Friends n Wings….

On The Music Box: Eno – Apollo

(The Grief of the Pasha – Gerome)

Creeping Closer to the Equinox…. Nice start to the week.

Had a short visit from Ms Cymon and her friend Jim C. from Alaska.We spent a beautiful hour talking a myriad of subjects over a glass of wine (each, we do enjoy the fruit of the grape!) Jim & Cymon are fresh back from a stay in Brazil. Nice times! It was great getting to know Jim, and to see Cymon again. Here is to friends, and to new ones! (I hope the potatoes were okay!)

Rowan came home with his friends Isabel and Ian shortly afterwards, Rowan sprouting a pair of Angel Wings that Isabel & Ian had crafted over the last couple of weeks. Isabel does some wonderful cartooning as well as being an accomplished musician. Lots of talent for 16 years!

Some interesting stuff in the Links today, be sure to visit them all if you get a chance. The article is a retelling of an old Irish tale, with some interesting underpinnings. The poetry is a treat from the ancient middle east and the sufi tradition. The art continues with the Orientalist school, again with Jean Leon Gerome.

It looks to be an interesting week with some good entries. Please feel free to share out with friends, and if you have questions, want to share links, or suggestions for articles, art or poetry, please feel free to get in touch.

Have a wonderful one,



On the Menu

The Extreme Linkage

The White Trout; A Legend of Cong

Sufi Poetry: SA’D UD DIN MAHMŪD SHABISTARĪ (Extracts from The Secret Rose Garden)

Art: Jean Leon Gerome


The Extreme Linkage:

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The White Trout; A Legend of Cong


There was wanst upon a time, long ago, a beautiful lady that lived in a castle upon the lake beyant, and they say she was promised to a king’s son, and they war to be married, when all of a sudden he was murthered, the crathur (Lord help us), and threwn into the lake above, and so, of course, he couldn’t keep his promise to the fair lady–and more’s the pity.

Well, the story goes that she went out iv her mind, bekase av loosin’ the king’s son–for she was tendher-hearted, God help her, like the rest iv us!–and pined away after him, until at last, no one about seen her, good or bad; and the story wint that the fairies took her away.

Well, sir, in coarse a’ time, the White Throut, God bless it, was seen in the sthrame beyant, and sure the people didn’t know what to think av the crathur, seein’ as how a white throut was never heard av afar, nor since; and years upon years the throut was there, just where you seen it this blessed minit, longer nor I can tell–aye throth, and beyant the memory a’ th’ ouldest in the village.

At last the people began to think it must be a fairy; for what else could it be?–and no hurt nor harm was iver put an the white throut, until some wicked sinners of sojers kem to these parts, and laughed at all the people, and gibed and jeered them for thinkin’ a’ the likes; and one a’ them in partic’lar (bad luck to him; God forgi’ me for saying it!) swore he’d catch the throut and ate it for his dinner–the blackguard!

Well, what would you think o’ the villainy of the sojer? Sure enough he catch the throut, and away wid him home, and puts an the fryin’-pan, and into it he pitches the purty little thing. The throut squeeled all as one as a christian crathur, and, my dear, you’d think the sojer id split his sides laughin’–for he was a harden’d villain; and when he thought one side was done, he turns it over to fly the other; and, what would you think, but the divil a taste of a burn was an it all at all; and sure the sojer thought it was a quare throut that could not be briled. “But,” says he, ‘I’ll give it another turn by-and-by,” little thinkin’ what was in store for him, the haythen.

Well, when he thought that side was done he turns it agin, and lo and behould you, the divil a taste more done that side was nor the other. “Bad luck to me,” says the sojer, “but that bates the world,” says he; “but I’ll thry you agin, my darlint,” says he, “as cunnin’ as you think yourself;” and so with that he turns it over, but not a sign of the fire was on the purty throut. “Well,” says the desperate villain–(for sure, sir, only he was a desperate villain entirely, he might know he was doing a wrong thing, seein’ that all his endeavours was no good)–”Well,” says he, “my jolly little throut, maybe you’re fried enough, though you don’t seem over well dress’d; but you may be better than you look, like a singed cat, and a tit-bit afther all,” says he; and with that he ups with his knife and fork to taste a piece a’ the throut; but, my jew’l, the minit he puts his knife into the fish, there was a murtherin’ screech, that you’d think the life id lave you if you hurd it, and away jumps the throut out av the fryin’-pan into the middle a’ the flure; and an the spot where it fell, up riz a lovely lady–the beautifullest crathur that eyes ever seen, dressed in white, and a band a’ goold in her hair, and a sthrame a’ blood runnin’ down her arm.

“Look where you cut me, you villain,” says she, and she held out her arm to him–and, my dear, he thought the sight id lave his eyes.

“Couldn’t you lave me cool and comfortable in the river where you snared me, and not disturb me in my duty?” says she.

Well, he thrimbled like a dog in a wet sack, and at last he stammered out somethin’, and begged for his life, and ax’d her ladyship’s pardin, and said he didn’t know she was on duty, or he was too good a sojer not to know betther nor to meddle wid her.

“I was on duty, then,” says the lady; “I was watchin’ for my true love that is comin’ by wather to me,” says she, “an’ if he comes while I’m away, an’ that I miss iv him, I’ll turn you into a pinkeen, and I’ll hunt you up and down for evermore, while grass grows or wather runs.”

Well the sojer thought the life id lave him, at the thoughts iv his bein’ turned into a pinkeen, and begged for mercy; and with that says the lady–

“Renounce your evil coorses,” says she, “you villain, or you’ll repint it too late; be a good man for the futhur, and go to your duty 1 reg’lar, and now,” says she, “take me back and put me into the river again, where you found me.”

“Oh, my lady,” says the sojer, “how could I have the heart to drownd a beautiful lady like you?”

But before he could say another word, the lady was vanished, and there he saw the little throut an the ground. Well he put it in a clean plate, and away he runs for the bare life, for fear her lover would come while she was away; and he run, and he run, even till he came to the cave agin, and threw the throut into the river. The minit he did, the wather was as red as blood for a little while, by rayson av the cut, I suppose, until the sthrame washed the stain away; and to this day there’s a little red mark an the throut’s side, where it was cut. 2

Well, sir, from that day out the sojer was an altered man, and reformed his ways, and went to his duty reg’lar, and fasted three times a-week–though it was never fish he tuk an fastin’ days, for afther the fright he got, fish id never rest an his stomach–savin’ your presence.

But anyhow, he was an altered man, as I said before, and in coorse o’ time he left the army, and turned hermit at last; and they say he used to pray evermore for the soul of the White Throut.

[These trout stories are common all over Ireland. Many holy wells are haunted by such blessed trout. There is a trout in a well on the border of Lough Gill, Sligo, that some paganish person put once on the gridiron. It carries the marks to this day. Long ago, the saint who sanctified the well put that trout there. Nowadays it is only visible to the pious, who have done due penance.]


37:1 The Irish peasant calls his attendance at the confessional “going to his duty”.

37:2 The fish has really a red spot on its side.



(Extracts from: The Secret Rose Garden)


(Dervish – Gerome)

Tavern Haunters

THE tavern is the abode of lovers,

The place where the bird of the soul nests,

The rest-house that has no existence

In a world that has no form.

The tavern-haunter is desolate in a lonely desert,

Where he sees the world as a mirage.

The desert is limitless and endless,

For no man has seen its beginning or ending.

Though you feverishly wander for a hundred years

You will be always alone.

For the dwellers there are headless and footless,

Neither the faithful nor infidels,

They have renounced both good and evil,

And have cast away name and fame,

From drinking the cup of selflessness;

Without lips or mouth,

And are beyond traditions, visions, and states,

Beyond dreaming of secret rooms, of lights and miracles.

They are lying drunken through the smell of the wine-dregs,

And have given as ransom

Pilgrim’s staff and cruse,

Dentifrice and rosary.

Sometimes rising to the world of bliss,

With necks exalted as racers,

Or with blackened faces turned to the wall,

Sometimes with reddened faces tied to the stake.

Now in the mystic dance of joy in the Beloved,

Losing head and foot like the revolving heavens.

In every strain which they hear from the minstrel

Comes to them rapture from the unseen world.

For within the mere words and sounds

Of the mystic song

Lies a precious mystery.

From drinking one cup of the pure wine,

From sweeping the dust of dung-hills from their souls,

From grasping the skirts of drunkards,

They have become Sūfīs.


The Wine Of Rapture

THE wine, lit by a ray from his face,

Reveals the bubbles of form,

Such as the material world and the soul-world,

Which appear as veils to the saints.

Universal Reason seeing this is astounded,

Universal Soul is reduced to servitude.

Drink wine! for the bowl is the face of the Friend.

Drink wine! for the cup is his eye, drunken and flown with wine.

Drink wine! and be free from heart-coldness,

For a drunkard is better than the self-satisfied.

The whole world is his tavern,

His wine-cup the heart of each atom,

Reason is drunken, angels drunken, soul drunken,

Air drunken, earth drunken, heaven drunken.

The sky, dizzy from the wine-fumes’ aroma,

Is staggering to and fro;

The angels, sipping pure wine from goblets,

Pour down the dregs on the world;

From the scent of these dregs man rises to heaven.

Inebriated from the draught, the elements

Fall into water and fire.

Catching the reflection, the frail body becomes a soul,

And the frozen soul by its heat

Thaws and becomes living.

The creature world remains giddy,

For ever straying from house and home.

One from the dregs’ odour becomes a philosopher,

One viewing the wine’s colour becomes a relater,

One from half a draught becomes religious,

One from a bowlful becomes a lover,

Another swallows at one draught

Goblet, tavern, cup-bearer, and drunkards;

He swallows all, but still his mouth stays open.


Wine, Torch, and Beauty

TRUTH’S manifestations

Are wine, torch, and beauty;

Wine and torch are the light and shining of the “knower,”

Beauty is concealed from none.

Wine is the lamp-shade,

And torch the lamp;

Beauty is the Spirit-light,

So bright, it kindles sparks

In the heart.

Wine and torch are the essence of that blinding light,

Beauty is the sign of the Divine.

Drink this wine and, dying to self,

You will be freed from the spell of self.

Then will your being, as a drop,

Fall into the ocean of the Eternal.



WHAT is pure wine?

It is self-purification.

What sweetness! what intoxication! what blissful ecstasy!

Oh! happy moment when ourselves we quit,

When fallen in the dust, drunken and amazed,

In utter poverty we shall be rich and free.

Of what use then will be paradise and houris?

For no alien can find entrance to that mystic room.

I know not what will happen after

I have seen this vision and imbibed this cup,

But after all intoxication comes headache,

Anguish drowns my soul remembering this!

(Moorish Bath -Gerome)

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