you come to know about him?” asked the old hag; “but maybe you are the lassie who ought to have had him?” Yes, she was.

“So, so; it’s you, is it?” said the old hag. “Well, all I know about him is, that he lives in the castle that lies East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon, and thither you’ll come, late or never; but still you may have the loan of my horse, and on him you can ride to my next neighbour. Maybe she’ll be able to tell you; and when you get there, just give the horse a switch under the left ear, and beg him to be off home; and, stay, this gold apple you may take with you.”

So she got upon the horse, and rode a long long time, till she came to another crag, under which sat another old hag, with a gold carding-comb. Her the lassie asked if she knew the way to the castle that lay East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon, and she answered, like the first old hag, that she knew nothing about it, except it was east o’ the sun and west o’ the moon.

“And thither you’ll come, late or never; but you shall have the loan of my horse to my next neighbour; maybe she’ll tell you all about it; and when you get there, just switch the horse under the left ear, and beg him to be off home.”

And this old hag gave her the golden carding-comb; it might be she’d find some use for it, she said. So the lassie got up on the horse, and rode a far far way, and a weary time; and so at last she came to another great crag, under which sat another old hag, spinning with a golden spinning-wheel. Her, too, she asked if she knew the way to the Prince, and where the castle was that lay East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon. So it was the same thing over again.

“Maybe it’s you who ought to have had the Prince?” said the old hag.

Yes, it was.

But she, too, didn’t know the way a bit better than the other two. “East o’ the sun and west o’ the moon it was,” she knew– that was all.

“And thither you’ll come, late or never; but I’ll lend you my horse, and then I think you’d best ride to the East Wind and ask him; maybe he knows those parts, and can blow you thither. But when you get to him, you need only give the horse a switch under the left ear, and he’ll trot home of himself.”

And so, too, she gave her the gold spinning-wheel. “Maybe you’ll find a use for it,” said the old hag.

Then on she rode many many days, a weary time, before she got to the East Wind’s house, but at last she did reach it, and then she asked the East Wind if he could tell her the way to the Prince who dwelt east o’ the sun and west o’ the moon. Yes, the East Wind had often heard tell of it, the Prince and the castle, but he couldn’t tell the way, for he had never blown so far.

“But, if you will, I’ll go with you to my brother the West Wind, maybe he knows, for he’s much stronger. So, if you will just get on my back, I’ll carry you thither.”

Yes, she got on his back, and I should just think they went briskly along.

So when they got there, they went into the West Wind’s house, and the East Wind said the lassie he had brought was the one who ought to have had the Prince who lived in the castle East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon; and so she had set out to seek him, and how he had come p. 30 with her, and would be glad to know if the West Wind knew how to get to the castle.

“Nay,” said the West Wind, “so far I’ve never blown; but if you will, I’ll go with you to our brother the South Wind, for he’s much stronger than either of us, and he has flapped his wings far and wide. Maybe he’ll tell you. You can get on my back, and I’ll carry you to him.”

Yes! she got on his back, and so they travelled to the South Wind, and weren’t so very long on the way, I should think.

When they got there, the West Wind asked him if he could tell her the way to the castle that lay East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon, for it was she who ought to have had the Prince who lived there.

“You don’t say so! That’s she, is it?” said the South Wind.

“Well, I have blustered about in most places in my time, but so far have I never blown; but if you will, I’ll take you to my brother the North Wind; he is the oldest and strongest of the whole lot of us, and if he don’t know where it is, you’ll never find any one in the world to tell you. You can get on my back, and I’ll carry you thither.”

Yes! she got on his back, and away he went from his house at a fine rate. And this time, too, she wasn’t long on her way.

So when they got to the North Wind’s house, he was so wild and cross, cold puffs came from him a long way off.

“Blast you both, what do you want?” he roared out to them ever so far off so that it struck them with an icy shiver.

“Well,” said the South Wind, “you needn’t be so foul-mouthed, for here I am, your brother, the South Wind, and here is the lassie who ought to have had the Prince who dwells in the castle that lies East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon, and now she wants to ask you if you ever were there, and can tell her the way, for she would be so glad to find him again.

“Yes, I know well enough where it is,” said the North Wind; “once in my life I blew an aspen-leaf thither but I was so tired I couldn’t blow a puff for ever so many days after. But if you really wish to go thither, and aren’t afraid to come along with me, I’ll take you on my back and see if I can blow you thither.”

Yes! with all her heart; she must and would get thither if it were possible in any way; and as for fear, however madly he went, she wouldn’t be at all afraid.

“Very well, then,” said the North Wind, “but you must sleep here to-night, for we must have the whole day before us, if we’re to get thither at all.

Early next morning the North Wind woke her, and puffed himself up, and blew himself out, and made himself so stout and big, ’twas gruesome to look at him; and so off they went high up through the air, as if they would never stop till they got to the world’s end.

Down here below there was such a storm; it threw down long tracts of wood and many houses, and when it swept over the great sea, ships foundered by hundreds.

So they tore on and on,– no one can believe how far they went,– and all the while they still went over the sea, and the North Wind got more and more weary, and so out of breath he could scarce bring out a puff, and his wings drooped and drooped, till at last he sunk so low that the crests of the waves dashed over his heels.

“Are you afraid?” said the North Wind.

“No!” she wasn’t.

But they weren’t very far from land; and the North Wind had still so much strength left in him that he managed to throw her up on the shore under the windows of the castle which lay East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon; but then he was so weak and worn out, he had to stay there and rest many days before he could get home again.

Next morning the lassie sat down under the castle window, and began to play with the gold apple; and the first person she saw was the Long-nose who was to have the Prince.

“What do you want for your gold apple, you lassie?” said the Long-nose, and threw up the window.

“It’s not for sale, for gold or money,” said the lassie.

“If it’s not for sale for gold or money, what is it that you will sell it for? You may name your own price,” said the Princess.

“Well! if I may get to the Prince, who lives here, and be with him to-night, you shall have it,” said the lassie whom the North Wind had brought.

Yes! she might; that could be done. So the Princess got the gold apple; but when the lassie came up to the Prince’s bed-room at night he was fast asleep; she called him and shook him, and between whiles she wept sore; but all she could do she couldn’t wake him up. Next morning as soon as day broke, came the Princess with the long nose, and drove her out again.

So in the day-time she sat down under the castle windows and began to card with her golden carding-comb, and the same thing happened. The Princess asked what she wanted for it; and she said it wasn’t for sale for gold or money, but if she might get leave to go up to the Prince and be with him that night, the Princess should have it. But when she went up she found him fast asleep again, and all she called, and all she shook, and wept, and prayed, she couldn’t get life into him; and as soon as the first gray peep of day came, then came the Princess with the long nose, and chased her out again.

So in the day-time the lassie sat down outside under the castle window, and began to spin with her golden spinning-wheel, and that, too, the Princess with the long nose wanted to have. So she threw up the window and asked what she wanted for it. The lassie said, as she had said twice before, it wasn’t for sale for gold or money; but if she might go up to the Prince who was there, and be with him alone that night, she might have it.

Yes! she might do that and welcome. But now you must know there were some Christian folk who had been carried off thither, and as they sat in their room, which was next the Prince, they had heard how a woman had been in there, and wept and prayed, and called to him two nights running, and they told that to the Prince.

That evening, when the Princess came with her sleepy drink, the Prince made as if he drank, but threw it over his shoulder, for he could guess it was a sleepy drink. So, when the lassie came in, she found the Prince wide awake; and then she told him the whole story how she had come thither.

“Ah,” said the Prince, “you’ve just come in the very nick of time, for to-morrow is to be our wedding-day; but now I won’t have the Long-nose, and you are the only woman in the world who can set me free. I’ll say I want to see what my wife is fit for, and beg her to wash the shirt which has the three spots of tallow on it; she’ll say yes, for she doesn’t know ’tis you who put them there; but that’s a work only for Christian folk, and not for such a pack of Trolls, and so I’ll say that I won’t have any other for my bride than the woman who can wash them out, and ask you to do it.”

So there was great joy and love between them all that night. But next day, when the wedding was to be, the Prince said–

“First of all, I’d like to see what my bride is fit for.”

“Yes!” said the step-mother, with all her heart.

“Well,” said the Prince, “I’ve got a fine shirt which I’d like for my wedding shirt, but some how or other it has got three spots of tallow on it, which I must have washed out; and I have sworn never to take any other bride than the woman who’s able to do that. If she can’t, she’s not worth having.”

Well, that was no great thing they said, so they agreed, and she with the long nose began to wash away as hard as she could, but the more she rubbed and scrubbed, the bigger the spots grew.

“Ah!” said the old hag, her mother, “you can’t wash; let me try.”

But she hadn’t long taken the shirt in hand, before it got far worse than ever, and with all her rubbing, and wringing and scrubbing the spots grew bigger and blacker, and the darker and uglier was the shirt.

Then all the other Trolls began to wash, but the longer it lasted, the blacker and uglier the shirt grew, till at last it was as black all over as if it had been up the chimney.

“Ah!” said the Prince, “you’re none of you worth a straw: you can’t wash. Why there, outside, sits a beggar lassie I’ll be bound she knows how to wash better than the whole lot of you. Come in, Lassie!” he shouted.

Well, in she came.

“Can you wash this shirt clean, lassie, you?” said he.

“I don’t know,” she said, “but I think I can.”

And almost before she had taken it and dipped it in the water, it was as white as driven snow, and whiter still.

“Yes; you are the lassie for me,” said the Prince.

At that the old hag flew into such a rage, she burst on the spot, and the Princess with the long nose after her, and the whole pack of Trolls after her,– at least I’ve never heard a word about them since.

As for the Prince and Princess, they set free all the poor Christian folk who had been carried off and shut up there; and they took with them all the silver and gold, and flitted away as far as they could from the castle that lay East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon.


Poetry: Charles Algernon Swinburne

“Sweet for a little even to fear and sweet,

O Love! to lay down fear as Love’s fair feet;

Shall not some fiery memory of his breath

Lie sweet on lips that touch the lips of death?

Yet leave me not; yet if thou wilt, be free;

Love me no more, but love my love of thee,

Love where thou wilt, and live thy life; and I,

One thing I can, and one Love cannot die.”



I FOUND in dreams a place of wind and flowers,

Full of sweet trees and colour of glad grass,

In midst whereof there was

A lady clothed like summer with sweet hours.

Her beauty, fervent as a fiery moon,

Made my blood burn and swoon

Like a flame rained upon.

Sorrow had filled her shaken eyelids’ blue,

And her mouth’s sad red heavy rose all through

Seemed sad with glad things gone.

She held a little cithern by the strings,

Shaped heartwise, strung with subtle-coloured hair

Of some dead lute-player

That in dead years had done delicious things.

The seven strings were named accordingly;

The first string charity,

The second tenderness,

The rest were pleasure, sorrow, sleep, and sin,

And loving-kindness, that is pity’s kin

And is most pitiless.

There were three men with her, each garmented

With gold and shod with gold upon the feet;

And with plucked ears of wheat

The first man’s hair was wound upon his head.

His face was red, and his mouth curled and sad;

All his gold garment had

Pale stains of dust and rust.

A riven hood was pulled across his eyes;

The token of him being upon this wise

Made for a sign of Lust.

The next was Shame, with hollow heavy face

Coloured like green wood when flame kindles it.

He hath such feeble feet

They may not well endure in any place.

His face was full of grey old miseries,

And all his blood’s increase

Was even increase of pain.

The last was Fear, that is akin to Death;

He is Shame’s friend, and always as Shame saith

Fear answers him again.

My soul said in me; This is marvellous,

Seeing the air’s face is not so delicate

Nor the sun’s grace so great,

If sin and she be kin or amorous.

And seeing where maidens served her on their knees,

I bade one crave of these

To know the cause thereof.

Then Fear said: I am Pity that was dead.

And Shame said: I am Sorrow comforted.

And Lust said: I am Love.

Thereat her hands began a lute-playing

And her sweet mouth a song in a strange tongue;

And all the while she sung

There was no sound but long tears following

Long tears upon men’s faces waxen white

With extreme sad delight.

But those three following men

Became as men raised up among the dead;

Great glad mouths open and fair cheeks made red

With child’s blood come again.

Then I said: Now assuredly I see

My lady is perfect, and transfigureth

All sin and sorrow and death,

Making them fair as her own eyelids be,

Or lips wherein my whole soul’s life abides;

Or as her sweet white sides

And bosom carved to kiss.

Now therefore, if her pity further me,

Doubtless for her sake all my days shall be

As righteous as she is.

Forth, ballad, and take roses in both arms,

Even till the top rose touch thee in the throat

Where the least thornprick harms;

And girdled in thy golden singing-coat,

Come thou before my lady and say this;

Borgia, thy gold hair’s colour burns in me,

Thy mouth makes beat my blood in feverish rhymes;

Therefore so many as these roses be,

Kiss me so many times.

Then it may be, seeing how sweet she is,

That she will stoop herself none otherwise

Than a blown vine-branch doth,

And kiss thee with soft laughter on thine eyes,

Ballad, and on thy mouth.



KNEEL down, fair Love, and fill thyself with tears,

Girdle thyself with sighing for a girth

Upon the sides of mirth,

Cover thy lips and eyelids, let thine ears

Be filled with rumour of people sorrowing;

Make thee soft raiment out of woven sighs

Upon the flesh to cleave,

Set pains therein and many a grievous thing,

And many sorrows after each his wise

For armlet and for gorget and for sleeve.

O Love’s lute heard about the lands of death,

Left hanged upon the trees that were therein;

O Love and Time and Sin,

Three singing mouths that mourn now underbreath,

Three lovers, each one evil spoken of;

O smitten lips where through this voice of mine

Came softer with her praise;

Abide a little for our lady’s love.

The kisses of her mouth were more than wine,

And more than peace the passage of her days.

O Love, thou knowest if she were good to see.

O Time, thou shalt not find in any land

Till, cast out of thine hand,

The sunlight and the moonlight fail from thee,

Another woman fashioned like as this.

O Sin, thou knowest that all thy shame in her

Was made a goodly thing;

Yea, she caught Shame and shamed him with her kiss,

With her fair kiss, and lips much lovelier

Than lips of amorous roses in late spring.

By night there stood over against my bed

Queen Venus with a hood striped gold and black,

Both sides drawn fully back

From brows wherein the sad blood failed of red,

And temples drained of purple and full of death.

Her curled hair had the wave of sea-water

And the sea’s gold in it.

Her eyes were as a dove’s that sickeneth.

Strewn dust of gold she had shed over her,

And pearl and purple and amber on her feet.

Upon her raiment of dyed sendaline

Were painted all the secret ways of love

And covered things thereof,

That hold delight as grape-flowers hold their wine;

Red mouths of maidens and red feet of doves,

And brides that kept within the bride-chamber

Their garment of soft shame,

And weeping faces of the wearied loves

That swoon in sleep and awake wearier,

With heat of lips and hair shed out like flame.

The tears that through her eyelids fell on me

Made mine own bitter where they ran between

As blood had fallen therein,

She saying; Arise, lift up thine eyes and see

If any glad thing be or any good

Now the best thing is taken forth of us;

Even she to whom all praise

Was as one flower in a great multitude,

One glorious flower of many and glorious,

One day found gracious among many days:

Even she whose handmaiden was Love–to whom

At kissing times across her stateliest bed

Kings bowed themselves and shed

Pale wine, and honey with the honeycomb,

And spikenard bruised for a burnt-offering;

Even she between whose lips the kiss became

As fire and frankincense;

Whose hair was as gold raiment on a king,

Whose eyes were as the morning purged with flame,

Whose eyelids as sweet savour issuing thence.

Then I beheld, and lo on the other side

My lady’s likeness crowned and robed and dead.

Sweet still, but now not red,

Was the shut mouth whereby men lived and died.

And sweet, but emptied of the blood’s blue shade,

The great curled eyelids that withheld her eyes.

And sweet, but like spoilt gold,

The weight of colour in her tresses weighed.

And sweet, but as a vesture with new dyes,

The body that was clothed with love of old.

Ah! that my tears filled all her woven hair

And all the hollow bosom of her gown–

Ah! that my tears ran down

Even to the place where many kisses were,

Even where her parted breast-flowers have place,

Even where they are cloven apart–who knows not this?

Ah! the flowers cleave apart

And their sweet fills the tender interspace;

Ah! the leaves grown thereof were things to kiss

Ere their fine gold was tarnished at the heart.

Ah! in the days when God did good to me,

Each part about her was a righteous thing;

Her mouth an almsgiving,

The glory of her garments charity,

The beauty of her bosom a good deed,

In the good days when God kept sight of us;

Love lay upon her eyes,

And on that hair whereof the world takes heed;

And all her body was more virtuous

Than souls of women fashioned otherwise.

Now, ballad, gather poppies in thine hands

And sheaves of brier and many rusted sheaves

Rain-rotten in rank lands,

Waste marigold and late unhappy leaves

And grass that fades ere any of it be mown;

And when thy bosom is filled full thereof

Seek out Death’s face ere the light altereth,

And say “My master that was thrall to Love

Is become thrall to Death.”

Bow down before him, ballad, sigh and groan,

But make no sojourn in thine outgoing;

For haply it may be

That when thy feet return at evening

Death shall come in with thee.

Religion and Revolution

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. (Hamlet/Shakespeare)

Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837 – 1909)

We have seen thee, O Love, thou art fair; thou art goodly, O Love;

Thy wings make light in the air as the wings of a dove.

Thy feet are as winds that divide the stream of the sea;

Earth is thy covering to hide thee, the garment of thee.

Thou art swift and subtle and blind as a flame of fire;

Before thee the laughter, behind thee the tears of desire;

And twain go forth beside thee, a man with a maid;

Her eyes are the eyes of a bride whom delight makes afraid;

As the breath in the buds that stir is her bridal breath:

But Fate is the name of her; and his name is Death.


Wednesday Evening…

Good news today predominated; SheShamans did well, even better than expected! Big Congratulations out to Diane Darling, and to all who made it possible.

The weather was lovely, and the work day was under blue, but semi-cool skies. Oregon is very lovely this time of year.

Berkeley California I hear is launching a vote to impeach Bush and Cheney. Some will laugh, but this is a real beginning.

The Turf is featuring Surrealist and Revolutionaries tonight. The Wheel Turns. Take your places on it, and shove together.

Take Care,



What is on the Grill:

The Links

Religion and Revolution – Hakim Bey

Poetry – Andre Breton

Photography – Man Ray

Biography: Man Ray b. 1890 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 1976 Paris, France

Born in Philadelphia, Emmanuel Radnitsky grew up in New Jersey and became a commercial artist in New York in the 1910s. He began to sign his name Man Ray in 1912, although his family did not change its surname to Ray until the 1920s. He initially taught himself photography in order to reproduce his own works of art, which included paintings and mixed media. In 1921 he moved to Paris and set up a photography studio to support himself. There he began to make photograms, which he called “Rayographs.”

Shortly before World War II, Man Ray returned to the United States and settled in Los Angeles from 1940 until 1951. He was disappointed that he was recognized only for his photography in America and not for the filmmaking, painting, sculpture, and other media in which he worked. In 1951 Man Ray returned to Paris, where he concentrated primarily on painting.


The Links

Pirates pursued democracy, helped American colonies survive

‘Foreigner’ helped build Terracotta Army

Big Brother eyes ‘boost honesty’

Walruses lured to their deaths

Scientists playing God? We should rejoice


Religion and Revolution – Hakim Bey

Real money & hierarchic religion appear to have arisen in the same mysterious moment sometime between the early Neolithic and the third millennium BC in Sumer or Egypt; which came first, the chicken or the egg? Was one a response to the other or is one an aspect of the other?

No doubt that money possesses a deeply religious implication since from the very moment of its appearance it begins to strive for the condition of the spirit — to remove itself from the world of bodies, to transcend materiality, to become the one true efficacious symbol. With the invention of writing around 3100 BC money as we know it emerges from a complicated system of clay tokens or counters representing material goods & takes the form of written bills of credit impressed on clay tablets; almost without exception these “cheques” seem to concern debts owed to the State Temple, & in theory could have been used in an extended system of exchange as credit-notes “minted” by the theocracy. Coins did not appear until around 700 BC in Greek Asia Minor; they were made of electrum (gold and silver) not because these metals had commodity value but because they were sacred — Sun & Moon; the ratio of value between them has always hovered around 14:1 not because the earth contains 14 times as much silver as gold but because the Moon takes 14 “suns” to grow from dark to full. Coins may have originated as temple tokens symbolizing a worshipper’s due share of the sacrifice — holy souvenirs, which could later be traded for goods because they had “mana”, not use-value. (This function may have originated in the Stone Age trade in “ceremonial” stone axe-heads used in potlach-like distribution rites.) Unlike Mesopotamian credit-notes, coins were inscribed with sacred images & were seen as liminal objects, nodal points between quotidian reality & the world of the spirits (this accounts for the custom of bending coins to “spiritualize” them and throwing them into wells, which are the “eyes” of the otherworld.) Debt itself — the true content of all money — is a highly “spiritual” concept. As tribute (primitive debt) it exemplifies capitulation to a “legitimate power” of expropriation masked in religious ideology — but as “real debt” it attains the uniquely spiritual ability to reproduce itself as if it were an organic being. Even now it remains the only “dead” substance in all the world to possess this power — “money begets money”. At this point money begins to take on a parodic aspect vis-à-vis religion — it seems that money wants to rival god, to become immanent spirit in the form of pure metaphysicality which nevertheless “rules the world”. Religion must take note of this blasphemous nature in money and condemn it as contra naturam. Money & religion enter opposition — one cannot serve God & Mammon simultaneously. But so long as religion continues to perform as the ideology of separation (the hierarchic State, expropriation, etc.) it can never really come to grips with the money-problem. Over & over again reformers arise within religion to chase the moneylenders from the temple, & always they return — in fact often enough the moneylenders become the Temple. (It’s certainly no accident that banks for along time aped the forms of religious architecture.) According to Weber it was Calvin who finally resolved the issue with his theological justification for “usury” — but this scarcely does credit to the real Protestants, like the Ranters & Diggers, who proposed that religion should once & for all enter into total opposition to money — thereby launching the Millennium. It seems more likely that the Enlightenment should take credit for resolving the problem — by jettisoning religion as the ideology of the ruling class & replacing it with rationalism (& “Classical Economics”). This formula however would fail to do justice to those real illuminati who proposed the dismantling of all ideologies of power & authority — nor would it help to explain why “official” religion failed to realize its potential as opposition at this point, & instead went on providing moral support for both State & Capital.

Under the influence of Romanticism however there arose — both inside & outside of “official” religion — a growing sense of spirituality as an alternative to the oppressive aspects of Liberalism & its intellectual/artistic allies. On the one hand this sense led to a conservative-revolutionary form of romantic reaction (e.g. Novalis) — but on the other hand it also fed into the old heretical tradition (which also began with the “rise of Civilization” as a movement of resistance to the theocracy of expropriation) — and found itself in a strange new alliance with rationalist radicalism (the nascent “left”); William Blake, for example, or the “Blaspheming Chapels” of Spence & his followers, represent this trend. The meeting of spirituality & resistance is not some surrealist event or anomaly to be smoothed out or rationalized by “History” — it occupies a position at the very root of radicalism; — and despite the militant atheism of Marx or Bakunin (itself a kind of mutated mysticism or “heresy”), the spiritual still remains inextricably involved with the “Good Old Cause” it helped create.

Some years ago Regis Debray wrote an article pointing out that despite the confidant predictions of 19th century materialism, religion had still perversely failed to go away — and that perhaps it was time for the Revolution to come to terms with this mysterious persistence. Coming from a Catholic culture Debray was interested in “Liberation Theology”, itself a projection of the old quasi-heresy of the “Poor” Franciscans & the recurrent rediscovery of “Bible communism”. Had he considered Protestant culture he might have remembered the 17th century, & looked for its true inheritance; if Moslem he could have evoked the radicalism of the Shiites or Ismailis, or the anti-colonialism of the 19th century “neo-Sufis”. Every religion has called forth its own inner antithesis over & over again; every religion has considered the implications of moral opposition to power; every tradition contains a vocabulary of resistance as well as capitulation to oppression. Speaking broadly one might say that up until now this “counter-tradition” — which is both inside & outside religion — has comprised a “suppressed content”. Debray’s question concerned its potential for realization. Liberation Theology lost most of its support within the church when it could no longer serve its function as rival (or accomplice) of Soviet Communism; & it could no longer serve this function because Communism collapsed. But some Liberation theologians proved to be sincere — and still they persist (as in Mexico); moreover, an entire submerged & related tendency within Catholicism, exemplified in the almost Scholastic anarchism of an Ivan Illich, lingers in the background. Similar tendencies could be identified within Orthodoxy (e.g. Bakunin), Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, and (in a somewhat different sense) Buddhism; moreover, most “surviving” indigenous forms of spirituality (e.g. Shamanism) or the Afro-american syncretisms can find common cause with various radical trends in the “major” religions on such issues as the environment, & the morality of anti-Capitalism. Despite elements of romantic reaction, various New Age & post-New-Age movements can also be associated with this rough category.

In a previous essay we have outlined reasons for believing that the collapse of Communism implies the triumph of its single opponent, Capitalism; that according to neo-liberal global propaganda only one world now exists; & that this political situation has grave implications for a theory of money as the virtual deity (autonomous, spiritualized, & all-powerful) of the single universe of meaning. Under these conditions everything that was once a third possibility (neutrality, withdrawal, counter-culture, the “Third World”, etc.) now must find itself in a new situation. There is no longer any “second” — how can there be a “third”? The “alternatives” have narrowed catastrophically. The One World is now in a position to crush everything which once escaped its ecstatic embrace — thanks to the unfortunate distraction of waging an essentially economic war against the Evil Empire. There is no more third way, no more neither/nor. Everything that is different will now be subsumed into the sameness of the One World — or else will discover itself in opposition to that world. Taking this thesis as given, we must now ask where religion will locate itself on this new map of “zones” of capitulation & resistance. If “revolution” has been freed of the incubus of Soviet oppression and is now once again a valid concept, are we finally in a position to offer a tentative answer to Debray’s question?

Taking “religion” as a whole, including even those forms such as shamanism that belong to Society rather than the State (in terms of Clastres’s anthropology); including polytheisms, monotheisms, & non-theisms; including mysticisms & heresies as well as orthodoxies, “reformed” churches, & “new religions” — obviously the subject under consideration lacks definition, borders, coherence; & it cannot be questioned because it would only generate a babel of responses rather than an answer. But “religion” does refer to something — call it a certain range of colors in the spectrum of human becoming — & as such it might be considered (at least pro tem) as a valid dialogic entity & as a theorizable subject. In the triumphant movement of Capital — in its processual moment so to speak — all religion can only be viewed as nullity, i.e. as a commodity to be packaged & sold, an asset to be stripped, or an opposition to be eliminated. Any idea (or ideology) that cannot be subsumed into capital’s “End of History” must be doomed. This includes both reaction & resistance — & it most certainly includes the non-separative “re-linking” (religio) of consciousness with “spirit” as unmediated imaginal self-determination & value-creation — the original goal of all ritual & worship. Religion in other words has lost all connection with worldly power because that power has migrated off-world — it has abandoned even the State & achieved the purity of apotheosis, like the God that “abandoned Anthony” in Cavafy’s poem. The few States (mostly Islamic) wherein religion holds power are located precisely within the ever-shrinking region of national opposition to Capital — (thus providing them with such potential strange bedfellows as Cuba!). Like all other “third possibilities” religion is faced with a new dichotomy: total capitulation, or else revolt. Thus the “revolutionary potential” of religion clearly appears — although it remains unclear whether resistance might take the form of reaction or radicalism — or indeed whether religion is not already defeated — whether its refusal to go away is that of an enemy, or a ghost.

In Russia & Serbia the Orthodox Church appears to have thrown in its lot with reaction against the New World Order & thus found new fellowship with its old Bolshevik oppressors, In Chechnya the Naqshbandi Sufi Order continues its centuries-old struggle against Russian imperialism. In Chiapas there’s a strange alliance of Mayan “pagans” & radical Catholics. Certain factions of American Protestantism have been driven to the point of paranoia & armed resistance (but even paranoids have some real enemies); while Native-american spirituality undergoes a small but miraculous revival — not a Ghost Shirt uprising this time, but a reasoned & profound stand against the hegemony of Capital’s monoculture. The Dalai Lama sometimes appears as the one “world leader” capable of speaking truth both to the remnants of the Communist oppression & the forces of Capitalist inhumanity; a “Free Tibet” might provide some kind of focus for an “interfaith” bloc of small nations & religious groups allied against the transcendental social darwinism of the consensus. Arctic shamanism may re-emerge as an “ideology” for the self-determination of certain new Siberian republics — and some New Religions (such as Western neo-paganism or the psychedelic cults) also belong by definition or default to the pole of opposition.

Islam has seen itself as the enemy of imperial Christianity & European imperialism almost from the moment of its inception. During the 20th century it functioned as a “third way” against both Communism & Capitalism, & in the context of the new One World it now constitutes by definition one of the very few existing mass movements which cannot be englobed into the unity of any would-be Consensus. Unfortunately the spearhead of resistance — “fundamentalism” — tends to reduce the complexity of Islam into an artificially coherent ideology — “Islamism” — which clearly fails to speak to the normal human desire for difference & complexity. Fundamentalism has already failed to concern itself with “empirical freedoms” which must constitute the minimal demands of the new resistance; for example, its critique of “usury” is obviously an inadequate response to the machinations of the IMF & World Bank. The “gates of Interpretation” of the Shariah must be re-opened — not slammed shut forever — and a fully-realized alternative to Capitalism must emerge from within the tradition. Whatever one may think of the Libyan Revolution of 1969 it has at least the virtue of an attempt to fuse the anarcho-syndicalism of ’68 with the neo-Sufi egalitarianism of the North African Orders, & to create a revolutionary Islam — something similar could be said of Ali Shariati’s “Shiite socialism” in Iran, which was crushed by the ulemocracy before it could crystallize into a coherent movement. The point is that Islam cannot be dismissed as the puritan monolith portrayed in the Capitalist media. If a genuine anti-Capitalist coalition is to appear in the world it cannot happen without Islam. The goal of all theory capable of any sympathy with Islam, I believe, is now to encourage its radical & egalitarian traditions & to substruct its reactionary & authoritarian modes of discourse. Within Islam there persist such mythic figures as the “Green Prophet” and hidden guide of the mystics, al-Khezr, who could easily become a kind of patron saint of Islamic environmentalism; while history offers such models as the great Algerian Sufi freedom-fighter Emir Abdul Qadir, whose last act (in exile in Damascus) was to protect Syrian Christians against the bigotry of the ulema. From outside Islam there exists the potential for “interfaith” movements concerned with ideals of peace, toleration, & resistance to the violence of post-secular post-rationalist “neo-liberalism” & its allies. In effect, then, the “revolutionary potential” of Islam is not yet realized — but it is real.

Since Christianity is the religion that “gave birth” (in Weberian terms) to Capitalism, its position in relation to the present apotheosis of Capitalism is necessarily more problematic than Islam’s. For centuries Christianity has been drawing in on itself & constructing a kind of make-believe world of its own, wherein some semblance of the social might persist (if only on Sundays) — even while it maintained the cozy illusion of some relation to power. As an ally of Capital (with its seeming benign indifference to the hypothesis of faith) against “Godless Communism”, Christianity could preserve the illusion of power — at least until five years ago. Now Capitalism no longer needs Christianity & the social support it enjoyed will soon evaporate. Already the Queen of England has had to consider stepping down as the head of the Anglican Church — & she is unlikely to be replaced by the CEO of some vast international zaibatsu! Money is god — God is really dead at last; Capitalism has realized a hideous parody of the Enlightenment ideal. But Jesus is a dying-&-resurrecting god — one might say he’s been through all this before. Even Nietzsche signed his last “insane” letter as “Dionysus & the Crucified One”; in the end it is perhaps only religion that can “overcome” religion. Within Christianity a myriad tendencies appear (or have persisted since the 17th century, like the Quakers) seeking to revive that radical messiah who cleansed the Temple & promised the Kingdom to the poor. In America for instance it would seem impossible to imagine a really successful mass movement against Capitalism (some form of “progressive populism”) without the participation of the churches. Again the theoretical task begins to clarify itself; one need not propose some vulgar kind of “entryism” into organized Christianity to radicalize it by conspiracy from within. Rather the goal would be to encourage the sincere & widespread potential for Christian radicalism either from within as an honest believer (however “existentialist” the faith!) or as an honest sympathizer from the outside.

To test this theorizing take an example — say Ireland (where I happen to be writing this). Given that Ireland’s “Problems” arise largely from sectarianism, clearly one must take an anti-clerical stance; in fact atheism would be at least emotionally appropriate. But the inherent ambiguity of religion in Irish history should be remembered: — there were moments when Catholic priests & laity supported resistance or revolution, & there were moments when Protestant ministers & laity supported resistance or revolution. The hierarchies of the churches have generally proven themselves reactionary — but hierarchy is not the same thing as religion. On the Protestant side we have Wolfe Tone & the United Irishmen — a revolutionary “interfaith” movement. Even today in Northern Ireland such possibilities are not dead; anti-sectarianism is not just a socialist ideal but also a Christian ideal. On the Catholic side… a few years ago I met a radical priest at a pagan festival in the Aran Islands, a friend of Ivan Illich. When I asked him, “What exactly is your relation to Rome?” he answered, “Rome? Rome is the enemy.” Rome has lost its stranglehold on Ireland in the last few years, brought down by anti-puritan revolt & internal scandal. It would be incorrect to say that the Church’s power has shifted to the State, unless we also add that the government’s power has shifted to Europe, & Europe’s power has shifted to international capital. The meaning of Catholicism in Ireland is up for grabs. Over the next few years we might expect to see both inside & outside the Church a kind of revival of “Celtic Christianity” — devoted to resistance against pollution of the environment both physical & imaginal, & therefore committed to anti-Capitalist struggle. Whether this trend would lead to an open break with Rome and the formation of an independent church — who knows? Certainly the trend will include or at least influence Protestantism as well. Such a broad-based movement might easily find its natural political expression in socialism or even in anarcho-socialism, & would serve a particularly useful function as a force against sectarianism & the rule of the clerisy. Thus even in Ireland it would seem that religion may have a revolutionary future.

I expect these ideas will meet with very little acceptance within traditionally atheist anarchism or the remnants of “dialectical materialism”. Enlightenment radicalism has long refused to recognize any but remote historical roots within religious radicalism. As a result, the Revolution threw out the baby (“non-ordinary consciousness”) along with the bathwater of the Inquisition or of puritan repression. Despite Sorel’s insistence that the Revolution needed a “myth”, it preferred to bank everything on “pure reason” instead. But spiritual anarchism & communism (like religion itself) have failed to go away. Indeed, by becoming an anti-Religion, radicalism had recourse to a kind of mysticism of its own, complete with ritual, symbolism, & morality. Bakunin’s remark about God — that if he existed we would have to kill him — would after all pass for the purest orthodoxy within Zen Buddhism! The psychedelic movement, which offered a kind of “scientific” (or at least experiential ) verification of non-ordinary consciousness, led to a degree of rapprochement between spirituality & radical politics — & the trajectory of this movement may have only begun. If religion has “always” acted to enslave the mind or to reproduce the ideology of the ruling class, it has also “always” involved some form of entheogenesis (“birth of the god within”) or liberation of consciousness; some form of utopian proposal or promise of “heaven on earth”; and some form of militant & positive action for “social justice” as God’s plan for the creation. Shamanism is a form of “religion” that (as Clastres showed) actually institutionalizes spirituality against the emergence of hierarchy & separation — & all religions possess at least a shamanic trace.

Every religion can point to a radical tradition of some sort. Taoism once produced the Yellow Turbans — or for that matter the Tongs that collaborated with anarchism in the 1911 revolution. Judaism produced the “anarcho-zionism” of Martin Buber & Gersholm Scholem (deeply influenced by Gustav Landauer & other anarchists of 1919), which found its most eloquent & paradoxical voice in Walter Benjamin. Hinduism gave birth to the ultra-radical Bengali Terrorist Party — & also to M. Gandhi, the modern world’s only successful theorist of non-violent revolution. Obviously anarchism & communism will never come to terms with religion on questions of authority & property; & perhaps one might say that “after the Revolution” such questions will remain to be resolved. But it seems clear that without religion there will be no radical revolution; the Old Left & the (old) New Left can scarcely fight it alone. The alternative to an alliance now is to watch while Reaction co-opts the force of religion & launches a revolution without us. Like it or not, some sort of pre-emptive strategy is required. Resistance demands a vocabulary in which our common cause can be discussed; hence these sketchy proposals.

Even assuming we could classify all the above under the rubric of admirable sentiments, we would still find ourselves far from any obvious program of action. Religion is not going to “save” us in this sense (perhaps the reverse is true!) — in any case religion is faced with the same perplexity as any other former “third position”, including all forms of radical on-authoritarianism & anti-Capitalism. The new totality & its media appear so pervasive as to fore-doom all programs of revolutionary content, since every “message” is equally subject to subsumption in the “medium” that is Capital itself. Of course the situation is hopeless — but only stupidity would take this as reason for despair, or for the terminal boredom of defeat. Hope against hope — Bloch’s revolutionary hope — belongs to a “utopia” that is never wholly absent even when it is least present; & it belongs as well to a religious sphere in which hopelessness is the final sin against the holy spirit: — the betrayal of the divine within — the failure to become human. “Karmic duty” in the sense of the Bhagavad Gita — or in the sense of “revolutionary duty” — is not something imposed by Nature, like gravity, or death. It is a free gift of the spirit — one can accept or refuse it — & both positions are perilous. To refuse is to run the risk of dying without having lived. To accept is an even more dangerous but far more interesting possibility. A version of Pascal’s Wager — not on the immortality of the soul this time, but simply on its sheer existence.

To use religious metaphor (which we’ve tried so far to avoid) the millennium began five years before the end of the century, when One World came into being & banished all duality. From the Judao-Christiano-Islamic perspective however this is the false millennium of the “Anti-Christ”; which turns out not to be a “person” (except in the world of Archetypes perhaps) but an impersonal entity, a force contra naturam — entropy disguised as life. In this view the reign of iniquity must & will be challenged in the true millennium, the advent of the messiah. But the messiah is also not a single person in the world — rather, it is a collectivity in which each individuality is realized & thus (again metaphorically or imaginally) immortalized. The “people-as-messiah” do not enter into the homogenous sameness nor the infernal separation of entropic Capitalism, but into the difference & presence of revolution — the struggle, the “holy war”. On this basis alone can we begin to work on a theory of reconciliation between the positive forces of religion & the cause of resistance. What we are offered here is simply the beginning of the beginning.

Dublin, Sept. 1, 1996


Poetry: Andre Breton

Blotter of ash

To Robert Desnos.

The birds will be bored. If i’d forgotten something. Ring the bell of those last schooldays in the sea. What we’ll call the pensive borage. We’ll begin by giving the answer to the contest over how many tears can fit in a woman’s hand. In an average hand while i crumple this starry newspaper and while the eternal flesh which has once and for all come into possession of the mountaintops. I dwell savagely in a little house in the vaucluse. my heart a letter of cachet


Not all of paradise is lost

To Man Ray

Weathercocks turn into crystal. They protect the dew with blows from their crests. Then that charming emblem the thunderbolt descends on the banner of the ruins. The sand is nothing but a phosphorescent clock that says midnight with the arms of a forgotten woman. No place of refuge turning in the countryside erected where the heavens advance and retreat. It’s here the harsh blue temples of the villa’s head bathe in the night that traces my images. Hair hair. Evil grows stronger nearby. but what does it want from us.


A thousand thousand times

To Francis Pacabia

Under cover of footsteps returning at evening to a tower inhabited by mysterious symbols

Eleven in number the snow that melts as I grasp it in my hand

This snow i love has dreams and i am one of those dreams

I who grant to day and night as much youth as they need

They are two gardens where my hands walk with nothing to do and while the eleven symbols rest i share a love which is a copper and silver mechanism in the hedges

I’m one of the most delicate gears in earthly love and earthly love hides the other loves the way the symbols hide the spirit from me

A lost stab whizzes past the walker’s ear i’ve stripped the sky like a marvelous bed

My arm hangs from the sky with a rosary of stars descending day by day whose first bead will disappear into the sea instead of my vivid colors

Soon there won’t be anything but snow on the sea

The symbols appear at the door they are eleven different colors and their respective dimensions would make you die of pity

One of them has to bend down and cross its arms to enter the tower i hear another one on fire in a prosperous region and this one on horseback riding industry

The uncommon mountainous industry like the wild donkey that feeds on trout

The hair the long dappled hair characterizes the symbol wearing the doubly ogival buckler beware of the idea rolled along by mountain streams

My construction my beautiful construction page by page house insanely glazed in the wide open sky the wide open earth it’s a fault in the rock suspended by rings from the curtain rod of the world it’s a metallic curtain that comes down on divine inscriptions that you don’t know how to read The symbols have never affected anyone but me i am born in the infinite disorder of prayers I live and die from one end of this line to the other that strangely measured line which connects my heart to the ledge of your window through it i communicate with all the prisoners in the world


On the road to San Romano (1948) (translated)

Poetry is made in a bed like love. It’s rumpled sheets are the dawn of things. Poetry is made in the woods.It has the space it needsNot this one but the other one whose form is lent it by.The eye of the kite. The dew on a horsetail. The memory of a bottle frosted over on a silver tray. A tail rod of tourmaline on the sea. And the road of the mental adventure. That climbs abruptly. One halt and it’s overgrown. That isn’t to be shouted on the rooftops. It’s improper to leave the door open. Or to summon witnesses. The shoals of fish the hedges of titmice. The rails at the entrance of the great station. The reflections of both riverbanks. The crevices in the bread. The bubbles in the stream. The days of the calendar. The Saint-John’s wort. The act of love and the act of poetry. Are incompatible. With reading the paper out loud. The meaning of the sunbeam. The blue light between the hatchet blows. The bat’s thread shaped like a a heart or a hoopnet. The beaver tails beating in time. The diligence of the flesh. The casting of candy from the old stairs. The avalanche. The room of marvels. No good Sirs it isn’t the eighth Tribunal Chamber. Nor the vapours of the roomful some Sunday evening. The figures danced transparent above the pools.The outline of the wall of a woman’s body at daggerthrow. The bright spirals of smoke. The curls of your hair. The curve of the Philippine sponge. The swaying of the coral snake. The ivy entrance in the ruins. It has all the time ahead . The embrace of poetry like that of the flesh. As long as it lasts. Shuts out any glimpse of the misery of the world


Maps on the dunes

To Giuseppe Ungaretti

The timetable of hollow flowers and prominent cheekbones invites us to leave volcanic salt shakers for birdbaths. On a red checkerboard napkin the days of the year are arranged. the air is no longer as pure, the road no longer as wide as the famous bugle. Perishable evenings, the place on a prie-dieu where knees go, are carried in a suitcase painted with fat wormy verses. Little corduroy bicycles revolve on the countertop. The fishes’ ear, more forked than honeysuckle, hears blue oils coming down. Among sparkling burnouses whose charge gets lost in the curtains, i recognize a man who’s blood of my blood.


Unbreakable fishnet

To Gala Eluard

The nightwatch performs its usual now-you-see-it-now-you-don’ts in the dormitories. at night two multi-colored windows are left half open. Through the first, vices with black eyebrows creep in, young women doing penance go to the other to lean out. Otherwise nothing could disturb the pretty woodwork of sleep. we see hands putting on muffs of water. Blackberry bushes get tangled up on big empty beds while white pillows float on silences more apparent than real. At midnight the underground room fills with stars around the theaters, the ones where opera glasses play the leading roles. The garden’s filled with nickel-plated bells. There’s a message instead of a lizard beneath every stone.

The American Abroad: Frederick Bridgman

Terence McKenna: Who’s the boss?

“Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around. An extremely yang solution to a peculiar problem which they faced.”

I hope you enjoy this entry… a bit of art history of a long forgotten master, and some comments from another more contemporary master of words… A taste more of Hafiz and some glorious art.

The weather has finally cooled out a bit here in Portland, finally…

I am hoping for some pictures and commentary on the SheShamans Conference. If you have a story, pics .. please let me know.

Happy Hump Day!



On The Menu:

The Links

The Silent Temple

Just Go To Sleep

The Poetry of Hafiz…

Terence McKenna: Evolution Now

The Art is by: Frederick Arthur Bridgman

Biography: Tuskegee, Alabama, 1847 – Rouen, France, 1928

Frederick Bridgman was born in Alabama, the son of an itinerant doctor from Massachusetts. His father died when Frederick was only three years old and, sensing the north-south tensions prior to the Civil War, his mother decided to return with her two sons to Boston in the north. However they soon moved to New York where Frederick, already showing artistic talent, joined the American Banknote Company as an apprentice engraver. But in spite of his progress and the opportunities for rapid promotion, he preferred to dedicate his time to painting, taking evening drawing classes first at the Brooklyn Art Association, then at the National Academy of Design. It is recounted that he even rose at 4 o’clock every morning to paint before going to work.

Bridgman’s studies soon produced results and in 1865 and again in 1866 he exhibited works at the Brooklyn Art Association. Encouraged by his success he gave up his job and in 1866, with the sponsorship of a group of Brooklyn businessmen, set out for Paris. However he soon found himself in Pont-Avent, the small village in Brittany which was home to an American artist colony under the charismatic leadership of Robert Wylie (1839-1877) who painted dramatic rural landscapes. He stayed there for two summers, thinking also of becoming a landscape painter like Wylie.

In the autumn of 1866 Bridgman joined the atelier of Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris. But entry was not easy since, officially, the ateliers of the École des Beaux-Arts were all full. His friend the painter Thomas Eakins went to great lengths pulling strings to enable entry of a group of American students, amongst whom were Eakins himself, Earl Shinn, the future Orientalist Harry Humphrey Moore, and Bridgman. He remained there for four years, spending his summers at Pont-Aven with Wylie.

Bridgman was soon exhibiting at the Paris Salons and his A Provincial Circus had much success at the Salon of 1870, so much so that he then sent it to America for exhibition at the Brooklyn Art Association. At this time he also had one of his canvases engraved for reproduction in the journal Le Monde Illustré and began to sell some of his work to the dealer Goupil, Gérome’s father-in-law.

He spent the period of the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune painting rural scenes in Pont-Aven and in Spain. The winter of 1872-3 he spent in Spain and North Africa accompanied by an unknown English painter friend. Starting first in Tangiers, which he found picturesque but was apalled by the poverty, they quickly moved on, first by boat to Oran, then by train to Algeria – a country he found more conducive. There they lodged at a hotel in Biskra whilst renting an atelier in the poor quarter. In the evenings they sampled the local nightlife and their afternoons they spent exploring the surrounding villages and oases on horseback. Here they found the local colour they were looking for – the crowds in the markets, the belly-dancers, even witnessing a fencing duel between two soldiers of the Biskra regiment. While there Bridgman worked assiduously, returning to Paris in the spring of 1873 with numerous painted canvases, oil sketches, pencil and ink drawings, together with some costumes and accessories he had used in his atelier.

The favourable response to his Algerian scenes in Paris led him to plan another visit to North Africa the following winter. Accompanying him this time was Charles Sprague Pearce, a student of Bonnat, whom he had met in the south of France the previous winter. Arriving in Cairo in December 1873, they worked in the city producing numerous sketches of the Islamic monuments, but also the street life, which was Bridgman’s main inspiration. Then, encouraged by an enthusiastic English couple they had met at the opera, they set off to travel up the Nile, a journey lasting three-and-a-half months. They sailed as far as the Second Cataract and visited Abu-Simbel. Bridgman brought back to Paris over three hundred sketches and studies and yet more studio accessories.

In Paris he rented an atelier in the same building as Pearce and another American, E H Blashfield. There he commenced painting several ambitious reconstructions of antique Egyptian life, seeming to have forgotten his original ambition of being a landscape artist of the Bretan or Algerian countryside! The first, The Mummy’s Funeral, was exhibited at the Salon of 1877 and was remarkably successful, becoming an exhibition favourite. It was engraved, copied and finally bought by the proprietor of the New York Herald, James Gordon Bennett. His reputation then made, he married a young heiress from Boston, Florence Mott Baker.

The peak of his career probably came with the mounting of a personal exhibition displaying over three hundred of his works at the American Art Gallery, the major innovation of this exhibition being the inclusion of a large number of his sketches besides the usual new paintings and prints of older works. His work was highly praised not only for the variety of subjects but also the fine quality of their execution, their frankness, fidelity, freshness and beauty. Following this success, Bridgman was elected a member of the National Academy of Design.

In the winter of 1885-6, Bridgman returned to Algiers with his wife, not just to work but because of his wife’s failing health (she was showing signs of a hereditary neurological illness) – the climate there was much kinder and life more peaceful. However he could also return to his favourite compositional subject – daily Algerian life. He lodged his wife and family at a hotel and obtained for himself the services of a guide, Belkassem, who found him a place to work in the Casbah. It was the tiny home of a widow called Baia who lived there with her seven year old daughter, Zohr. He worked from a shady corner of their terrace from which vantage point he could paint both domestic scenes and daily life on the street. He became a good friend of the family and carried on a correspondence with Baia long after his return to France.

In 1888 Bridgman published a long fully illustrated account of his stay in Algiers in Harper’s Monthly Magazine. It was taken from his larger, more complete publication of the same year entitled Winters in Algiers which also described his previous stays in the city and which was sumptuously illustrated with wood engravings of his drawings and paintings.

The next decade was a period of uninterrupted success. He was honoured with having five works displayed at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris. The following year a personal exhibition, similar to that of 1881, of about 400 of his pictures took place at Fifth Avenue Galleries in New York. When it moved on to Chicago it contained less than a hundred of these works – evidence of significant sales, enabling him to significantly expand his Parisian home on the Boulevard Malesherbes. Its extravagant decor in classical and oriental style led the artist John Singer Sargent to say that it was one of the two sights worth visiting Paris to see; the other being the Eiffel tower!

There he continued to paint even more exotic North African scenes. However, feeling a need for new subject matter, he later made an attempt at a symbolist style, even turning to society portraiture, and then, in the 1890′s, returning to historical and biblical themes just like his mentor Gérôme. But non of this later work was as successful as his Orientalist compositions of the previous decade.

In 1901 Bridgman’s wife, Florence, finally succumbed to her lengthy illness and died. Three years after this he married again, at the age of 54, to Marthe Yaeger. The marriage was to be long and happy.

In 1907 he bacame an Officer of the French Legion of Honour. However after the First World War, his popularity declined and he moved out of Paris to Lyons-la-Forêt in Normandy where, although continuing to paint, he died in 1928 almost forgotten by his former admiring public.

Along with his fellow-countryman Edwin Lord Weeks, Frederick Arthur Bridgman is considered to be one of the doyens of the American Orientalist school.


The Links

UN Criticises British Decision to Downgrade Cannabis

Excellent Commentary…!@

‘Peter Pan’ copyright holder objects to erotic Wendy books

Animatronic Flesh Shoe [2004 – 2005]


prototype VOCODER of german 70´s Electronic Pioneers


The Silent Temple

Shoichi was a one-eyed teacher of Zen, sparkling with enlightenment. He taught his disciples in Tofuku temple.

Day and night the whole temple stood in silence. There was no sound at all.

Even the reciting of sutras was abolished by the teacher. His pupils had nothing to do but meditate.

When the master passed away, an old neighbor heard the ringing of bells and the recitation of sutras. Then she knew Shoichi had gone.


<img width='305' height='400' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.earthrites.org/turfing2/uploads/08620Bridgman20J207.jpg' alt='' /


Just Go To Sleep

Gasan was sitting at the bedside of Tekisui three days before his teacher’s passing. Tekisui had already chosen him as his successor.

A temple recently had burned and Gasan was busy rebuilding the structure. Tekisui asked him: “What are you going to do when you get the temple rebuilt?”

“When your sickness is over we want you to speak there,” said Gasan.

“Suppose I do not live until then?”

“Then we will get someone else,” replied Gasan.

“Suppose you cannot find anyone?” continued Tekisui.

Gasan answered loudly: “Don’t ask such foolish questions. Just go to sleep.”



The Poetry of Hafiz…



SLEEP on thine eyes, bright as narcissus flowers,

Falls not in vain

And not in vain thy hair’s soft radiance showers

Ah, not in vain!

Before the milk upon thy lips was dry,

I said: “Lips where the salt of wit doth lie,

Sweets shall be mingled with thy mockery,

And not in vain!”

Thy mouth the fountain where Life’s waters flow,

A dimpled well of tears is set below,

And death lies near to life thy lovers know,

But know in vain!

God send to thee great length of happy days

Lo, not for his own life thy servant prays;

Love’s dart in thy bent brows the Archer lays,

Nor shoots in vain.

Art thou with grief afflicted, with the smart

Of absence, and is bitter toil thy part?

Thy lamentations and thy tears, oh Heart,

Are not in vain

Last night the wind from out her village blew,

And wandered all the garden alleys through,

Oh rose, tearing thy bosom’s robe in two;

‘Twas not in vain!

And Hafiz, though thy heart within thee dies,

Hiding love’s agony from curious eyes,

Ah, not in vain thy tears, not vain thy sighs,

Not all in vain



OH Turkish maid of Shiraz! in thy hand

If thou’lt take my heart, for the mole on thy cheek

I would barter Bokhara and Samarkand.

Bring, Cup-bearer, all that is left of thy wine!

In the Garden of Paradise vainly thou’lt seek

The lip of the fountain of Ruknabad,

And the bowers of Mosalla where roses twine.

They have filled the city with blood and broil,

Those soft-voiced Lulis for whom we sigh;

As Turkish robbers fall on the spoil,

They have robbed and plundered the peace of my heart.

Dowered is my mistress, a beggar am I;

What shall I bring her? a beautiful face

Needs nor jewel nor mole nor the tiring-maid’s art.

Brave tales of singers and wine relate,

The key to the Hidden ’twere vain to seek;

No wisdom of ours has unlocked that gate,

And locked to our wisdom it still shall be.

But of Joseph’s beauty the lute shall speak;

And the minstrel knows that Zuleika came forth,

Love parting the curtains of modesty.

When thou spokest ill of thy servant ’twas well–

God pardon thee! for thy words were sweet;

Not unwelcomed the bitterest answer fell

From lips where the ruby and sugar lay.

But, fair Love, let good counsel direct thy feet;

Far dearer to youth than dear life itself

Are the warnings of one grown wise–and grey!

The song is sung and the pearl is strung

Come hither, oh Hafiz, and sing again!

And the listening Heavens above thee hung

Shall loose o’er thy verse the Pleiades’ chain.



A FLOWER-TINTED cheek, the flowery close

Of the fair earth, these are enough for me

Enough that in the meadow wanes and grows

The shadow of a graceful cypress-tree.

I am no lover of hypocrisy;

Of all the treasures that the earth can boast,

A brimming cup of wine I prize the most–

This is enough for me!

To them that here renowned for virtue live,

A heavenly palace is the meet reward;

To me, the drunkard and the beggar, give

The temple of the grape with red wine stored!

Beside a river seat thee on the sward;

It floweth past-so flows thy life away,

So sweetly, swiftly, fleets our little day–

Swift, but enough for me!

Look upon all the gold in the world’s mart,

On all the tears the world hath shed in vain

Shall they not satisfy thy craving heart?

I have enough of loss, enough of gain;

I have my Love, what more can I obtain?

Mine is the joy of her companionship

Whose healing lip is laid upon my lip–

This is enough for me!

I pray thee send not forth my naked soul

From its poor house to seek for Paradise

Though heaven and earth before me God unroll,

Back to thy village still my spirit flies.

And, Hafiz, at the door of Kismet lies

No just complaint-a mind like water clear,

A song that swells and dies upon the ear,

These are enough for thee!


Terence McKenna: Evolution Now

“DMT is a pseudo-neurotransmitter that when ingested and allowed to come to rest in the synapses of the brain, allows one to see sound, so that one can use the voice to produce not musical compositions, but pictoral and visual compositions. This, to my mind, indicates that we’re on the cusp of some kind of evolutionary transition in the language-forming area, so that we are going to go from a language that is heard to a language that is seen, through a shift in interior processing. The language will still be made of sound but it will be processed as the carrier of the visual impression. This is actually being done by shamans in the Amazon. The songs they sing sound as they do in order to look a certain way. They are not musical compositions as we’re used to thinking of them. They are pictoral art that is caused by audio signals.”


Talk Soon!


Monday Night Catch All….

(Luke Brown – Baphomet detail)

Think of this entry as a poem of various elements… from the words, to the pictures to the flow of it all.

A very warm day again. Melting. I am challenged by the heat, being by nature happiest in spring and fall.

Took the dog out for a walk, she was panting in a block or so… Rowan was with me. A hot wind, sirens in the distance (Is it the 4th yet?) and almost pitch dark in some areas. This is the kind of heat we get in August and September, but not June. Odd how it is changing so fast. I read today that Mr. Bush is now concerned about Global Warming. What a bright spot in our world, the Glorious Leader. A bit late, eh?


On The Menu

The Links

A Meditation on our Mortality: Terence McKenna on Death

A Bit of Zen:Time to Die

Article: Tlazolteotl, the Filth Eater

Poetry: The Teachings of Hafiz…

A Final Note: Terence McKenna on The Perversion of Language…

A mashup of an entry, but I think enjoyable.




The Links

Band’s latest release: Blank discs/ The Residents of Course…

The Deadwood Drive

Clowns Sabotage Nuke Missile

The ‘fairy door’ phenomenon


Terence McKenna on Death:

“Everything is a blessing and everything comes as a gift. And I don’t regret anything about the situation I find myself in. If psychedelics don’t ready you for the great beyond, then I don’t know what really does. And we’re all under sentence of ‘moving up’ at some point in our lives.

I have an absolute faith that the universe prefers joy and distills us with joy. That is what religion is trying to download to us, and this is what every moment of life is trying to do-if we can open to it. And we psychedelic people, if we could secure that death has no sting, we would have done the greatest service to suffering intelligence that can be done.

And I feel that death is close, and I feel strong because of this (psychedelic) community and these people and plants that it rests on, and the ancient practices that it rests on, and I am full of hope, not only for my own small problems, but for humanity in general.”


Time to Die

Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique. Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him. When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: “Why do people have to die?”

“This is natural,” explained the older man. “Everything has to die and has just so long to live.”

Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added: “It was time for your cup to die.”


Tlazolteotl, the Filth Eater

The ancient Aztecs of central Mexico appear to have been extremely puritanical towards sex and, for that matter, towards women in general. Aztec (or more properly, Mexica) society was a male-dominated warrior aristocracy, and according to the no-doubt somewhat biased Roman Catholic monks who collected the sole first-person accounts of Mexica life, women played almost no role in government and civil matters.

However, recognition of the undeniable power and mystery of the female was not absent in a people who worshipped more than 1600 separate deities. Ometeotl, the supreme creator in the Mesoamerican pantheon, in fact, possessed a dual nature—both male and female—and it was the constant tension within this dualistic concept that gave birth to all the other gods and goddesses, as well as everything and everyone in the Aztec world.

As in all primitive societies, the Aztecs also worshipped a goddess we may certainly call the Earth Mother. Terrifying yet alluring, bountiful and omni-present, the complex and contradictory ideas of birth and death, healing, romance and regeneration were encompassed by an amalgam of female deities that were all considered aspects of the eternal female. Tonantzin (“Our Holy Mother”) was literally The Earth, from which issued forth food in the form of the Aztec staple, maize. Toci (“Our Grandmother”) was the great healer who attended the infirm. Yohualticitl was the “The Midwife of the Night.” Mictecacihuatl was “The Lady of the Dead” who presided over Mictlan, the Land of the Dead, with her consort Mictlantecuhtli. Coatlicue (“She of the Serpent Skirt”) symbolized fecundity as well as death and regeneration. In spite of giving birth to both the fire god and the moon goddess and the stars as well as over 400 sons (20 times 20—to the Aztec mind, innumerable), Coatlicue was considered by the Aztecs to be a virgin (a strong plea for the concept of duality) and was extremely interesting therefore to the Catholic Conquistadors, who tended to compare her to the Virgin Mary.

And then of course there is Xochiquetzal (shak i KAY tsal), the flower queen, who is most reminiscent of Venus or Eve, a beautiful creature said to be the lover of Quetzalcoatl who was also the mother of twins (remember, Aztec duality) and the patroness of pregnancy and childbirth.

But the aspect of femininity, I believe, that is most revealing of the Aztec attitude towards sexuality and the role of woman in society must be Tlazolteotl (tla sol TE otl), “the Filth Eater.”

Here is woman as hag, as harridan, as primordial witch capable of both bringing insanity (through venereal disease) and curing it (with medicine), of inspiring sexual misconduct and, not so surprisingly, absolving it. Tlazolteotl is both the earth mother and goddess of fertility, the patron of physicians and the cruel, disease-bringing goddess of insanity.

In the extant Aztec (or more properly Mexica) codices, Tlazolteotl the Filth Eater is portrayed in the squatting position Aztec women used to give birth, often defecating unceremoniously. Excrement was symbolic of sexual lust for the Aztecs, and one may imagine with what vigor the Spanish monks of the New World examined this original concept.

Perhaps mirroring Mexica amazement at the protean nature of femininity, Tlazolteotl was considered an aspect of the moon and thus had four phases of existence: first as brilliant adolescent, cruel, unreliable, and yet absolutely delightful; then as young woman, sensual and adventuresome, though of dubious morality. It was in her third phase (corresponding perhaps also to menstruation and childbirth) that the witch goddess was able to absorb the evils committed by mankind and purify the soul IF the sinner had made a proper and honest confession to a priest. The confession, however, could only be made once, so it was usually late in life—beyond the years of sexual temptation—that a man sought redemption from the priest of Tlazolteotl. This aspect of the goddess also gave blessings to married life and apparently brought peace and fertility to the home. The third, forgiving, phase was comparatively short-lived and it was inevitably replaced by the monstrous disease-ridden creature who destroyed her lovers, stole wealth, and punished sexual excess.

The Aztecs evolved one of their more sinister customs in the name of Tlazolteotl: they forced girls into service as prostitutes in the barracks of young soldiers still in training. After they had been sufficiently “soiled” they were killed and their bodies were dumped unceremoniously into the marshes of Lake Texcoco where they became food for the birds, who of course aspired to the heavens.

It has been posited that Tlazolteotl represented a sort of Freudian fear of femininity in this extremely male-dominated society, as if—somewhere in the back of their minds— Aztec men dreaded the havoc their wives and sisters might wreak if they ever overcame their subservient roles in the culture. Their dualistic minds evolved a goddess both life-giving and cruel, the bringer of insanity yet provider of forgiveness.

One thing is certain: if Aztec thought can be understood only in terms of duality, an incapacity to reason in singularities, the multi-faceted aspects of Tlazolteotl stand as an important synthesis by ancient man (and woman): the collective Aztec mind related such disparate facts as birth, evolution, death, resurrection, water, plants, woman, and fertility to the moon.

And then they called it god.

The dust and the garbage

The works of the flesh

Were caused by Tlazolteotl,

She light them.

Tlazolteotl fomented them

And only she discharged.

She purified, she relieved

She washed, She bathed.

—The Codex Vaticanus B, Vatican Library, Rome


Teachings of Hafiz


ARISE, oh Cup-bearer, rise! and bring

To lips that are thirsting the bowl they praise,

For it seemed that love was an easy thing,

But my feet have fallen on difficult ways.

I have prayed the wind o’er my heart to fling

The fragrance of musk in her hair that sleeps

In the night of her hair-yet no fragrance stays

The tears of my heart’s blood my sad heart weeps.

Hear the Tavern-keeper who counsels you:

“With wine, with red wine your prayer carpet dye!”

There was never a traveller like him but knew

The ways of the road and the hostelry.

Where shall I rest, when the still night through,

Beyond thy gateway, oh Heart of my heart,

The bells of the camels lament and cry:

“Bind up thy burden again and depart!”

The waves run high, night is clouded with fears,

And eddying whirlpools clash and roar;

How shall my drowning voice strike their ears

Whose light-freighted vessels have reached the shore?

I sought mine own; the unsparing years

Have brought me mine own, a dishonoured name.

What cloak shall cover my misery o’er

When each jesting mouth has rehearsed my shame!

Oh Hafiz, seeking an end to strife,

Hold fast in thy mind what the wise have writ:

“If at last thou attain the desire of thy life,

Cast the world aside, yea, abandon it!”


THE bird of gardens sang unto the rose,

New blown in the clear dawn: “Bow down thy head!

As fair as thou within this garden close,

Many have bloomed and died.” She laughed and said

“That I am born to fade grieves not my heart

But never was it a true lover’s part

To vex with bitter words his love’s repose.”

The tavern step shall be thy hostelry,

For Love’s diviner breath comes but to those

That suppliant on the dusty threshold lie.

And thou, if thou would’st drink the wine that flows

From Life’s bejewelled goblet, ruby red,

Upon thine eyelashes thine eyes shall thread

A thousand tears for this temerity.

Last night when Irem’s magic garden slept,

Stirring the hyacinth’s purple tresses curled,

The wind of morning through the alleys stept.

“Where is thy cup, the mirror of the world?

Ah, where is Love, thou Throne of Djem?” I cried.

The breezes knew not; but “Alas,” they sighed,

“That happiness should sleep so long!” and wept.

Not on the lips of men Love’s secret lies,

Remote and unrevealed his dwelling-place.

Oh Saki, come! the idle laughter dies

When thou the feast with heavenly wine dost grace.

Patience and wisdom, Hafiz, in a sea

Of thine own tears are drowned; thy misery

They could not still nor hide from curious eyes.


WIND from the east, oh Lapwing of the day,

I send thee to my Lady, though the way

Is far to Saba, where I bid thee fly;

Lest in the dust thy tameless wings should lie,

Broken with grief, I send thee to thy nest,


Or far or near there is no halting-place

Upon Love’s road-absent, I see thy face,

And in thine car my wind-blown greetings sound,

North winds and east waft them where they are bound,

Each morn and eve convoys of greeting fair

I send to thee.

Unto mine eyes a stranger, thou that art

A comrade ever-present to my heart,

What whispered prayers and what full meed of praise

I send to thee.

Lest Sorrow’s army waste thy heart’s domain,

I send my life to bring thee peace again,

Dear life thy ransom! From thy singers learn

How one that longs for thee may weep and bum

Sonnets and broken words, sweet notes and songs

I send to thee.

Give me the cup! a voice rings in mine cars

Crying: “Bear patiently the bitter years!

For all thine ills, I send thee heavenly grace.

God the Creator mirrored in thy face

Thine eyes shall see, God’s image in the glass

I send to thee.

Hafiz, thy praise alone my comrades sing;

Hasten to us, thou that art sorrowing!

A robe of honour and a harnessed steed

I send to thee.”


and in passing:

Terence McKenna on the Perversion of Language

“I can’t preach Scientism cause I don’t believe it. I can’t preach Buddhism cause I can’t understand it. The only thing I can preach is the felt presence of immediate experience which for me came through the psychedelics, which are not drugs but plants. It’s a perversion of language to try to derail this thing into talk of drugs. There are spirits in the natural world that come to us in this way and so far as I can tell this is the only way that they come to us that is rapid enough for it to have an impact upon us as a global population.”

Ska Pastora – In Her Presence….

Hot as all get out in Portland in the 100F levels… ack.

A big congratulation to Diane Darling for her SheShamans Conference held this weekend in Geyserville California. I hear it was a success and went well surmounting all the challenges of launching a new project.

Diane Darling has been at the center of the Maelstrom of change and evolution in Northern California for quite awhile, often working quietly in the background, subverting the Post Dominant Paradigm with Acts of Intelligence, Beauty, and Love.

A big kiss out to her and all those who pulled this conference off! Good one Diane.

This edition deals mainly with Ska Pastora, or as some know her, Salvia Divinorum. She is a wily, wild one always willing to drop you into the deep abyss, and carry on a dialog as well…

This edition is dedicated to my Girls out in the garden. I promise to spritz you in the morning and afternoon, really I do.

Have a Wonderful Monday,


On The Menu:

On The Soul – Plato

The Links

Excerpt: Psychedelics Are The Grease On The Wheels Of Eternity…. (Gwyllm)

Ska Pastora -Poems in Her Honour…

A group poetry effort from the Earth Rites Community.

All Art: Luke Brown….


“Since, then, the soul is immortal and has been born many times, since it has seen all things both in this world and in the other, there is nothing it has not learnt. No wonder, then, that it is able to recall to mind goodness and other things, for it knew them beforehand. For, as all reality is akin and the soul has learnt all things, there is nothing to prevent a man who has recalled – or, as people say, learnt’ – only one thing from discovering all the rest for himself, if he will pursue the search with unwearying resolution. For on this showing all inquiry or learning is nothing but recollection.”


Anamnesis (Greek) [from ana back again + mimnesco remember] Recollection; used by Plato in his theory of knowledge. He taught that the human elements of consciousness sprang from seeds of inherent knowledge in the soul, present in the mind as the result of past experiences of the egoic center or reincarnating ego. Thus the acquisition of knowledge is a process of reminiscence or recollection of former experiences.


The Links:

Girl of the Century

Candidate for Psychedelic Therapy…

The Uncanny Valley


Psychedelics Are The Grease On The Wheels Of Eternity…. (Gwyllm)

Psychedelics are the grease on the wheels of eternity, facilitating the move from form to form, by bringing all into a certain mindfulness.

These sacred substances, like us, are made up of light, flowing endlessly through all that is. They partake of the eternal, crystallized elements that refract and reflect the glory of beingness.

Psychedelics are devices that trigger the memory of what our true bodies are: vessels of eternity that we delight in if we allow flow to happen. These devices are not blind blundering mechanics, but discreet, intelligent agents, that can tune and manipulate aspects of our spirits and corporeal selves for our betterment.


Ska Pastora -Poems in Her Honour…

A group poetry effort from the Earth Rites Community. We hope you enjoy!


INTRODUCTION: This is a piece I’ve already shared with several folks who were with me at the 1999 Breitenbush Salvia conference, some of whom also shared the session the poem refers to. The piece came to me spontaneously when I returned to my cabin after a session in the sanctuary in which we shared Sage Goddess Emerald Essence. I did not ‘craft’ it; it came to me into my journal as you read it now in one fell swoop or even more as one ‘swell foop.’

Our group had started out as just six of us but—as these things go— inexplicably and inextricably—grew to a dozen. Also, I approached the invitation to join with my two inner voices in conflict; and rather

than follow my usual dictum, ‘when in doubt, don’t,’ I went ahead. One voice, my lefthand dark guardian Azazel, said: ‘do it, Will; you’ve spent all your money here so you won’t have a chance to sample it otherwise until a couple weeks after you return home and send to Daniel for it!’ The other voice, Lee my righthand angel of light, said: ‘you will know when it is best for you to partake; it is not now, in this strange place among strangers, even with these friendly strangers!’

We formed our circle, introduced ourselves, stating how strong a dose we would take and sharing our intentions. I had decided on 3 undiluted droppersful, a moderate dose; some were going to have one or two dropper loads, many were going to dilute the liquid—about as strong as everclear—with hot water. Most people stated a respectful and respectable intention; I perhaps foolishly thought mine equally

appropriate: ‘you have shown me, Ska Pastora, what you have to show on other occasions when

I have chewed or smoked you; show me now your power in this form.’ Then, when we were passing the bottle and dropper, on the third round a bit dribbled down my lip, so I decided to squirt a fourth load in,

not consciously realizing that this would nudge my dose into the strong category.

We had decided to douse the lights when we were done with the circle work. As you will see below, I was unprepared for the suddenness and strength of the trip I was now on. But then, like some other intrepid psychedelic explorers, let alone the sorcerer’s apprentice, I have at other times over the past 35 years or so found myself beyond the M.C. Escher beyond as I begin the entheogenic beguine.


she will not suffer fools

i knew that

waiting at her gate

it was not my time

but wanton desire beckoned

almost roared

so i let myself be blinded

even though the snow was melting

so it wasn’t that

even though the circle was imperfect

but it wasn’t that

even though i’d heard no call

so it was that

so when i communed with her

in that refuge from the snow

darkness descended before i knew it

walls folded impossibly outwardly in

escaping voices twisted away

i lay alone in the desacrated temple

its heaving walls an unfunhouse ride

she would not suffer fools

i reached up to broken shards

then down to a vagrant pillow

broken slants of light

more distant muffled sighs

all was riven now

perhaps never whole

i knew not how i’d come

to this crazy house

i must go out

if there were an out

rolling over i found a wall

then the broken sharp things again

then—somehow not surprisingly—

a berber carpet under me

i rolled some more

hands fumbled on an edge

reached down

a stair


i dragged my belly my knees

came almost head over heals

(head over heals?)

boarding down the stairs

arms and legs my wheels

but she stopped me—

no, not SHE, but just she—

and asked me where i was going

‘oh, someone’s here!’


come back

i crawled back in the dark

back into the broken temple

less broken now

but no less desacralized

‘ouch! you’re stepping on me!’

the stepping stopped

sorry! came a distant sigh

as light and sanity blinked on

we all held our breath for both

i glimpsed the menacing shards

merely seashells along the wall

we gradually told our stories—

those who desired—

lawnmower man his

green goddess lady hers

one had disappeared

another stayed grimly silent

a hand over his face

we chatted we laughed we humans

but it was never right

foolish wanton deed

but it was done—good to go



Salvia – Victoria

May as well leave your gentle white faced god asleep at home,

Your green loving goddess snoozing in a tree.

Come naked, come empty.

If you’re looking for something more cosy,

a soft kiss is perhap more advisable.

We’re gonna shake your hand, and forget to let go for a while.

We’re gonna whisper sweet everything’s in your ear.

And scour you down at the gate…all the way down to your secrets.

Sometimes the leaves can get a bit thorny you know.

This won’t hurt a bit.


We’re gonna blow you up like a balloon, but that is what you asked for.

My brain shifts uncomfortably in it’s chair.

It knows it has to go.

It stomps out of the room,

Ha, they laugh, I wonder if it will come crawling back this time?

Sure, I mutter, it has an old habit of creating itself.

So, poised, I seek the fine ritual magick,

only to end up sprawled inelegantly, grinning.

Being whispered away by a dream called reality.

What was so funny? I don’t think I remember.

It was rare and elemental, words don’t suffice.


Salvia Odyssey – —Sage Student

A small bitter ball of midnight-black wax,

Smelling of tea, and time’s passing,

And fey sorcery.

Lights out. I lie down in bed.

It’s like getting ready for sleep

Yet beside me are a bowl and towel.

I chew the wax.

A little something

Sparkles in the darkness.

The wax is dissolving,

The universe is fragmenting.

Into green patterns.

Fractal, complex.

No joy. No fear.


Become the still point.

Lash myself to the mast

Of stillness



Consciousness persists.


Hold breath to increase effect.

And fractal lights bloom.

Many people.

Many places.

My name is legion.

Many times.

A bar in Dublin, near the water.

Ulysses? Joyce?

No and Yes.

A pioneer wagon

crossing the icy Missouri.

Become not one person.

But a family amid

Cold brown in-pouring waters.

Dying consciousness falls

Into an infolding green flower.

Petals closing inwards.

Falling into a black hole.

Within whose event horizon

Is neither death, nor time.

Losing self who becomes the universe?

Dying was nothing at all.

Death is being everything.

Something urgent.

A need to spit. Spitting

Wiping a mouth with a towel

I feel a face pushing into a bowl.

I feel a bowl pushing into a face.

I have a face! A face!

The Zen master asked

“What was your original face

before you were conceived?”

Besaged laughter,

the koan makes sense.

All has always been.

Awareness crystallizes,

Out of a cooling magma,

One crystal choosing to be me.

I know my name.

Jump out of bed.


Get into the hot tub,

Soaking up heat.

Soaking up life.

Lazarus returning.

Orpheus returning.

Odysseus returning.

Is that Argus barking?

No! It’s real.

My dogs are barking.

I give them dog biscuits.

Trip’s over.

I’m back.


Salvia divinorum Anagram Poem — Sage Student

Vivid Mana roil us,

Livid savior man?

Avoid rival. I’m Sun!

Amoral vivid in us?

A moral vivid in us,

Survival an idiom.

Vivid airman soul,

Mad via lion virus,

Land via ovum iris.

Visual or via mind?

In so vivid a mural,

I’m no survival aid.

—Sage Student


Salvia – Tomas

I’ve been twirled

I’ve been spun

And stretched just

like human gum

Pulled through a gossamer vale

extruded like six penny nails

watched it twirling through a hole

in a wall and then I saw

these floating balls

nothing left, not even space

until I looked around the place

and suddenly it all appeared

where it all went was never clear….


I am a node – Gwyllm

I am a node on a multinodal plant,

that dreams it is a part of

something called humanity…

I dream of dreamers dreaming dreams…

Thought dancing as waves of light,

molecules hallucinating solid states…

The illusion is full

and never abates….

I am a node on multinodal chain…

Into The Pyrenees… Weekend Turfing

Welcome to the weekend edition of Turfing… for this edition, we are heading to the Pyrenees, for some time in Basque Country…

Hot days here in Portland, muggy as well. Helped our friends move some more this morning (Saturday) Sad seeing them leave their home of 10 years. We lived there for 2 years before they moved in. Great art, parties, and watching Rowan grow to 5 there was nice.

Tom and Cheryl (our friends) are on their way in the fall to Sedona. Tom as I may have mentioned before has been a close friend since 1969. Seems everyone is bailing out from Portland in our crowd… but we stay on until Rowan is out of school. I would like to stay here, but Portugal seems like a good option in many ways. The next election cycle will play a part in my decision for residency…

On The Menu:

The Links

Tales From The Basque: ERRUA, THE MADMAN

Basque Poetry: Ancient Tongues…

Have an excellent time this weekend…



The Links:

Fly Air Torture…

The Strange Meter Just Went Off The Scale…

Ann Coulter, Deadhead…

Ancient Jewelry…

Dancing with the moon goddess in Callanish


Tales From The Basque: ERRUA, THE MADMAN

Like many others in the world, there was a man and woman who had a. son. He was very wicked, and did nothing but mischief, and was of a thoroughly depraved disposition. The parents decided that they must send him away, and the lad was quite willing to set off.

He set out then, and goes far, far, far away. He comes to a city, and asks if they want a servant. They wanted one in a (certain) house. He goes there. They settle their terms at so much a month, and that the one who is not satisfied should strip the skin off the other’s back.

The master sends his servant to the forest to get the most crooked pieces of wood that he can find. Near the forest there was a vineyard. What does the servant do but cut it all up, and carries it to the house. The master asks him where the wood is. He shows him the vine-wood cut up. The master said nothing to him, but he was not pleased.

Next day the master says to him, “Take the cows to such a field, and don’t break any hole in the fence.”

What does the lad do? He cuts all the cows into little pieces, and throws them bit by bit into the field. The master was still more angry; but he could not say anything, for fear of having his skin stripped off. So what does he do? He buys a herd of pigs, and sends his servant to the mountain with the herd.

The master knew quite well that there was a Tartaro in this mountain, but he sends him there all the same.

Our madman goes walking on, on, on. He arrives at a little hut. The Tartaro’s house was quite close to his. The Pigs of the Tartaro and those of the madman used to go out together. The Tartaro said one day to him–

“Will you make a wager as to who will throw a stone farthest?”

He accepted the wager. That evening our madman was very sad. While he was at his prayers, an old woman appeared to him, and asks him–

“What is the matter with you? Why are you so sad?”

He tells her the wager that he has made with the Tartaro. The old woman says to him–

“If it is only that, it is nothing,”

And so she gives him a bird, and says to him–

“Instead of a stone, throw this bird.”

The madman was very glad at this. The next day he does as the old woman told him. The Tartaro’s stone went enormously far, but at last it fell; but the madman’s bird never came down at all.

The Tartaro was astonished that he had lost his wager, and they make another–which of the two should throw a bar of iron the farthest. The madman accepted again. He was in his little house sadly in prayer. The old woman appears again. She asks him–

“What’s the matter with you?”

“I have made a wager again, which of the two will throw the bar of iron the farthest, and I am very sorry.”

“If it is only that, it is nothing. When you take hold of the bar of iron, say, ‘Rise up, bar of iron, here and Salamanca.’” (Altchaala palenka, hemen eta Salamanka.)

Next day the Tartaro takes his terrible bar of iron, and throws it fearfully far. The young man could hardly lift up one end, and he says–

“Rise up, bar of iron, here and Salamanca.”

When the Tartaro heard that (he cried out)–

“I give up the wager–you have won,” and he takes the bar of iron away from him. “My father and my mother live at Salamanca; don’t throw, I beg of you, I implore you–you will crush them.”

Our madman goes away very happy.

The Tartaro says to him again:

“I will pull up the biggest oak in the forest, and you pull up another.”

He says, “Yes.” And the later it grew in the day, the sadder he became. He was at his prayers. The old woman comes to him again, and says to him–

“What’s the matter with you?”

He tells her the wager he has made with the Tartaro, and how he will pull up an oak. The old woman gives him three balls of thread, and tells him to begin and tie them to all the oaks in the forest.

Next day the Tartaro pulls up his oak, an enormously, enormously big one; and the madman begins to tie, and to tie, and to tie.

The Tartaro asks him:

“What are you doing that for?”

“You (pulled up) one, but I all these.”

The Tartaro replies,

“No! No! No! What shall I do to fatten my pigs with without acorns? You have won; you have won the wager.”

The Tartaro did not know what to think about it, and saw that he had found one cleverer than himself, and so he asks him if he will come and spend the night at his house.

The madman says, “Yes.”

He goes to bed then with the Tartaro. But he knew that there was a dead man under the bed. When the Tartaro was asleep what does the madman do? He places the dead man by the Tartaro’s side, and gets under the bed himself. In the middle of the night the Tartaro gets up, and takes his terrible bar of iron and showers blows upon blows, ping pan, ping pan, as long and as hard as he could give them.

The Tartaro gets up as usual, and goes to see his pigs, and the madman also comes out from under the bed; and he goes to see the pigs too. The Tartaro is quite astounded to see him coming, and does not know what to think of it. He says to himself that he has to do with a cleverer than he; but he asks him if he has slept well.

He answers, “Yes, very well; only I felt a few flea-bites.”

Their pigs had got mixed, and as they were fat, he had to separate them in order to go away with his. The Tartaro asked the madman what mark his pigs had.

The madman says to him, “Mine have some of them one mark, some of them two marks.”

They set to work to look at them, and they all had these same marks.

Our madman goes off then with all the hogs. He goes walking on, on, on, with all his pigs. He comes to a town where it was just market day, and sells them all except two, keeping, however, all the tails, which he put in his pockets. As you may think, he was always in fear of the Tartaro. He sees him coming down from the mountain. He kills one of his hogs, and puts the entrails in his own bosom under his waistcoat. There was a group of men near the road. As he passed them he took out his knife, and stabs it into his chest, and takes out the pig’s bowels, and our mad man begins to run very much faster than before, with his pig in front of him.

When the Tartaro comes up to these men, he asks if they have seen such a man.

“Yes, yes, he was running fast, and in order to go faster just here he stabbed himself, and threw away his bowels, and still he went on all the faster.” The Tartaro, too, in order to go faster, thrusts his knife into his body, and falls stark dead.

The madman goes to his master’s. Near the house there was a marsh quite full of mud. He puts his live pig into it, and all the tails too. He enters the house, and says to the master that he is there with his pigs. The master is astounded to see him.

He asks him, “Where are the pigs, then?”

He says to him, “They have gone into the mud, they were so tired.”

Both go out, and begin to get the real pig out, and between the two they pull it out very well. They try to do the same thing with the others; but they kept pulling out nothing but tails.

The madman says, “You see how fat they are; that is why the tails come out alone.”

He sends the servant to fetch the spade and the hoe. Instead of bringing them he begins to beat the mistress, whack! whack! and he cries to the master, “One or both?”

The master says to him, “Both, both.”

And then he beats the servant maid almost to pieces. He goes then to the master, taking with him the spade and the hoe, and he sets to beating him with the spade and the hoe, until he can no longer defend himself, and then he thrashes the skin off his back, and takes his pig and goes off home to his father and mother; and as he lived well he died well too.

PIERRE BERTRAND learnt it from his Grandmother,

who died a few years since, aged 82.


Basque Poetry: Ancient Tongues…

THE SONG OF BERTERRETCHE – Anonymous, 15th century

The alder has not pith,

nor does the reed have bark.

I did not think that noblemen spoke lies.

The valley of Andoze,

oh the long valley!

Though it be weaponless thrice has it pierced my heart.

Berterretche from his bed

speaks low to the maidservant:

“Go see if there are men in sight.”

Straightway the maid told him

what she had seen,

Three dozen men going from door to door.

From his window

Berterretche greets my Lord Count

And offers him a hundred cows and their bull.

Treacherously spoke then

my Lord Count:

“Come to the door Berterretche, you shall return forthwith.”

Mother, give me my shirt,

perchance the one that I shall never cast off.

Those who live will remember the dawn that follows Easter.»

Oh the haste of Mari-Santz

as she sped past Bostmendieta!

On her two knees she entered the house of Buztanobi at Lacarry.

“O young Master of Buztanobi,

my beloved brother,

Without your aid my son is lost.”

“Be silent my sister,

I beg you do not weep;

If your son lives he is gone to Mauleon.”

Oh the haste of Mari-Santz

to the door of my Lord Count!

“Alas! my Lord Count, where have you my fine son?”

“Have you sons

other than Berterretche?

He lies dead over by Ezpeldoi; you who are alive go tend him.”

Oh, the men of Ezpeldoi;

they of little understanding,

Who having the dead so near knew nothing of it!

The daughter of Ezpeldoi,

she whom they call Margarita,

Gathers up the blood of Berterretche in handfulls.

Oh, what fine linen there is

to be washed at the house of Ezpeldoi!

Of the shirts of Berterretche they say there are three dozen.

(Translation: Rodney Gallop)

(The Song of Berterretche The medieval Bereterretxe ballad or «kantore» is probably the best known throughout the Basque Country. Versions of it have been recorded by singers and are available on records, but its success may also be put down to the daramtism of the subject and the quality of the text. Handed down orally from generation to generation, this composition tells the story of one of many episodes of the fight between rival clans. The crime that is denounced in the ballad took place between 1434 and 1449, and was ordered by the Count of Lerin.)


A PLEA FOR A KISS – Bernat Etxepare, 1545

Lady, may God protect you. Now are we on equal ground.

If I were king, you would be queen.

Please give me a kiss. Fear not!

The sorrows I have suffered for you are worthy of one.

Go on! Begone! Who do you take me for!

I do not think I have ever seen the likes of you.

Do not say such harsh words to me.

Go and tell the others! I am not what you take me for.

If you were a bad woman, I should pay no heed.

Because you are who you are, I agonize over you.

I do not believe I have said anything indecent.

By giving a kiss you would not be slighted.

Your kiss, I know, demands something else.

Lady, you have guessed even before I spoke.

Then stop saying such things to me.

As you are so shrewish, I shall do something else.

As long as I live, then, I shall let you not.

That which I now desire, shall you do here.

— I truly believe you are not in jest.

— Is this man going to shame me here?

Oh, what shall I do? — Hush up a while!

Tralala, tralala, kisses galore and another one for good measure.

Lady, once again, speak more gently!

(Translation: Toni Strubell)


IN DEFENCE OF WOMEN – Bernat Etxepare, 1545

Speak no ill of women, by my love;

If men let them alone, they’d do no wrong.

Many men speak ill of them,

Talking in a light and dishonest way.

They’d be better off in silence,

Women would do no wrong were there no men.

Few sane men there are who slang them,

It is more honest to speak well of them.

Why must they be criticised?

Big and small, we are all born of them.

To blame women is not brave,

Or to equal them all to criticize but one.

A man thus behaving would be better off mute,

And deserves not to have been fed milk.

He who blames women should think

Where he and all of us are born from,

I would ask him if he was born of woman or not.

If only for her, he should praise them all.

Women are always a benefit for men,

By them we all come to the world;

If she didn’t bring us up, we’d die on birth,

And when we’ve grown up, we still need her.

When we are healthy, through her we dress and eat,

When we’re ill, we’re lost without her,

When we die, who will weep for us like a woman?

We need her at all times, there’s no doubt.

Where there’s no woman, I see nothing pleasing,

Neither man nor the home is tended to,

Disorder reigns throughout the house.

I care not for paradise if there’s no women there.

Never have I heard that women attack men first,

Rather that it’s man who offends the woman.

Evil always pours from men,

Why then are women to be blamed?

Men should have more virtue

I see more of it among women;

There are a thousand bad men for every bad woman,

For every virtuous man there are a thousand women.

If we believed men, there’d be no good women,

They can’t help attacking them even if they’re good.

But there are many women who avoid men,

Because virtue is much greater amongst them.

Never have I heard of a woman forcing a man,

It’s the man who chases the woman like a fool.

If any should approach him lovingly,

Must man blame her for this?

God loves women more than anything on earth;

He came down from heaven for love of one.

It was a woman who made Him our brother,

And through her, all women are worthy of praise.

I think a woman is something sweet,

Something charming in all her charms,

She supplies great pleasure by night and by day.

Great villainy it is to speak ill of her.

There’s nothing so pretty and pleasurable

As a naked woman beneath the man,

Surrendered with wide open arms,

So a man can do with her as he please.

Though he harms her with his dart in her body,

She will complain less than would an angel.

The dart once relaxed and healed the wound,

The power of her charms reconciles them.

Can there be any so coarse as not to see this

And who can blame her for this?

It is not a well bred man who behaves thus

Because he does not the good that women do.

(Translation: Toni Strubell

(Bernat Etxepare – He was born in Eiheralarre, a village close to Donibane Garazi (Saint Jean de Pied de Port), capital of the part of Navarre that today forms part of France. This priest was the author of the first book printed in the Basque language in 1545. We know little about his life, but we do know he spent some time in prison, probably accused of political involvement at a time when the kingdoms of France and Castile were jostling to take over the old Kingdom of Navarre. In his book, he gathered autobiographical, religious, amatory and patriotic poems, some of which praise the Basque language.


Have a good weekend!


Through the Days…

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves”.—William Pitt

An odd day… weird news, odd events and strangeness everywhere I turned. Almost in complete counterpoint to the days leading up to Solstice.

Rowan had his gathering, and it was pretty nice. (a high point)

Another nice time was having Morgan stopped by, bringing some excellent music along as well. We talked about the Amadou et Mariam show, and went over the fine points, polishing our memories up, comparing notes…

We pray that the band will play the Zoo next time around. Nothing like it. It seems like a mini-festival (which I always enjoyed) under very optimum circumstances….

Anyway, I am rambling, so off to work I go…



on The Menu

The Links

The Thief Who Became a Disciple

Celtic Poems: A random selection

Photos: Ancient Grave Site from the Caspian Sea


The Links:

Sisters lose second coming cover

Planets, Bees, and a Donkey

Class Warfare: The Minimum Wage Goes Down

West Hollywood Seeks to Ease on Private Herb Smoking


The Thief Who Became a Disciple

One evening as Shichiri Kojun was reciting sutras a thief with a sharp sword entered, demanding wither his money or his life.

Shichiri told him: “Do not disturb me. You can find the money in that drawer.” Then he resumed his recitation.

A little while afterwards he stopped and called: “Don’t take it all. I need some to pay taxes with tomorrow.”

The intruder gathered up most of the money and started to leave. “Thank a person when you receive a gift,” Shichiri added. The man thanked him and made off.

A few days afterwards the fellow was caught and confessed, among others, the offense against Shichiri. When Shichiri was called as a witness he said: “This man is no thief, at least as far as I am concerned. I gave him the money and he thanked me for it.”

After he had finished his prison term, the man went to Shichiri and became his disciple.


Celtic Poems: A random selection

How Curious the Light behaves


How curious the light behaves

Reflecting off the dancing waves.

Oh how my very being craves

A view from down below.

Suspended in my watery lair,

I would not need to gasp for air,

For I’m no longer human there

Beneath the icy flow.

It’s peaceful there, but I have found

I still can hear the distant sound

Of voices of the souls who drowned

And left loved ones to mourn.

The lonely wails transmit the pain

Of those who just could not remain

So journeyed to the unknown plane

Of dead souls and unborn.

But in this world there still exist

Survivors who will always miss

The passion of their lovers’ kiss

That warmed them night and day.

Though here above the vast, cold sea,

My heart is without tragedy,

For I have someone dear to me

Who hasn’t passed away.

Never let that be untrue,

For I could not bear thoughts of you

Trapped underneath the ocean blue

Deprived of your last breath.

No harm to you would I condone,

For I’d be left here on my own

To face this tragic world alone,

A fate far worse than death.


The Harp of Cnoc I’Chosgair

Harp of Cnoc I’Chosgair, you who bring sleep

to eyes long sleepless;

sweet subtle, plangent, glad, cooling grave.

Excellent instrument with smooth gentle curve,

trilling under red fingers,

musician that has charmed us,

red, lion-like of full melody.

You who lure the bird from the flock,

you who refresh the mind,

brown spotted one of sweet words,

ardent, wondrous, passionate.

You who heal every wounded warrior,

joy and allurement to women,

familiar guide over the dark blue water,

mystic sweet sounding music.

You who silence every instrument of music,

yourself a sweet plaintive instrument,

dweller among the Race of Conn,

instrument yellow-brown and firm.

The one darling of sages,

restless, smooth, sweet of tune,

crimson star above the Fairy Hills,

breast jewel of High Kings.

Sweet tender flowers, brown harp of Diarmaid,

shape not unloved by hosts, voice of cuckoos in May!

I have not heard music ever such as your frame makes

since the time of the Fairy People,

fair brown many coloured bough,

gentle, powerful, glorious.

Sound of the calm wave on the beach,

pure shadowing tree of pure music,

carousals are drunk in your company,

voice of the swan over shining streams.

Cry of the Fairy Women from the Fairy Hill of Ler,

no melody can match you,

every house is sweet stringed through your guidance,

you the pinnacle of harp music.

– Gofraidh Fion O Dalaigh. 1385]


Lightenings viii

(Seamus Heaney)

The annals say: when the monks of Clonmacnoise

Were all at prayers inside the oratory

A ship appeared above them in the air.

The anchor dragged along behind so deep

It hooked itself into the altar rails

And then, as the big hull rocked to a standstill,

A crewman shinned and grappled down a rope

And struggled to release it. But in vain.

`This man can’t bear our life here and will drown,’

The abbot said, `Unless we help him.’ So

They did, the freed ship sailed and the man climbed back

Out of the marvelous as he had known it.

Amadou et Mariam – Portland Zoo…

Mary and Rowan hanging out, eating a bit before the show….

Andrew, pre Kool-Aid…

Maren &amp; Morgan making arcane family signals….

John, Rowan &amp; Mary doing the mass giggle….

Andrew post Kool-Aid… (just joking folks!)

Morgan &amp; Gwyllm conspiring to take over the NW Blog-o-Sphere…. (after we finish our drinks!)

Then the music started…. and we headed down to the stage…..

Mary &amp; Rowan in the crowd…. having a very good time!

Igor the Drummer was on fire!

The Crowd was surging to the beats….

Burning Down the Solstice in a most spectacular way…. All the women in the crowd were beautiful, as all the men were handsome… the night came crashing down on us as we were all one, dancing….

Amadou and Mariam, signing CD’s afterwards…. I got to say hello to the band, and thank them for the great evening….

Our friends Janice and Ed who we caught up with in the crowd and danced with. We gave them a ride down from the Zoo with another addition… to the group. (see below)

Jack the wandering hound. He came running down the road towards us, almost getting hit by a car… We looked for his person/s to no avail. Leaving a phone number with some passing dog walkers, we headed down the hill with a very full vehicle.

We arrived home to a message from Jim, Jacks’ person who came by shortly after. Jack had gone missing after the show, and it was a joyous reunion at Caer Llwydd for the two of them…

Tonight is another Solstice Gathering, organized by Rowan for his friends at our home.

Ever Onward!

Dancing The Night Away…

Amadou et Mariam…. who we saw on Solstice!

What an amazing show! Will have commentary and photos later on… I just erased the entry, so I am exhausted…. Danced to some of the best music, like ever!

A great gathering of friends, a beautiful evening, a wonderful celebration of the Solstice!

More Later on….




Now the hungry lion roars,

And the wolf behowls the moon;

Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,

All with the weary task fordone.

Now the wasted brands do glow

Whilst the scritch-owl, scratching loud,

Puts the wretch that lies in woe

In remembrance of a shroud.

Now it is the time of night

That the graves, all gaping wide,

Everyone lets forth his sprite,

In the churchway paths to glide:

And we fairies, that do run

By the triple Hecate’s team

From the presence of the sun,

Following darkness like a dream,

Now are frolic; not a mouse

Shall disturb this hallowed house:

I am sent with broom before,

To sweep the dust behind the door.

Through the house give glimmering light,

By the dead and drowsy fire;

Every elf and fairy sprite

Hope as light as bird from brier;

And this ditty, after me,

Sing, and dance it, trippingly.

First rehearse your song by rote,

To each word a warbling note:

Hand in hand, with fairy grace,

Will we sing, and bless this place.

Now, until the break of day,

Through this house each fairy stray.

To the best bride-bed will we,

Which by us shall blessed be;

And the issue there create

Ever shall be fortunate.

So shall all the couples three

Ever true in loving be;

And the blots of Nature’s hand

Shall not in their issue stand;

Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,

Nor mark prodigious, such as are

Despised in nativity,

Shall upon their children be.

With this field-dew consecrate,

Every fairy take his gait;

And each several chamber bless,

Through this palace with sweet peace:

And the owner of it blest,

Ever shall in safety rest.

Trip away;

Make no stay:

Meet me all by break of day

Solstice Now….

For the beautry of the day…

the rising of the Solstice Sun,

in perfect conjunction

in perfect bliss,

The young ones join

the long dance,

The older ones smile

sweet memories,

Here it is: The biggest dose of Light

On this day – Solstice Bright….

Join us tonight (Wednesday the 21st) to dance the Solstice down at the Oregon Zoo with Mariam et Amadou… A good time, a wild time promised for all.

There is no better way to celebrate the ripeness of the Earth than to dance the Sun into the Western Lands, there is no better way to connect to the pulse of life than raising your voice in song and your body in the Sacred Dance, the long dance…

Join us, we will be there with friends, lovers, kids, food and very, very good times…

Big Love, To You All….



On The Menu:

The Summer Solstice (From the BBC)

The Poetry of the Solstice….


(From the BBC)

Summer Solstice

21st June (sometimes 20th)

Standing stones on a summer’s day

As the sun spirals its longest dance,

Cleanse us

As nature shows bounty and fertility

Bless us

Let all things live with loving intent

And to fulfill their truest destiny

Taken from a Wiccan blessing for Summer

Solstice, Midsummer or Litha means a stopping or standing still of the sun. It is the longest day of the year and the time when the sun is at its maximum elevation.

This date has had spiritual significance for thousands of years as humans have been amazed by the great power of the sun. The Celts celebrated with bonfires that would add to the sun’s energy, Christians placed the feast of St John the Baptist towards the end of June and it is also the festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of light.

Like other religious groups, Pagans are in awe of the incredible strength of the sun and the divine powers that create life. For Pagans this spoke in the Wheel of the Year is a significant point. The Goddess took over the earth from the horned God at the beginning of spring and she is now at the height of her power and fertility. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest’s fruits.

This is a time to celebrate growth and life but for Pagans, who see balance in the world and are deeply aware of the ongoing shifting of the seasons it is also time to acknowledge that the sun will now begin to decline once more towards winter.

When celebrating midsummer Pagans draw on diverse traditions. In England thousands of Pagans and non-Pagans go to places of ancient religious sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury to see the sun rising on the first morning of summer. Many more Pagans hold small ceremonies in open spaces, everywhere from gardens to woodlands.


The Poetry of the Solstice….

The Haymaker’s Song

In the merry month of June,

In the prime time of the year;

Down in yonder meadows

There runs a river clear;

And many a little fish

Doth in that river play;

And many a lad, and many a lass,

Go abroad a-making hay

And when the bright day faded,

And the sun was going down,

There was a merry piper

Approached from the town;

He pulled out his pipe and tabor,

So sweetly he did play,

Which made all lay down their rakes,

And leave off making hay.

Then joining in a dance

They jig it o’er the green;

Though tired with their labour

No one less was seen.

But sporting like some fairies,

Their dance they did pursue,

In leading up, and casting off,

Till morning was in view.


The sun is shining

The sun is shining –

The sun is shining

That is the Magic.

The flowers are growing-

the roots are stirring.

That is the Magic.

Being alive is the Magic

being strong is the Magic.

The Magic is in me-

it is in me.

It’s in every one of us.

From the Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett


The Fairy Ring

by George Mason and John Earsden

Let us in a lover’s round

Circle all this hallowed ground;

Softly, softly trip and go,

the light-foot Fairies jet it so.

Forward then and back again,

Here and there and everywhere,

Winding to and fro,

Skipping high and louting low;

And, like lovers, hand in hand,

March around and make a stand.


I Stood Against the Window

By Rose Fyleman

I stood against the window

And I loked between the bars,

And there were strings of fairies

Hanging from the stars;

Everywhere and everywhere

In shining, swinging chains;

The air ws full of shimmering,

Like sunlight when it rains.

They kept on swinging, swinging,

They flung themselves so high

They caught upon the pointed moon

And hung across the sky.

And when I woke next morning,

There still were crowds and crowds

In beautiful bright bunches

All sleeping on the clouds




Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;

Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;

Feed him with apricots and dewberries,

With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;

The honey-bags steal from the huble-bees,

And for night-tapers crop their waxen things.

And light them at the fiery glow-worm eyes,

To have my love to bed and to arise;

And pluck the wings from painted butterflies

To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:

Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies

(Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 3 Scene 1)



How now spirit! Whither wander you?

Over hill, over dale

Through bush, through brier,

Over park, over pale

Thorough flood, thorough fire

I do wander everywhere

Swifter than the moone’s sphere:

And I serve the fairy queen.

To dew her orbs upon the green

The cowslips tall her pensioners be:

In their gold coats spots you see

Those be rubies fairy favours

In those freckles live their savours:

I must go seek some dewdrops here

And hang a peaarl in every cowslip’s ear…

(Midsummer Night’s Dream)


Through the Looking Glass 1872

Lewis Carroll

Child of pure, unclouded brow

And dreaming eyes of wonder!

Though time be fleet and I and thou

Are half a life asunder,

Thy loving smile will surely hail

The love-gift of a fairy tale.




I am the Fairy MAB: to me ‘tis given

The wonders of the human world to keep:

The secrets of the immeasurable past,

In the unfailing consciences of men,

Those stern, unflattering chroniclers, I find:

The future, form the causes which arise

In each event, I gather: not the sting

Which retributive memory implants

In the hard bosom of the selfish man;

Nor that ecstatic and exulting throb

Which virtue’s votary feels when he sums up

The thoughts and actions of a well-spend day,

Are unforeseen, unregistered by me:

And it is yet permitted me, to rent

The veil of mortal frailty, that the spirit

Clothed in its changeless purity, may know

How soonest to accomplish the great end

For which it hath its being, and may taste

That peace, which in the end all life will share




If ye will with Mab find grace,

Set each Platter in his place:

Rake the Fier up, and get

Water in, ere Sun be set.

Wash your Pails, and cleanse your Dairies;

Sluts are loathsome to the Fairies:

Sweep your house: Who doth not so,

Mab will pinch her by the toe.