A Blessing from the Muse…

(Gustave Moreau “Hesiod And The Muse”)

Something for a lazy Sunday Afternoon…
Hope this finds you well!

On The Menu:

Bryan Ferry-Positively Fourth Street-Distortion

The Wonderful Birch

Robert Graves Bank Holiday Poetry….

Illustrations: Ivan Bilibin


Bryan Ferry-Positively Fourth Street-Distortion


The Wonderful Birch

Once upon a time there were a man and a woman, who had an only daughter. Now it happened that one of their sheep went astray, and they set out to look for it, and searched and searched, each in n different part of the wood. Then the good wife met a witch, who said to her:
`If you spit, you miserable creature, if you spit into the sheath of my knife, or if you run between my legs, I shall change you into a black sheep.’
The woman neither spat, nor did she run between her legs, but yet the witch changed her into a sheep. Then she made herself look exactly like the woman, and called out to the good man:
`Ho, old man, halloa! I have found the sheep already!’
The man thought the witch was really his wife, and he did not know that his wife was the sheep; so he went home with her, glad at heart because his sheep was found. When they were safe at home the witch said to the man:
`Look here, old man, we must really kill that sheep lest it run away to the wood again.’
The man, who was a peaceable quiet sort of fellow, made no objections, but simply said:
`Good, let us do so.’
The daughter, however, had overheard their talk, and she ran to the flock and lamented aloud:
`Oh, dear little mother, they are going to slaughter you!’
`Well, then, if they do slaughter me,’ was the black sheep’s answer, `eat you neither the meat nor the broth that is made of me, but gather all my bones, and bury them by the edge of the field.’
Shortly after this they took the black sheep from the flock and slaughtered it. The witch made pease-soup of it, and set it before the daughter. But the girl remembered her mother’s warning. She did not touch the soup, but she carried the bones to the edge of the field and buried them there; and there sprang up on the spot a birch tree–a very lovely birch tree.
Some time had passed away–who can tell how long they might have been living there?–when the witch, to whom a child had been born in the meantime, began to take an ill-will to the man’s daughter, and to torment her in all sorts of ways.
Now it happened that a great festival was to be held at the palace, and the King had commanded that all the people should be invited, and that this proclamation should be made:
`Come, people all! Poor and wretched, one and all! Blind and crippled though ye be, Mount your steeds or come by sea.’
And so they drove into the King’s feast all the outcasts, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. In the good man’s house, too, preparations were made to go to the palace. The witch said to the man:
`Go you on in front, old man, with our youngest; I will give the elder girl work to keep her from being dull in our absence.’
So the man took the child and set out. But the witch kindled a fire on the hearth, threw a potful of barleycorns among the cinders, and said to the girl:
`If you have not picked the barley out of the ashes, and put it all back in the pot before nightfall, I shall eat you up!’
Then she hastened after the others, and the poor girl stayed at home and wept. She tried to be sure to pick up the grains of barley, but she soon saw how useless her labour was; and so she went in her sore trouble to the birch tree on her mother’s grave, and cried and cried, because her mother lay dead beneath the sod and could help her no longer. In the midst of her grief she suddenly heard her mother’s voice speak from the grave, and say to her:
`Why do you weep, little daughter?’
`The witch has scattered barleycorns on the hearth, and bid me pick them out of the ashes,’ said the girl; `that is why I weep, dear little mother.’
`Do not weep,’ said her mother consolingly. `Break off one of my branches, and strike the hearth with it crosswise, and all will be put right.’ The girl did so. She struck the hearth with the birchen branch, and lo! the barleycorns flew into the pot, and the hearth was clean. Then she went back to the birch tree and laid the branch upon the grave. Then her mother bade her bathe on one side of the stem, dry herself on another, and dress on the third. When the girl had done all that, she had grown so lovely that no one on earth could rival her. Splendid clothing was given to her, and a horse, with hair partly of gold, partly of silver, and partly of something more precious still. The girl sprang into the saddle, and rode as swift as an arrow to the palace. As she turned into the courtyard of the castle the King’s son came out to meet her, tied her steed to a pillar, and led her in. He never left her side as they passed through the castle rooms; and all the people gazed at her, and wondered who the lovely maiden was, and from what castle she came; but no one knew her–no one knew anything about her. At the banquet the Prince invited her to sit next him in the place of honour; but the witch’s daughter gnawed the bones under the table. The Prince did not see her, and thinking it was a dog, he gave her such a push with his foot that her arm was broken. Are you not sorry for the witch’s daughter? It was not her fault that her mother was a witch.
Towards evening the good man’s daughter thought it was time to go home; but as she went, her ring caught on the latch of the door, for the King’s son had had it smeared with tar. She did not take time to pull it off, but, hastily unfastening her horse from the pillar, she rode away beyond the castle walls as swift as an arrow. Arrived at home, she took off her clothes by the birch tree, left her horse standing there, and hastened to her place behind the stove. In a short time the man and the woman came home again too, and the witch said to the girl:
`Ah! you poor thing, there you are to be sure! You don’t know what fine times we have had at the palace! The King’s son carried my daughter about, but the poor thing fell and broke her arm.’
The girl knew well how matters really stood, but she pretended to know nothing about it, and sat dumb behind the stove.
The next day they were invited again to the King’s banquet.
`Hey! old man,’ said the witch, `get on your clothes as quick as you can; we are bidden to the feast. Take you the child; I will give the other one work, lest she weary.’
She kindled the fire, threw a potful of hemp seed among the ashes, and said to the girl:
`If you do not get this sorted, and all the seed back into the pot, I shall kill you!’
The girl wept bitterly; then she went to the birch tree, washed herself on one side of it and dried herself on the other; and this time still finer clothes were given to her, and a very beautiful steed. She broke off a branch of the birch tree, struck the hearth with it, so that the seeds flew into the pot, and then hastened to the castle.
Again the King’s son came out to meet her, tied her horse to a pillar, and led her into the banqueting hall. At the feast the girl sat next him in the place of honour, as she had done the day before. But the witch’s daughter gnawed bones under the table, and the Prince gave her a push by mistake, which broke her leg–he had never noticed her crawling about among the people’s feet. She was VERY unlucky!
The good man’s daughter hastened home again betimes, but the King’s son had smeared the door-posts with tar, and the girl’s golden circlet stuck to it. She had not time to look for it, but sprang to the saddle and rode like an arrow to the birch tree. There she left her horse and her fine clothes, and said to her mother:
`I have lost my circlet at the castle; the door-post was tarred, and it stuck fast.’

`And even had you lost two of them,’ answered her mother, `I would give you finer ones.’
Then the girl hastened home, and when her father came home from the feast with the witch, she was in her usual place behind the stove. Then the witch said to her:
`You poor thing! what is there to see here compared with what WE have seen at the palace? The King’s son carried my daughter from one room to another; he let her fall, ’tis true, and my child’s foot was broken.’
The man’s daughter held her peace all the time, and busied herself about the hearth.
The night passed, and when the day began to dawn, the witch awakened her husband, crying:
`Hi! get up, old man! We are bidden to the royal banquet.’
So the old man got up. Then the witch gave him the child, saying:
`Take you the little one; I will give the other girl work to do, else she will weary at home alone.’
She did as usual. This time it was a dish of milk she poured upon the ashes, saying:
`If you do not get all the milk into the dish again before I come home, you will suffer for it.’
How frightened the girl was this time! She ran to the birch tree, and by its magic power her task was accomplished; and then she rode away to the palace as before. When she got to the courtyard she found the Prince waiting for her. He led her into the hall, where she was highly honoured; but the witch’s daughter sucked the bones under the table, and crouching at the people’s feet she got an eye knocked out, poor thing! Now no one knew any more than before about the good man’s daughter, no one knew whence she came; but the Prince had had the threshold smeared with tar, and as she fled her gold slippers stuck to it. She reached the birch tree, and laying aside her finery, she said:
`Alas I dear little mother, I have lost my gold slippers!’
`Let them be,’ was her mother’s reply; `if you need them I shall give you finer ones.’
Scarcely was she in her usual place behind the stove when her father came home with the witch. Immediately the witch began to mock her, saying:
`Ah! you poor thing, there is nothing for you to see here, and WE–ah: what great things we have seen at the palace! My little girl was carried about again, but had the ill-luck to fall and get her eye knocked out. You stupid thing, you, what do you know about anything?’
`Yes, indeed, what can I know?’ replied the girl; `I had enough to do to get the hearth clean.’
Now the Prince had kept all the things the girl had lost, and he soon set about finding the owner of them. For this purpose a great banquet was given on the fourth day, and all the people were invited to the palace. The witch got ready to go too. She tied a wooden beetle on where her child’s foot should have been, a log of wood instead of an arm, and stuck a bit of dirt in the empty socket for an eye, and took the child with her to the castle. When all the people were gathered together, the King’s son stepped in among the crowd and cried:
`The maiden whose finger this ring slips over, whose head this golden hoop encircles, and whose foot this shoe fits, shall be my bride.’
What a great trying on there was now among them all! The things would fit no one, however.
`The cinder wench is not here,’ said the Prince at last; `go and fetch her, and let her try on the things.’
So the girl was fetched, and the Prince was just going to hand the ornaments to her, when the witch held him back, saying:
`Don’t give them to her; she soils everything with cinders; give them to my daughter rather.’
Well, then the Prince gave the witch’s daughter the ring, and the woman filed and pared away at her daughter’s finger till the ring fitted. It was the same with the circlet and the shoes of gold. The witch would not allow them to be handed to the cinder wench; she worked at her own daughter’s head and feet till she got the things forced on. What was to be done now? The Prince had to take the witch’s daughter for his bride whether he would or no; he sneaked away to her father’s house with her, however, for he was ashamed to hold the wedding festivities at the palace with so strange a bride. Some days passed, and at last he had to take his bride home to the palace, and he got ready to do so. Just as they were taking leave, the kitchen wench sprang down from her place by the stove, on the pretext of fetching something from the cowhouse, and in going by she whispered in the Prince’s ear as he stood in the yard:
`Alas! dear Prince, do not rob me of my silver and my gold.’
Thereupon the King’s son recognised the cinder wench; so he took both the girls with him, and set out. After they had gone some little way they came to the bank of a river, and the Prince threw the witch’s daughter across to serve as a bridge, and so got over with the cinder wench. There lay the witch’s daughter then, like a bridge over the river, and could not stir, though her heart was consumed with grief. No help was near, so she cried at last in her anguish:
`May there grow a golden hemlock out of my body! perhaps my mother will know me by that token.’
Scarcely had she spoken when a golden hemlock sprang up from her, and stood upon the bridge.
Now, as soon as the Prince had got rid of the witch’s daughter he greeted the cinder wench as his bride, and they wandered together to the birch tree which grew upon the mother’s grave. There they received all sorts of treasures and riches, three sacks full of gold, and as much silver, and a splendid steed, which bore them home to the palace. There they lived a long time together, and the young wife bore a son to the Prince. Immediately word was brought to the witch that her daughter had borne a son–for they all believed the young King’s wife to be the witch’s daughter.
`So, so,’ said the witch to herself; `I had better away with my gift for the infant, then.’
And so saying she set out. Thus it happened that she came to the bank of the river, and there she saw the beautiful golden hemlock growing in the middle of the bridge, and when she began to cut it down to take to her grandchild, she heard a voice moaning:
`Alas! dear mother, do not cut me so!’
`Are you here?’ demanded the witch.
`Indeed I am, dear little mother,’ answered the daughter `They threw me across the river to make a bridge of me.’
In a moment the witch had the bridge shivered to atoms, and then she hastened away to the palace. Stepping up to the young Queen’s bed, she began to try her magic arts upon her, saying:
`Spit, you wretch, on the blade of my knife; bewitch my knife’s blade for me, and I shall change you into a reindeer of the forest.’
`Are you there again to bring trouble upon me?’ said the young woman.
She neither spat nor did anything else, but still the witch changed her into a reindeer, and smuggled her own daughter into her place as the Prince’s wife. But now the child grew restless and cried, because it missed its mother’s care. They took it to the court, and tried to pacify it in every conceivable way, but its crying never ceased.
`What makes the child so restless?’ asked the Prince, and he went to a wise widow woman to ask her advice.
`Ay, ay, your own wife is not at home,’ said the widow woman; `she is living like a reindeer in the wood; you have the witch’s daughter for a wife now, and the witch herself for a mother-in- law.’
`Is there any way of getting my own wife back from the wood again?’ asked the Prince.
`Give me the child,’ answered the widow woman. `I’ll take it with me to-morrow when I go to drive the cows to the wood. I’ll make a rustling among the birch leaves and a trembling among the aspens–perhaps the boy will grow quiet whe
n he hears it.’
`Yes, take the child away, take it to the wood with you to quiet it,’ said the Prince, and led the widow woman into the castle.
`How now? you are going to send the child away to the wood?’ said the witch in a suspicious tone, and tried to interfere.
But the King’s son stood firm by what he had commanded, and said:
`Carry the child about the wood; perhaps that will pacify it.’
So the widow woman took the child to the wood. She came to the edge of a marsh, and seeing a herd of reindeer there, she began all at once to sing–
`Little Bright-eyes, little Redskin, Come nurse the child you bore! That bloodthirsty monster, That man-eater grim, Shall nurse him, shall tend him no more. They may threaten and force as they will, He turns from her, shrinks from her still,’
and immediately the reindeer drew near, and nursed and tended the child the whole day long; but at nightfall it had to follow the herd, and said to the widow woman:
`Bring me the child to-morrow, and again the following day; after that I must wander with the herd far away to other lands.’
The following morning the widow woman went back to the castle to fetch the child. The witch interfered, of course, but the Prince said:
`Take it, and carry it about in the open air; the boy is quieter at night, to be sure, when he has been in the wood all day.’
So the widow took the child in her arms, and carried it to the marsh in the forest. There she sang as on the preceding day–
`Little Bright-eyes, little Redskin, Come nurse the child you bore! That bloodthirsty monster, That man-eater grim, Shall nurse him, shall tend him no more. They may threaten and force as they will, He turns from her, shrinks from her still,’ and immediately the reindeer left the herd and came to the child, and tended it as on the day before. And so it was that the child throve, till not a finer boy was to be seen anywhere. But the King’s son had been pondering over all these things, and he said to the widow woman:
`Is there no way of changing the reindeer into a human being again?’
`I don’t rightly know,’ was her answer. `Come to the wood with me, however; when the woman puts off her reindeer skin I shall comb her head for her; whilst I am doing so you must burn the skin.’
Thereupon they both went to the wood with the child; scarcely were they there when the reindeer appeared and nursed the child as before. Then the widow woman said to the reindeer:
`Since you are going far away to-morrow, and I shall not see you again, let me comb your head for the last time, as a remembrance of you.’
Good; the young woman stript off the reindeer skin, and let the widow woman do as she wished. In the meantime the King’s son threw the reindeer skin into the fire unobserved.
`What smells of singeing here?’ asked the young woman, and looking round she saw her own husband. `Woe is me! you have burnt my skin. Why did you do that?’
`To give you back your human form again.’
`Alack-a-day! I have nothing to cover me now, poor creature that I am!’ cried the young woman, and transformed herself first into a distaff, then into a wooden beetle, then into a spindle, and into all imaginable shapes. But all these shapes the King’s son went on destroying till she stood before him in human form again.
Alas! wherefore take me home with you again,’ cried the young woman, `since the witch is sure to eat me up?’
`She will not eat you up,’ answered her husband; and they started for home with the child.
But when the witch wife saw them she ran away with her daughter, and if she has not stopped she is running still, though at a great age. And the Prince, and his wife, and the baby lived happy ever afterwards.

Robert Graves Bank Holiday Poetry….

Sorley’s Weather

When outside the icy rain

Comes leaping helter-skelter,

Shall I tie my restive brain

Snugly under shelter?
Shall I make a gentle song

Here in my firelit study,

When outside the winds blow strong

And the lanes are muddy?
With old wine and drowsy meats

Am I to fill my belly?

Shall I glutton here with Keats?

Shall I drink with Shelley?
Tobacco’s pleasant, firelight’s good:

Poetry makes both better.

Clay is wet and so is mud,

Winter rains are wetter.
Yet rest there, Shelley, on the sill,

For though the winds come frorely,

I’m away to the rain-blown hill

And the ghost of Sorley.

The Naked and the Nude

For me, the naked and the nude

(By lexicographers construed

As synonyms that should express

The same deficiency of dress

Or shelter) stand as wide apart

As love from lies, or truth from art.
Lovers without reproach will gaze

On bodies naked and ablaze;

The Hippocratic eye will see

In nakedness, anatomy;

And naked shines the Goddess when

She mounts her lion among men.
The nude are bold, the nude are sly

To hold each treasonable eye.

While draping by a showman’s trick

Their dishabille in rhetoric,

They grin a mock-religious grin

Of scorn at those of naked skin.
The naked, therefore, who compete

Against the nude may know defeat;

Yet when they both together tread

The briary pastures of the dead,

By Gorgons with long whips pursued,

How naked go the sometimes nude!

The Persian Version

Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon

The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon.

As for the Greek theatrical tradition

Which represents that summer’s expedition

Not as a mere reconnaisance in force

By three brigades of foot and one of horse

(Their left flank covered by some obsolete

Light craft detached from the main Persian fleet)

But as a grandiose, ill-starred attempt

To conquer Greece – they treat it with contempt;

And only incidentally refute

Major Greek claims, by stressing what repute

The Persian monarch and the Persian nation

Won by this salutary demonstration:

Despite a strong defence and adverse weather

All arms combined magnificently together.

The bards falter in shame, their running verse

Stumbles, with marrow-bones the drunken diners

Pelt them for their delay.

It is a something fearful in the song

Plagues them — an unknown grief that like a churl

Goes commonplace in cowskin

And bursts unheralded, crowing and coughing,

An unpilled holly-club twirled in his hand,

Into their many-shielded, samite-curtained,

Jewel-bright hall where twelve kings sit at chess

Over the white-bronze pieces and the gold;

And by a gross enchantment

Flalils down the rafters and leads off the queens –

The wild-swan-breasted, the rose-ruddy-cheeked

Raven-haired daughters of their admiration –

To stir his black pots and to bed on straw.


On The Menu:

The Links
Nico – Frozen Warnings
The Young Piper
The Poetry Of Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold Bio….
All Tomorrow’s Parties

Art: Phaedra in her many guises…
A quick one my lovelies…. off to print up work for my gallery opening this next week… Details to follow… Much too warm for yours truly. 90f plus. Dying. argh.
Life though is sweet, Pk came over last night, then joined by Terry with a lovely bottle of Champagne…. We graduated to the Absinthe, and you know the story…..
Hope this finds you well.

The Links:

‘Vatican air’ passengers’ holy water confiscated
Researchers say Italy’s 5,000-year-old Iceman died from head trauma, not arrow
Shifting Evolution Up A Gear
Climate flooding risk ‘misjudged’

Nico – Frozen Warnings



The Young Piper
There lived not long since, on the borders of the county Tipperary, a decent honest couple, whose names were Mick Flanigan andJudy Muldoon. These poor people were blessed, as the saying is, with four children, all boys: three of them were as fine, stout, healthy, good-looking children as ever the sun shone upon; and it was enough to make any Irishman proud of the breed of his countrymen to see them about one o’clock on a fine summer’s day standing at their father’s cabin door, with their beautiful flaxen hair hanging in curls about their heads, and their cheeks like two rosy apples, and a big laughing potato smoking in their hand. A proud man was Mick of these fine children, and a proud woman, too, was Judy; and reason enough they had to he so. But it was far otherwise with the remaining one, which was the third eldest: he was the most miserable, ugly, ill conditioned brat that ever God put life into: he was so ill-thriven, that he never was able to stand alone, or to leave his cradle; he had long, shaggy, matted, curled hair, as black as any raven; his face was of a greenish yellow colour; his eyes were like two burning coals, and were for ever moving in his head, as if they had the perpetual motion. Before he was a twelvemonth old, he had a mouth full of great teeth; his hands were like kites claws, and his legs were no thicker than the handle of a whip, and about as straight as a reaping-hook: to make the matter worse, he had the gut of a cormorant, and the whinge, and the yelp, and the screech, and the yowl, was never out of his mouth. The neighbours all suspected that he was something not right, particularly as it was observed, when people, as they do in the country, got about the fire, and began to talk of religion and good things, the brat, as he lay in the cradle, which his mother generally put near the fire-place that he might be snug, used to sit up, as they were in the middle of their talk, and begin to bellow as if the devil was in him in right earnest: this, as I said, led the neighbours to think that all was not right, and there was a general consultation held one day about what would he best to do with him. Some advised to put him out on the shovel, but Judy’s pride was up at that. A pretty thing indeed, that a child of hers should be put on a shovel and flung out on the dunghill, just like a dead kitten, or a poisoned rat ! no, no, she would not hear to that at all. One old woman, who was considered very skilful and knowing in fairy matters, strongly recommended her to put the tongs in the fire, and heat them red hot, and to take his nose in them, and that that would, beyond all manner of doubt, make him tell what he was, and where he came from (for the general suspicion was, that he had been changed by the good people); but Judy was too soft-hearted, and too fond of the imp, so she would not give into this plan, though every body said she was wrong; and may be she was, but it’s hard to blame a mother. Well, some advised one thing, and some another; at last one spoke of sending for the priest, who was a very holy and a very learned man, to see it; to this Judy of course had no objection, but one thing or other always prevented her doing so; and the upshot of the business was, that the priest never saw him.
Things went on in the old way for some time longer. The brat continued yelping and yowling, and eating more than his three brothers put together, and playing all sorts of unlucky tricks, for he was mighty mischievous]y inclined; till it happened one day that Tim Carrol, the blind piper, going his rounds, called in and sat down by the fire to have a bit of chat with the woman of the house. So after some time, Tim, who was no churl of his music, yoked on the pipes, and began to bellows away in high style; when the instant he began, the young fellow, who had been lying as still as a mouse in his cradle, sat up, began to grin and twist his ugly face, to swing about his long tawny arms, and to kick out his crooked legs, and to show signs of great glee at the music. At last nothing would serve him but he should get the pipes into his own hands, and to humour him, his mother asked Tim to lend them to the child for a minute. Tim, who was kind to children, readily consented and as Tim had not his sight, Judy herself brought them to the cradle, and went to put them on him; but she had no occasion, for the youth seemed quite up to the business. He buckled on the pipes, set the bellows under one arm, and the bag under the other, worked them both as knowingly as if he had been twenty years at the business, and lilted up Sheela na guira, in the finest style imaginable. All was in astonishment: the poor woman crossed herself. Tim, who, as I said before, was dark, and did not well know who was playing, was in great delight; and when he heard that it was a little prechan not five years old, that had never seen a set of pipes in his life, he wished the mother joy of her son; offered to take him off her hands if she would part with him, swore he was a born piper, a natural genus, and declared that in a little time more, with the help of a little good instruction from himself, there would not be his match in the whole country. The poor woman was greatly delighted to hear all this, particularly as what Tim said about natural genus quieted some misgivings that were rising in her mind, lest what the neighbours said about his not being right might he too true; and it gratified her moreover to think that her dear child (for she really loved the whelp) would not he forced to turn out and beg, but might earn decent bread for himself. So when Mick came home in the evening from his work, she up and told him all that had happened, and all that Tim Carrol had said; and Mick, as was natural, was very glad to hear it, for the helpless condition of the poor creature was a great trouble to him; so next day he took the pig to the fair, and with what it brought set off to Clonmel, and bespoke a bran new set of pipes, of the proper size for him. In about a fortnight the pipes came home, and the moment the chap in his cradle laid eyes on them, he squealed with delight, and threw up his pretty legs, and bumped himself in his cradle, and went on with a great many comical tricks; till at last, to quiet him, they gave him the pipes, and he immediately set to and pulled away at Jig Polthog, to the admiration of all that heard him. The fame of his skill on the pipes soon spread far and near, for there was not a piper in the six next counties could come at all near him, in Old Moderagh rue, or the Hare in the Corn, or The Foxhunter Jig, or The Rakes of Cashel, or the Piper’s Maggot, or any of the fine Irish jigs, which make people dance whether they will or no and it was surprising to hear him rattle away ” The Fox-hunt; ” you’d really think you heard the hounds giving tongue, and the terriers yelping always behind, and the huntsman and the whippers-in cheering or correcting the dogs; it was, in short, the very next thing to seeing the hunt itself. The best of him was, he was no ways stingy of his music, and many a merry dance the boys and girls of the neighbourhood used to have in his father’s cabin; and he would play up music for them, that they said used as it were to put quicksilver in their feet; and they all declared they never moved so light and so airy to any piper’s playing that ever they danced to.
But besides all his fine Irish music, he had one queer tune of his own, the oddest that ever was heard ; for the moment he began to play it, every thing in the house seemed disposed to dance; the plates and porringers used to jingle on the dresser, the pots and pot-hooks used to rattle in the chimney, and people used even to fancy they felt the stools moving from under them but, however it might be with the stools, it is certain that no one could keep long sitting on them, for both old and young always fell to capering as hard as ever they could. The girls complained that when he began this tune it always threw them out in their dancing, and that they never could handle their feet rightly, for they felt the floor like ice under them, and themselves every moment ready to come sprawling on their backs or their faces; the young bachelors that wished to show off their dancing and their new pumps, and their bright red or green and yellow garters, swore that it confused them so that they never could go rightly through the heel and toe, or cover the buckle, or any of their best steps, but felt themselves always all bedizzied and bewildered, and then old and young would go jostling and knocking together in a frightful manner; and when the unlucky brat had them all in this way whirligigging about the floor, he’d grin and chuckle and chatter, for all the world like Jacko the monkey when he has played off some of his roguery.
The older he grew the worse he grew, and by the time he was six years old there was no standing the house for him; he was always making his brothers burn or scald themselves, or break their shins over the pots and stools. One time in harvest, he was left at home by himself, and when his mother came in, she found the cat a horseback on the dog, with her face to the tail, and her legs tied round him, and the urchin playing his queer tune to them; so that the dog went barking and jumping about, and puss was mewing for the dear life, and slapping her tail backwards and forwards, which as it would hit against the dog’s chaps, he’d snap at and bite, and then there was the philliloo. Another time, the farmer Mick worked with, a very decent respectable man, happened to call in, and Judy wiped a stool with her apron, and invited him to sit down and rest himself after his walk. He was sitting with his back to the cradle, and behind him was a pan of blood, for Judy was making pigs’ puddings; the lad lay quite still in his nest, and watched his opportunity till he got ready a hook at the end of a piece of twine, which he contrived to fling so handily, that it caught in the bob of the man’s nice new wig, and soused it in the pan of blood. Another time, his mother was coming in from milking the cow, with the pail on her head: the minute he saw her lie lilted up his infernal tune, and the poor woman letting go the pail, clapped her hands aside, and began to dance a jig, and tumbled the milk all atop of her husband, who was bringing in some turf to boil the supper. In short there would be no end to telling all his pranks, and all the mischievous tricks he played.
Soon after, some mischances began to happen to the farmer’s cattle; a horse took the staggers, a fine veal calf died of the black-leg, and some of his sheep of the red water; the cows began to grow vicious, and to kick down the milk-pails, and the roof of one end of the barn fell in; and the farmer took it into his head that Mick Flanigan’s unlucky child was the cause of all the mischief. So one day he called Mick aside, and said to him, “Mick, you see things are not going on with me as they ought, and to be plain with you, Mick, I think that child of yours is the cause of it. I am really falling away to nothing with fretting, and I can hardly sleep on my bed at night for thinking of what may happen before the morning. So I’d be glad if you’d look out for work some where else; you’re as good a man as any in the county, and there’s no fear but you’ll have your choice of work.” To this Mick replied, ” that he was sorry for his losses, and still sorrier that he or his should be thought to be the cause of them; that for his own part, he was not quite easy in his mind about that child, but he had him, and so must keep him;” and he promised to look out for another place immediately. Accordingly next Sunday at chapel, Mick gave out that he was about leaving the work at John Riordan’s, and immediately a farmer, who lived a couple of miles off, and who wanted a ploughman (the last one having just left him), came up to Mick, and offered him a house and garden, and work all the year round. Mick, who knew him to be a good employer, immediately closed with him so it was agreed that the farmer should send a car [cart] to take his little bit of furniture, and that he should remove on the following Thursday. When Thursday came, the car came, according to promise, and Mick loaded it, and put the cradle with the child and his pipes on the top, and Judy sat beside it to take care of him, lest he should tumble out and be killed; they drove the cow before them, the dog followed, but the cat was of course left behind; and the other three children went along the road picking skeehories (haws), and blackberries, for it was a fine day towards the latter end of harvest.
They had to cross a river, but as it ran through a bottom between two high banks, you did not see it till you were close on it. The young fellow was lying pretty quiet in the bottom of his cradle, till they came to the head of the bridge, when hearing the roaring of the water (for there was a great flood in the river, as it had rained heavily for the last two or three days), he sat up ih his cradle and looked about him; and the instant he got a sight of the water, and found they were going to take him across it, O how he did bellow and how he did squeal ! -no rat caught in a snap-trap ever sang out equal to him. ” Whisht ! A lanna,” said Judy, ” there’s no fear of you;” sure its only over the stone-bridge we’re going.” “Bad luck to you, you old rip !” cried he, “what a pretty trick you’ve played me, to bring me here !” and still went on yelling, and the farther they got on the bridge the louder he yelled; till at last Mick could hold out no longer, so giving him a great skelp of the whip he had in his hand, “Devil choke you, you brat !” said he, ” will you never stop bawling ? a body can’t hear their ears for you.” The moment he felt the thong of the whip, he leaped up in the cradle, clapt the pipes under his arm, gave a most wicked grin at Mick, and jumped clean over the battlements of the bridge down into the water. ” O my child, my child !” shouted Judy, ” he’s gone for ever from me.” Mick and the rest of the children ran to the other side of the bridge, and looking over, they saw him coming out from under the arch of the bridge, sitting cross-legged on the top of a white-headed wave,and playing away on the pipes as merrily as if nothing had happened. The river was running very rapidly, so he was whirled away at a great rate; but he played as fast, ay and faster than the river ran; and though they set off as hard as they could along the bank, yet, as the river made a sudden turn round the hill, about a hundred yards below the bridge, by the time they got there he was out of sight, and no one ever laid eyes on him more; but the general opinion was, that he went borne with the pipes to his own relations, the good people, to make music for them.

The Poetry Of Matthew Arnold

The Voice
As the kindling glances,
Queen-like and clear,
Which the bright moon lances
From her tranquil sphere
At the sleepless waters
Of a lonely mere,
On the wild whirling waves, mournfully, mournfully,
Shiver and die.
As the tears of sorrow
Mothers have shed –

Prayers that tomorrow
Shall in vain be sped
When the flower they flow for
Lies frozen and dead –

Fall on the throbbing brow, fall on the burning breast,
Bringing no rest.
Like bright waves that fall
With a lifelike motion
On the lifeless margin of the sparkling Ocean;
A wild rose climbing up a mouldering wall –

A gush of sunbeams through a ruined hall –

Strains of glad music at a funeral –

So sad, and with so wild a start

To this deep-sobered heart,

So anxiously and painfully,

So drearily and doubtfully,

And oh, with such intolerable change

Of thought, such contrast strange,

O unforgotten voice, thy accents come,

Like wanderers from the world’s extremity,

Unto their ancient home!
In vain, all, all in vain,

They beat upon mine ear again,

Those melancholy tones so sweet and still.

Those lute-like tones which in the bygone year

Did steal into mine ear –

Blew such a thrilling summons to my will,

Yet could not shake it;

Made my tost heart its very life-blood spill,

Yet could not break it.

Dover Beach

The sea is calm to-night,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; — on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch’d land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,

Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The sea of faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl’d.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,

Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,

So various, so beautiful, so new,

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;

And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

Where ignorant armies clash by night.


Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask: Thou smilest and art still,
Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,
That to the stars uncrowns his majesty,

Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea,

Making the Heaven of Heavens his dwelling-place,

Spares but the cloudy border of his base
To the foil’d searching of mortality:

And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,

Self-school’d, self-scann’d, self-honour’d, self-secure,
Didst walk on earth unguess’d at. Better so!

All pains the immortal spirit must endure,

All weakness that impairs, all griefs that bow,
Find their sole voice in that victorious brow.

Biography (1822-1888). Matthew Arnold was the son of Thomas Arnold, who was a noted and innovative headmaster of Rugby school. Matthew Arnold studied at Rugby and Balliol College, Oxford. After graduating he returned to Rugby for a short time to teaching classics In 1851 he married and after this he began work as a schools inspector. This was a demanding job but enabled him to travel widely throughout the UK and Europe.
His early poetic works included Empedocles on Etna(1852) and Poems(1853) these established his reputation as a poet. In 1857 he was appointed to be professor of poetry at Oxford University a post he held for ten years. He was the first professor to lecture in English rather than Latin. During his time as professor of poetry at Oxford Matthew produced many essays of literary criticism such as “On Translating Homer”(1861 and 1862), “On the Study of Celtic Literature”(1867), and “Essays in Celtic Literature”
Matthew Arnold’s writings, to some extent characterized many of the Victorian beliefs with regard to religious faith and morality. However one significant development in his poetry was that he shared with great clarity his own inner feelings. This poetic transparency has had an influence on many other poets such as W.B.Yeats and even Sylvia Plath.

all tomorrow parties


Have A brilliant one!


Morning of the Assassin..

Weird day… started last night. tossed and turned all night. Drove Mary away, she headed to the living room. Rowan and friends sat up for the eclipse… Wish I had. I woke and dealt with biz that I would of preferred not to, but there ya go. Went over last night to our friends Doran’s house to work on pictures/prints for my art exhibit coming up this next month. First one in 8 or so years. Must get into the swing of things, I am bursting with light and energy…
Heading north to see my dad (who is 87) he is starting to fall down, and I have not seen him in months…
Nestor Peralas’ Memorial was held last night. Unfortunately it was put in the paper which lots, and I mean lots of people don’t get. I found out at 4:00pm Monday, only by going on-line… Sad, he touched so many people, but the ones he touched….. achhhh. We are planning an event for the ones who missed it…
I miss Nestor. Plain and simple. He was the humblest of warriors. May the Gods take him for company.
Bright Blessings,

On The Menu…
The Links…

The Vision of Hasheesh

Recipe: Gaspo’s Zauber Cuchlis Hashish

Poetry: The Hashish Eater -or- the Apocalypse of Evil

The Links:

Religious vandalism in the Netherlands

Lost city of of Mu ‘found’

Second longest ‘Great Wall’ in Asia discovered in Iran

Walrus penis fetches $8,000 at auction

The Vision of Hasheesh

by Bayard Taylor

Chapter 10 of The Lands of the Saracen.
A slightly different version was published in the April, 1854 edition of Putnam’s Monthly Magazine
“Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,

Possessed beyond the Muse’s painting.”

During my stay in Damascus, that insatiable curiosity which leads me to prefer the acquisition of all lawful knowledge through the channels of my own personal experience, rather than in less satisfactory and less laborious ways, induced me to make a trial of the celebrated Hasheesh — that remarkable drug which supplies the luxurious Syrian with dreams more alluring and more gorgeous than the Chinese extracts from his darling opium pipe. The use of Hasheesh — which is a preparation of the dried leaves of the cannabis indica — has been familiar to the East for many centuries. During, the Crusades, it was frequently used by the Saracen warriors to stimulate them to the work of slaughter, and from the Arabic term of “Hashasheën” or Eaters of Hasheesh, as applied to them, the word “assassin” has been naturally derived. An infusion of the same plant gives to the drink called “bhang” which is in common use throughout India and Malaysia, its peculiar properties. Thus prepared, it is a more fierce and fatal stimulant than the paste of sugar and spices to which the Turk resorts, as the food of his voluptuous evening, reveries. While its immediate effects seem to be more potent than those of opium, its habitual use, though attended with ultimate and permanent injury to the system, rarely results in such utter wreck of mind and body as that to which the votaries of the latter drug inevitably condemn themselves.
A previous experience of the effects of hasheesh — which I took once, and in a very mild form, while in Egypt — was so peculiar in its character, that my curiosity, instead of being satisfied, only prompted me the more to throw myself, for once, wholly under its influence. The sensations it then produced were those, physically, of exquisite lightness and airiness — mentally, of a wonderfully keen perception of the ludicrous, in the most simple and familiar objects. During the half hour in which it lasted, I was at no time so far under its control, that I could not, with the clearest perception, study the changes through which I passed. I noted, with careful attention, the fine sensations which spread throughout the whole tissue of my nervous fibre, each thrill helping, to divest my frame of its earthly and material nature, until my substance appeared to me no grosser than the vapors of the atmosphere, and while sitting in the calm of the Egyptian twilight, I expected to be lifted up and carried away by the first breeze that should ruffle the Nile. While this process was going on, the objects by which I was surrounded assumed a strange and whimsical expression. My pipe, the oars which my boatmen plied, the turban worn by the captain, the water-jars and culinary implements, became in themselves so inexpressibly absurd and comical, that I was provoked into a long fit of laughter. The hallucination died away as gradually as it came, leaving me overcome with a soft and pleasant drowsiness from which I sank into a deep, refreshing sleep.
My companion and an English gentleman, who, with his wife, was also residing in Antonio’s pleasant caravanserai — agreed to join me in the experiment. The dragoman of the latter was deputed to procure a sufficient quantity of the drug. He was a dark Egyptian, speaking only the lingua franca of the East, and asked me, as he took the money and departed on his mission, whether he should get hasheesh “per ridere, o per dormire?” “Oh, per ridere, of course,” I answered; “and see that it be strong and fresh.” It is customary with the Syrians to take a small portion immediately before the evening meal, as it is thus diffused through the stomach and acts more gradually, as well as more gently, upon the system. As our dinner-hour was at sunset, I proposed taking hasheesh at that time, but my friends, fearing that its operation might be more speedy upon fresh subjects, and thus betray them into some absurdity in the presence of the other travellers, preferred waiting until after the meal. It was then agreed that we should retire to our room, which, as it rose like a tower one story higher than the rest of the building, was in a manner isolated, and would screen us from observation.
We commenced by taking a tea-spoonful each of the mixture which Abdallah had procured. This was about the quantity I had taken in Egypt, and as the effect then had been so slight, I judged that we ran no risk of taking an over-dose. The strength of the drug, however, must have been far greater in this instance, for whereas I could in the former case distinguish no flavor but that of sugar and rose leaves, I now found the taste intensely bitter and repulsive to the palate. We allowed the paste to dissolve slowly on our tongues, and sat some time, quietly waiting the result. But, having been taken upon a full stomach, its operation was hindered, and after the lapse of nearly an hour, we could not detect the least change in our feelings. My friends loudly expressed their conviction of the humbug of hasheesh, but I, unwilling to give up the experiment at this point, proposed that we should take an additional half spoonful, and follow it with a cup of hot tea, which, if there were really any virtue in the preparation, could not fail to call it into action. This was done, though not without some misgivings, as we were all ignorant of the precise quantity which constituted a dose, and the limits within which the drug could be taken with safety. It was now ten o’clock; the streets of Damascus were gradually becoming silent, and the fair city was bathed in the yellow lustre of the Syrian moon. Only in the marble court-yard below us, a few dragomen and mukkairee lingered under the lemon-trees, and beside the fountain in the centre.
I was seated alone, nearly in the middle of the room, talking with my friends, who were lounging upon a sofa placed in a sort of alcove, at the farther end, when the same fine nervous thrill, of which I have spoken, suddenly shot through me. But this time it was accompanied with a burning sensation at the pit of the stomach; and, instead of growing upon me with the gradual pace of healthy slumber, and resolving me, as before, into air, it came with the intensity of a pang, and shot throbbing along the nerves to the extremities of my body. The sense of limitation — of the confinement of our senses within the bounds of our own flesh and blood — instantly fell away. The walls of my frame were burst outward and tumbled into ruin; and, without thinking what form I wore — losing sight even of all idea of form — I felt that I existed throughout a vast extent of space. The blood, pulsed from my heart, sped through uncounted leagues before it reached my extremities; the air drawn into my lungs expanded into seas of limpid ether, and the arch of my skull was broader than the vault of heaven. Within the concave that held my brain, were the fathomless deeps of blue; clouds floated there, and the winds of heaven rolled them together, and there shone the orb of the sun. It was — though I thought not of that at the time — like a revelation of the mystery of omnipresence. It is diffcult to describe this sensation, or the rapidity with which it mastered me. In the state of mental exaltation in which I was then plunged, all sensations, as they rose, suggested more or less coherent images. They presented themselves to me in a double form: one physical, and therefore to a certain extent tangible; the other spiritual, and revealing itself in a succession of splendid metaphors. The physical feeling, of extended being was accompanied by the image of an exploding meteor, not subsiding into darkness, but continuing to shoot from its centre or nucleus — which corresponded to the burning spot at the pit of my stomach — incessant adumbrations of light that finally lost themselves in the infinity of space. To my mind, even now, this image is still the best illustration of my sensations, as I recall them; but I greatly doubt whether the reader w
ill find it equally clear.
My curiosity was now in a way of being satisfied; the Spirit (demon, shall I not rather say?) of Hasheesh had entire possession of me. I was cast upon the flood of his illusions, and drifted helplessly whithersoever they might choose to bear me. The thrills which ran through my nervous system became more rapid and fierce, accompanied with sensations that steeped my whole being in unutterable rapture. I was encompassed by a sea of light, through which played the pure, harmonious colors that are born of light. While endeavoring, in broken expressions, to describe my feelings to my friends, who sat looking upon me incredulously-not yet having been affected by the drug-I suddenly found myself at the foot of the great Pyramid of Cheops. The tapering courses of yellow limestone gleamed like gold in the sun, and the pile rose so high that it seemed to lean for support upon the blue arch of the sky. I wished to ascend it, and the wish alone placed me immediately upon its apex, lifted thousands of feet above the wheat-fields and palm-groves of Egypt. I cast my eyes downward, and, to my astonishment, saw that it was built, not of limestone, but of huge square plugs of Cavendish tobacco! Words cannot paint the overwhelming sense of the ludicrous which I then experienced. I writhed on my chair in an agony of laughter, which was only relieved by the vision melting away like a dissolving view; till, out of my confusion of indistinct images and fragments of images, another and more wonderful vision arose.
The more vividly I recall the scene which followed, the more carefully I restore its different features, and separate the many threads of sensation which it wove into one gorgeous web, the more I despair of representing its exceeding glory. I was moving over the Desert, not upon the rocking dromedary, but seated in a barque made of mother-of-pearl, and studded with jewels of surpassing lustre. The sand was of grains of gold, and my keel slid through them without jar or sound. The air was radiant with excess of light, though no sun was to be seen. I inhaled the most delicions perfumes; and harmonies, such as Beethoven may have heard in dreams, but never wrote, floated around me. The atmosphere itself was light, odor, music; and each and all sublimated beyond anything the sober senses are capable of receiving. Before me — for a thousand leagues, as it seemed — stretched a vista of rainbows, whose colors gleamed with the splendor of gems — arches of living amethyst, sapphire, emerald, topaz, and ruby. By thousands and tens of thousands, they flew past me, as my dazzling barge sped down the magnificent arcade; yet the vista still stretched as far as ever before me. I revelled in a sensuous elysium, which was perfect, because no sense was left ungratified. But beyond all, my mind was filled with a boundless feeling of triumph. My journey was that of a conqueror — not of a conqueror who subdues his race, either by Love or by Will, for I forgot that Man existed — but one victorious over the grandest as well as the subtlest forces of Nature. The spirits of Light, Color, Odor, Sound, and Motion were my slaves; and, having these, I was master of the universe.
Those who are endowed to any extent with the imaginative faculty, must have at least once in their lives experienced feelings which may give them a clue to the exalted sensuous raptures of my triumphal march. The view of a sublime mountain landscape, the hearing of a grand orchestral symphony, or of a choral upborne by the “full-voiced organ,” or even the beauty and luxury of a cloudless summer day, suggests emotions similar in kind, if less intense. They took a warmth and glow from that pure animal joy which degrades not, but spiritualizes and ennobles our material part, and which differs from cold, abstract, intellectual enjoyment, as the flaming diamond of the Orient differs from the icicle of the North. Those finer senses, which occupy a middle ground between our animal and intellectual appetites, were suddenly developed to a pitch beyond what I had ever dreamed, and being thus at one and the same time gratified to the fullest extent of their preternatural capacity, the result was a single harmonious sensation, to describe which human language has no epithet. Mahomet’s Paradise, with its palaces of ruby and emerald, its airs of musk and cassia, and its rivers colder than snow and sweeter than honey, would have been a poor and mean terminus for my arcade of rainbows. Yet in the character of this paradise, in the gorgeous fancies of the Arabian Nights, in the glow and luxury of all Oriental poetry, I now recognize more or less of the agency of hasheesh.
The fulness of my rapture expanded the sense of time; and though the whole vision was probably not more than five minutes in passing through my mind, years seemed to have elapsed while I shot under the dazzling myriads of rainbow arches. By and by, the rainbows, the barque of pearl and jewels, and the desert of golden sand, vanished; and, still bathed in light and perfume, I found myself in a land of green and flowery lawns, divided by hills of gently undulating outline. But, although the vegetation was the richest of earth, there were neither streams nor fountains to be seen; and the people who came from the hills, with brilliant garments that shone in the sun, besought me to give them the blessing of water. Their hands were full of branches of the coral honeysuckle, in bloom. These I took; and, breaking off the flowers one by one, set them in the earth. The slender, trumpet-like tubes immediately became shafts of masonry, and sank deep into the earth; the lip of the flower changed into a circular mouth of rose-colored marble, and the people, leaning over its brink, lowered their pitchers to the bottom with cords, and drew them up again, filled to the brim, and dripping with honey.
The most remarkable feature of these illusions was, that at the time when I was most completely under their influence, I knew myself to be seated in the tower of Antonio’s hotel in Damascus, knew that I had taken hasheesh, and that the strange, gorgeous and ludicrous fancies which possessed me, were the effect of it. At the very same instant that I looked upon the Valley of the Nile from the pyramid, slid over the Desert, or created my marvellous wells in that beautiful pastoral country, I saw the furniture of my room, its mosaic pavement, the quaint Saracenic niches in the walls, the painted and gilded beams of the ceiling, and the couch in the recess before me, with my two companions watching me. Both sensations were simultaneous, and equally palpable. While I was most given up to the magnificent delusion, I saw its cause and felt its absurdity most clearly. Metaphysicians say that the mind is incapable of performing two operations at the same time, and may attempt to explain this phenomenon by supposing a rapid and incessant vibration of the perceptions between the two states. This explanation, however, is not satisfactory to me; for not more clearly does a skilful musician with the same breath blow two distinct musical notes from a bugle, than I was conscious of two distinct conditions of being in the same moment. Yet, singular as it may seem, neither conflicted with the other. My enjoyment of the visions was complete and absolute, undisturbed by the faintest doubt of their reality; while, in some other chamber of my brain, Reason sat coolly watching them, and heaping the liveliest ridicule on their fantastic features. One set of nerves was thrilled with the bliss of the gods, while another was convulsed with unquenchable laughter at that very bliss. My highest ecstacies could not bear down and silence the weight of my ridicule, which, in its turn, was powerless to prevent me from running into other and more gorgeous absurdities. I was double, not “swan and shadow,” but rather, Sphinx-like, human and beast. A true Sphinx, I was a riddle and a mystery to myself.
The drug, which had been retarded in its operation on account of having been taken after a
meal, now began to make itself more powerfully felt. The visions were more grotesque than ever, but less agreeable; and there was a painful tension throughout my nervous system — the effect of over-stimulus. I was a mass of transparent jelly, and a confectioner poured me into a twisted mould. I threw my chair aside, and writhed and tortured myself for some time to force my loose substance into the mould. At last, when I had so far succeeded that only one foot remained outside, it was lifted off, and another mould, of still more crooked and intricate shape, substituted. I have no doubt that the contortions through which I went, to accomplish the end of my gelatinous destiny, would have been extremely ludicrous to a spectator, but to me they were painful and disagreeable. The sober half of me went into fits of laughter over them, and through that laughter, my vision shifted into another scene. I had laughed until my eyes overflowed profusely. Every drop that fell, immediately became a large loaf of bread, and tumbled upon the shop- board of a baker in the bazaar at Damascus. The more I laughed, the faster the loaves fell, until such a pile was raised about the baker, that I could hardly see the top of his head. “The man will be suffocated,” I cried, “but if he were to die, I cannot stop!”
My perceptions now became more dim and confused. I felt that I was in the grasp of some giant force; and, in the glimmering of my fading reason, grew earnestly alarmed, for the terrible stress under which my frame labored increased every moment. A fierce and furious heat radiated from my stomach throughout my system; my mouth and throat were as dry and hard as if made of brass, and my tongue, it seemed to me, was a bar of rusty iron. I seized a pitcher of water, and drank long and deeply; but I might as well have drunk so much air, for not only did it impart no moisture, but my palate and throat gave me no intelligence of having drunk at all. I stood in the centre of the room, brandishing my arms convulsively, and heaving sighs that seemed to shatter my whole being. “Will no one,” I cried in distress, “cast out this devil that has possession of me?” I no longer saw the room nor my friends, but I heard one of them saying, “It must be real; he could not counterfeit such an expression as that. But it don’t look much like pleasure.” Immediately afterwards there was a scream of the wildest laughter, and my countryman sprang upon the floor, exclaiming, “O, ye gods! I am a locomotive!” This was his ruling hallucination; and, for the space of two or three hours, he continued to pace to and fro with a measured stride, exhaling his breath in violent jets, and when he spoke, dividing his words into syllables, each of which he brought out with a jerk, at the same time turning his hands at his sides, as if they were the cranks of imaginary wheels. The Englishman, as soon as he felt the dose beginning to take effect, prudently retreated to his own room, and what the nature of his visions was, we never learned, for he refused to tell, and, moreover, enjoined the strictest silence on his wife.
By this time it was nearly midnight. I had passed through the Paradise of Hasheesh, and was plunged at once into its fiercest Hell. In my ignorance I had taken what, I have since learned, would have been a sufficient portion for six men, and was now paying a frightful penalty for my curiosity. The excited blood rushed through my frame with a sound like the roaring of mighty waters. It was projected into my eyes until I could no longer see; it beat thickly in my ears, and so throbbed in my heart, that I feared the ribs would give way under its blows. I tore open my vest, placed my hand over the spot, and tried to count the pulsations; but there were two hearts, one beating at the rate of a thousand beats a minute, and the other with a slow, dull motion. My throat, I thought, was filled to the brim with blood, and streams of blood were pouring from my ears. I felt them gushing warm down my cheeks and neck. With a maddened, desperate feeling, I fled from the room, and walked over the flat, terraced roof of the house. My body seemed to shrink and grow rigid as I wrestled with the demon, and my face to become wild, lean and haggard. Some lines which had struck me, years before, in reading Mrs. Browning’s “Rhyme of the Duchess May,” flashed into my mind: –
On the last verge, rears amain;

And he shivers, head and hoof, and the flakes of foam fall off;
That picture of animal terror and agony was mine. I was the horse, hanging poised on the verge of the giddy tower, the next moment to be borne sheer down to destruction. Involuntarily, I raised my hand to feel the leanness and sharpness of my face. Oh horror! the flesh had fallen from my bones, and it was a skeleton head that I carried on my shoulders! With one bound I sprang to the parapet, and looked down into the silent courtyard, then filled with the shadows thrown into it by the sinking moon. Shall I cast myself down headlong? was the question I proposed to myself; but though the horror of that skeleton delusion was greater than my fear of death, there was an invisible hand at my breast which pushed me away from the brink.
I made my way back to the room, in a state of the keenest suffering. My companion was still a locomotive, rushing to and fro, and jerking out his syllables with the disjointed accent peculiar to a steam-engine. His mouth had turned to brass like mine, and he raised the pitcher to his lips in the attempt to moisten it, but before he had taken a mouthful, set the pitcher down again with a yell of laughter, crying out: “How can I take water into my boiler, while I am letting off steam?”
But I was now too far gone to feel the absurdity of this, or his other exclamations. I was sinking deeper and deeper into a pit of unutterable agony and despair. For, although I was not conscious of real pain in any part of my body, the cruel tension to which my nerves had been subjected filled me through and through with a sensation of distress which was far more severe than pain itself. In addition to this, the remnant of will with which I struggled against the demon, became gradually weaker, and I felt that I should soon be powerless in his hands. Every effort to preserve my reason was accompanied by a pang of mortal fear, lest what I now experienced was insanity, and would hold mastery over me for ever. The thought of death, which also haunted me, was far less bitter than this dread. I knew that in the struggle which was going on in my frame, I was borne fearfully near the dark gulf, and the thought that, at such a time, both reason and will were leaving my brain, filled me with an agony, the depth and blackness of which I should vainly attempt to portray. I threw myself on my bed, with the excited blood still roaring wildly in my ears, my heart throbbing with a force that seemed to be rapidly wearing away my life, my throat dry as a potsherd, and my stiffened tongue cleaving to the roof of my mouth-resisting no longer, but awaiting my fate with the apathy of despair.
My companion was now approaching the same condition, but as the effect of the drug on him had been less violent, so his stage of suffering was more clamorous. He cried out to me that he was dying, implored me to help him, and reproached me vehemently, because I lay there silent, motionless, and apparently careless of his danger. “Why will he disturb me?” I thought; “he thinks he is dying, but what is death to madness? Let him die; a thousand deaths were more easily borne than the pangs I suffer.” While I was sufficiently conscious to hear his exclamations, they only provoked my keen anger; but after a time, my senses became clouded, and I sank into a stupor. As near as I can judge, this must have been three o’clock in the morning, rather more than five hours after the hasheesh began to take effect. I lay thus all the following day and night, in a state of gray, blank oblivion, broken only by a single wandering gleam of consciousness. I recollect hearing François’ voice. He told me afterwards that I arose, attempted to dress myself, drank two cups of coffee, and then fell back into the same death-like stupor; but of all this, I did not retain the least knowledge. On the morning of the second day, after a sleep of thirty hours, I awoke again to the world, with a system utterly prostrate and unstrung, and a brain clouded with the lingering images of my visions. I knew where I was, and what had happened to me, but all that I saw still remained unreal and shadowy. There was no taste in what I ate, no refreshment in what I drank, and it required a painful effort to comprehend what was said to me and return a coherent answer. Will and Reason had come back, but they still sat unsteadily upon their thrones.
My friend, who was much further advanced in his recovery, accompanied me to the adjoining bath, which I hoped would assist in restoring me. It was with great difficulty that I preserved the outward appearance of consciousness. In spite of myself, a veil now and then fell over my mind, and after wandering for years, as it seemed, in some distant world, I awoke with a shock, to find myself in the steamy halls of the bath, with a brown Syrian polishing my limbs. I suspect that my language must have been rambling and incoherent, and that the menials who had me in charge understood my condition, for as soon as I had stretched myself upon the couch which follows the bath, a glass of very acid sherbet was presented to me, and after drinking it I experienced instant relief. Still the spell was not wholly broken, and for two or three days I continued subject to frequent involuntary fits of absence, which made me insensible, for the time, to all that was passing around me. I walked the streets of Damascus with a strange consciousness that I was in some other place at the same time, and with a constant effort to reunite my divided perceptions.
Previous to the experiment, we had decided on making a bargain with the shekh for the journey to Palmyra. The state, however, in which we now found ourselves, obliged us to relinquish the plan. Perhaps the excitement of a forced march across the desert, and a conflict with the hostile Arabs, which was quite likely to happen, might have assisted us in throwing off the baneful effects of the drug; but all the charm which lay in the name of Palmyra and the romantic interest of the trip, was gone. I was without courage and without energy, and nothing remained for me but to leave Damascus.
Yet, fearful as my rash experiment proved to me, I did not regret having made it. It revealed to me deeps of rapture and of suffering which my natural faculties never could have sounded. It has taught me the majesty of human reason and of human will, even in the weakest, and the awful peril of tampering with that which assails their integrity. I have here faithfully and fully written out my experience, on account of the lesson which it may convey to others. If I have unfortunately failed in my design, and have but awakened that restless curiosity which I have endeavored to forestall, let me beg all who are thereby led to repeat the experiment upon themselves, that they be content to take the portion of hasheesh which is considered sufficient for one man, and not, like me, swallow enough for six.

Gaspo’s Zauber Cuchlis Hashish
Rules: warn your guests too wait one hour after the first brownie until they have a second one. The buzz from eating is different than smoking it, and even the heaviest smokers may have a hard time recognizing the effects at first.
200g butter (margarine wont work)

200g unsweetened schokolade

250g sugar

4 eggs

200g flour

splash vanilla extract

100g dark schokolade (regular candy type)

2-3 grams of hashish per person
1) over low heat, melt butter in saucepan.

2) once butter is just slightly bubbling, mix in ground up hash and stir for 5-10 minutes, taking the pan off the heat every now and then to keep the butter from steaming too much.

3) melt unsweetened schokolade (reform type) into butter, stirring constantly.

4) when all schokolade is melted totally, splash a few drops of vanilla in. If you can hear the vanilla sink to the bottom and sizzle, the mix is hot enough. so, remove from heat. if it doesn’t sizzle, then your low setting is low enough. I usually just turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the burner (ceramic stove).

5) stir in the sugar little by little (so it doesn’t clump)

6) once all the sugar is mixed in, beat the eggs and mix them in.

7) add the flour (stir in first so it doesn’t blow all around), and use an electric mixer on LOW (it’s a waste to splash magic all over the kitchen) until the whole bit is smooth and no lumps or pockets of flour.

8-) break dark schokolade into nickel size chunks, and stir in.

9) pour mix into shallow pan (2-3cm), and pop in medium heat oven for about 30-40min. NOTE: I never time the puppies, I just look at ‘em and know. A toothpick will come out with just a little brown color when they are done.

The longer you cook the hash and butter together, the sooner the effects seem to come on. Don’t let the butter bubble too much, or you can taste the hash in the end-product.
Vary the sugar according to the bitterness off the hash. I can’t really explain that, but if you eat raw hash, you’ll know what I mean.
Vary the flour to get chewy/fluffy brownies. about 1dl of buttermilk is pretty good too added just before the sugar, add extra five minutes before adding the eggs.
When you put the dark schokolade in, this is the time to add other things like chopped walnuts, M&M’s, pecans, and so on. I like this white schokolade with pralines added (also looks cool with white swirls in the end product). I’m going to try caramel one of these days too.
Hash oil will work too, although it if you can smell any alcohol in the oil, you should heat the alcohol out before mixing into the butter. If the hash oil is potent, a 1/4 to 1/2 gram dose per person is recommended.

The Hashish Eater -or- the Apocalypse of Evil

Clark Ashton Smith

Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;

I crown me with the million-colored sun

Of secret worlds incredible, and take

Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar,

Throned on the mounting zenith, and illume

The spaceward-flown horizons infinite.

Like rampant monsters roaring for their glut,

The fiery-crested oceans rise and rise,

By jealous moons maleficently urged

To follow me for ever; mountains horned

With peaks of sharpest adamant, and mawed

With sulphur-lit volcanoes lava-langued,

Usurp the skies with thunder, but in vain;

And continents of serpent-shapen trees,

With slimy trunks that lengthen league by league,

Pursue my light through ages spurned to fire

By that supreme ascendance; sorcerers,

And evil kings, predominanthly armed

With scrolls of fulvous dragon-skin whereon

Are worm-like runes of ever-twisting flame,

Would stay me; and the sirens of the stars,

With foam-like songs from silver fragrance wrought,

Would lure me to their crystal reefs; and moons

Where viper-eyed, senescent devils dwell,

With antic gnomes abominably wise,

Heave up their icy horns across my way.

But naught deters me from the goal ordained

By suns and eons and immortal wars,

And sung by moons and motes; the goal whose name

Is all the secret of forgotten glyphs

By sinful gods in torrid rubies writ

For ending of a brazen book; the goal

Whereat my soaring ecstasy may stand

In amplest heavens multiplied to hold

My hordes of thunder-vested avatars,

And Promethèan armies of my thought,

That brandish claspèd levins. There I call

My memories, intolerably clad

In light the peaks of paradise may wear,

And lead the Armageddon of my dreams

Whose instant shout of triumph is become

Immensity’s own music: for their feet

Are founded on innumerable worlds,

Remote in alien epochs, and their arms

Upraised, are columns potent to exalt

With ease ineffable the countless thrones

Of all the gods that are or gods to be,

And bear the seats of Asmodai and Set

Above the seventh paradise.

In culminant omniscience manifold,

And served by senses multitudinous,

Far-posted on the shifting walls of time,

With eyes that roam the star-unwinnowed fields

Of utter night and chaos, I convoke

The Babel of their visions, and attend

At once their myriad witness. I behold

In Ombos, where the fallen Titans dwell,

With mountain-builded walls, and gulfs for moat,

The secret cleft that cunning dwarves have dug

Beneath an alp-like buttress; and I list,

Too late, the clam of adamantine gongs

Dinned by their drowsy guardians, whose feet

Have fell the wasp-like sting of little knives

Embrued With slobber of the basilisk

Or the pail Juice of wounded upas. In

Some red Antarean garden-world, I see

The sacred flower with lips of purple flesh,

And silver-Lashed, vermilion-lidded eyes

Of torpid azure; whom his furtive priests

At moonless eve in terror seek to slay

With bubbling grails of sacrificial blood

That hide a hueless poison. And I read

Upon the tongue of a forgotten sphinx,

The annulling word a spiteful demon wrote

In gall of slain chimeras; and I know

What pentacles the lunar wizards use,

That once allured the gulf-returning roc,

With ten great wings of furlèd storm, to pause

Midmost an alabaster mount; and there,

With boulder-weighted webs of dragons’ gut

Uplift by cranes a captive giant built,

They wound the monstrous, moonquake-throbbing bird,

And plucked from off his saber-taloned feet

Uranian sapphires fast in frozen blood,

And amethysts from Mars. I lean to read

With slant-lipped mages, in an evil star,

The monstrous archives of a war that ran

Through wasted eons, and the prophecy

Of wars renewed, which shall commemorate

Some enmity of wivern-headed kings

Even to the brink of time. I know the blooms

Of bluish fungus, freaked with mercury,

That bloat within the creators of the moon,

And in one still, selenic and fetor; and I know

What clammy blossoms, blanched and cavern-grown,

Are proffered to their gods in Uranus

By mole-eyed peoples; and the livid seed

Of some black fruit a king in Saturn ate,

Which, cast upon his tinkling palace-floor,

Took root between the burnished flags, and now

Hath mounted and become a hellish tree,

Whose lithe and hairy branches, lined with mouths,

Net like a hundred ropes his lurching throne,

And strain at starting pillars. I behold

The slowly-thronging corals that usurp

Some harbour of a million-masted sea,

And sun them on the league-long wharves of gold—

Bulks of enormous crimson, kraken-limbed

And kraken-headed, lifting up as crowns

The octiremes of perished emperors,

And galleys fraught with royal gems, that sailed

From a sea-fled haven.
Swifter and stranger grow

The visions: now a mighty city looms,

Hewn from a hill of purest cinnabar

To domes and turrets like a sunrise thronged

With tier on tier of captive moons, half-drowned

In shifting erubescence. But whose hands

Were sculptors of its doors, and columns wrought

To semblance of prodigious blooms of old,

No eremite hath lingered there to say,

And no man comes to learn: for long ago

A prophet came, warning its timid king

Against the plague of lichens that had crept

Across subverted empires, and the sand

Of wastes that cyclopean mountains ward;

Which, slow and ineluctable, would come

To take his fiery bastions and his fanes,

And quench his domes with greenish tetter. Now

I see a host of naked gents, armed

With horns of behemoth and unicorn,

Who wander, blinded by the clinging spells

O hostile wizardry, and stagger on

To forests where the very leaves have eyes,

And ebonies like wrathful dragons roar

To teaks a-chuckle in the loathly gloom;

Where coiled lianas lean, with serried fangs,

From writhing palms with swollen boles that moan;

Where leeches of a scarlet moss have sucked

The eyes of some dead monster, and have crawled

To bask upon his azure-spotted spine;

Where hydra-throated blossoms hiss and sing,

Or yawn with mouths that drip a sluggish dew

Whose touch is death and slow corrosion. Then

I watch a war of pygmies, met by night,

With pitter of their drums of parrot’s hide,

On plains with no horizon, where a god

Might lose his way for centuries; and there,

In wreathèd light and fulgors all convolved,

A rout of green, enormous moons ascend,

With rays that like a shivering venom run

On inch-long swords of lizard-fang.

From this my throne, as from a central sun,

The pageantries of worlds and cycles pass;

Forgotten splendors, dream by dream, unfold

Like tapestry, and vanish; violet suns,

Or suns of changeful iridescence, bring

Their rays about me like the colored lights

Imploring priests might lift to glorify

The face of some averted god; the songs

Of mystic poets in a purple world

Ascend to me in music that is made

From unconceivèd perfumes and the pulse

Of love ineffable; the lute-players

Whose lutes are strung with gold of the utmost moon,

Call forth delicious languors, never known

Save to their golden kings; the sorcerers

Of hooded stars inscrutable to God,

Surrender me their demon-wrested scrolls,

lnscribed with lore of monstrous alchemies

And awful transformations.
If I will

I am at once the vision and the seer,

And mingle with my ever-streaming pomps,

And still abide their suzerain: I am

The neophyte who serves a nameless god,

Within whose fane the fanes of Hecatompylos

Were arks the Titan worshippers might bear,

Or flags to pave the threshold; or I am

The god himself, who calls the fleeing clouds

Into the nave where suns might congregate

And veils the darkling mountain of his face

With fold on solemn fold; for whom the priests

Amass their monthly hecatomb of gems

Opals that are a camel-cumbering load,

And monstrous alabraundines, won from war

With realms of hostile serpents; which arise,

Combustible, in vapors many-hued

And myrrh-excelling perfumes. It is I,

The king, who holds with scepter-dropping hand

The helm of some great barge of orichalchum,

Sailing upon an amethystine sea

To isles of timeless summer: for the snows

Of Hyperborean winter, and their winds,

Sleep in his jewel-builded capital,

Nor any charm of flame-wrought wizardry,

Nor conjured suns may rout them; so he fees,

With captive kings to urge his serried oars,

Hopeful of dales where amaranthine dawn

Hath never left the faintly sighing lote

And lisping moly. Firm of heart, I fare

Impanoplied with azure diamond,

As hero of a quest Achernar lights,

To deserts filled with ever-wandering flames

That feed upon the sullen marl, and soar

To wrap the slopes of mountains, and to leap

With tongues intolerably lengthening

That lick the blenchèd heavens. But there lives

(Secure as in a garden walled from wind)

A lonely flower by a placid well,

Midmost the flaring tumult of the flames,

That roar as roars a storm-possessed sea,

Impacable for ever; and within

That simple grail the blossom lifts, there lies

One drop of an incomparable dew

Which heals the parchèd weariness of kings,

And cures the wound of wisdom. I am page

To an emperor who reigns ten thousand years,

And through his labyrinthine palace-rooms,

Through courts and colonnades and balconies

Wherein immensity itself is mazed,

I seek the golden gorget he hath lost,

On which, in sapphires fine as orris-seed,

Are writ the names of his conniving stars

And friendly planets. Roaming thus, I hear

Like demon tears incessant, through dark ages,

The drip of sullen clepsydrae; and once

In every lustrum, hear the brazen clocks

Innumerably clang with such a sound

As brazen hammers make, by devils dinned

On tombs of all the dead; and nevermore

I find the gorget, but at length I find

A sealèd room whose nameless prisoner

Moans with a nameless torture, and would turn

To hell’s red rack as to a lilied couch

From that whereon they stretched him; and I find,

Prostrate upon a lotus-painted floor,

The loveliest of all beloved slaves

My emperor hath, and from her pulseless side

A serpent rises, whiter than the root

Of some venefic bloom in darkness grown,

And gazes up with green-lit eyes that seem

Like drops of cold, congealing poison.

What word was whispered in a tongue unknown,

In crypts of some impenetrable world?

Whose is the dark, dethroning secrecy

I cannot share, though I am king of suns,

And king therewith of strong eternity,

Whose gnomons with their swords of shadow guard

My gates, and slay the intruder? Silence loads

The wind of ether, and the worlds are still

To hear the word that flees mine audience.

In simultaneous ruin, al my dreams

Fall like a rack of fuming vapors raised

To semblance by a necromant, and leave

Spirit and sense unthinkably alone

Above a universe of shrouded stars

And suns that wander, cowled with sullen gloom,

Like witches to a Sabbath. . . . Fear is born

In crypts below the nadir, and hath crawled

Reaching the floor of space, and waits for wings

To lift it upward like a hellish worm

Fain for the flesh of cherubim. Red orbs

And eyes that gleam remotely as the stars,

But are not eyes of suns or galaxies,

Gather and throng to the base of darkness; flame

Behind some black, abysmal curtain burns,

Implacable, and fanned to whitest wrath

By raisèd wings that flail the whiffled gloom,

And make a brief and broken wind that moans

As one who rides a throbbing rack. There is

A Thing that crouches, worlds and years remote,

Whose horns a demon sharpens, rasping forth

A note to shatter the donjon-keeps of time,

Or crack the sphere of crystal. All is dark

For ages, and my toiling heart-suspends

Its clamor as within the clutch of death

Tightening with tense, hermetic rigors. Then,

In one enormous, million-flashing flame,

The stars unveil, the suns remove their cowls,

And beam to their responding planets; time

Is mine once more, and armies of its dreams

Rally to that insuperable throne

Firmed on the zenith.
Once again I seek

The meads of shining moly I had found

In some anterior vision, by a stream

No cloud hath ever tarnished; where the sun,

A gold Narcissus, loiters evermore

Above his golden image. But I find

A corpse the ebbing water will not keep,

With eyes like sapphires that have lain in hell|

And felt the hissing coals; and all the flowers

About me turn to hooded serpents, swayed

By flutes of devils in lascivious dance

Meet for the nod of Satan, when he reigns

Above the raging Sabbath, and is wooed

By sarabands of witches. But I turn

To mountains guarding with their horns of snow

The source of that befoulèd rill, and seek

A pinnacle where none but eagles climb,

And they with failing pennons. But in vain

I flee, for on that pylon of the sky

Some curse hath turned the unprinted snow to flame—

Red fires that curl and cluster to my tread,

Trying the summit’s narrow cirque. And now

I see a silver python far beneath-

Vast as a river that a fiend hath witched

And forced to flow reverted in its course

To mountains whence it issued. Rapidly

It winds from slope to crumbling slope, and fills

Ravines and chasmal gorges, till the crags

Totter with coil on coil incumbent. Soon

It hath entwined the pinnacle I keep,

And gapes with a fanged, unfathomable maw

Wherein Great Typhon and Enceladus

Were orts of daily glut. But I am gone,

For at my call a hippogriff hath come,

And firm between his thunder-beating wings

I mount the sheer cerulean walls of noon

And see the earth, a spurnèd pebble, fall—

Lost in the fields of nether stars—and seek

A planet where the outwearied wings of time

Might pause and furl for respite, or the plumes

Of death be stayed, and loiter in reprieve

Above some deathless lily: for therein

Beauty hath found an avatar of flowers-

Blossoms that clothe it as a colored flame

From peak to peak, from pole to sullen pole,

And turn the skies to perfume. There I find

A lonely castle, calm, and unbeset

Save by the purple spears of amaranth,

And leafing iris tender-sworded. Walls

Of flushèd marble, wonderful with rose,

And domes like golden bubbles, and minarets

That take the clouds as coronal-these are mine,

For voiceless looms the peaceful barbican,

And the heavy-teethed portcullis hangs aloft

To grin a welcome. So I leave awhile

My hippogriff to crop the magic meads,

And pass into a court the lilies hold,

And tread them to a fragrance that pursues

To win the portico, whose columns, carved

Of lazuli and amber, mock the palms

Of bright Aidennic forests-capitalled

With fronds of stone fretted to airy lace,

Enfolding drupes that seem as tawny clusters

Of breasts of unknown houris; and convolved

With vines of shut and shadowy-leavèd flowers

Like the dropt lids of women that endure

Some loin-dissolving ecstasy. Through doors

Enlaid with lilies twined luxuriously,

I enter, dazed and blinded with the sun,

And hear, in gloom that changing colors cloud,

A chuckle sharp as crepitating ice

Upheaved and cloven by shoulders of the damned

Who strive in Antenora. When my eyes

Undazzle, and the cloud of color fades,

I find me in a monster-guarded room,

Where marble apes with wings of griffins crowd

On walls an evil sculptor wrought, and beasts

Wherein the sloth and vampire-bat unite,

Pendulous by their toes of tarnished bronze,

Usurp the shadowy interval of lamps

That hang from ebon arches. Like a ripple

Borne by the wind from pool to sluggish pool

In fields where wide Cocytus flows his bound,

A crackling smile around that circle runs,

And all the stone-wrought gibbons stare at me

With eyes that turn to glowing coals. A fear

That found no name in Babel, flings me on,

Breathless and faint with horror, to a hall

Within whose weary, self-reverting round,

The languid curtains, heavier than palls,

Unnumerably depict a weary king

Who fain would cool his jewel-crusted hands

In lakes of emerald evening, or the field

Of dreamless poppies pure with rain. I flee

Onward, and all the shadowy curtains shake

With tremors of a silken-sighing mirth,

And whispers of the innumerable king,

Breathing a tale of ancient pestilence

Whose very words are vile contagion. Then

I reach a room where caryatids,

Carved in the form of voluptuous Titan women,

Surround a throne flowering ebony

Where creeps a vine of crystal. On the throne

There lolls a wan, enormous Worm, whose bulk,

Tumid with all the rottenness of kings,

Overflows its arms with fold on creasèd fold

Obscenely bloating. Open-mouthed he leans,

And from his fulvous throat a score of tongues,

Depending like to wreaths of torpid vipers,

Drivel with phosphorescent slime, that runs

Down all his length of soft and monstrous folds,

And creeping among the flowers of ebony,

Lends them the life of tiny serpents. Now,

Ere the Horror ope those red and lashless slits

Of eyes that draw the gnat and midge, I turn

And follow down a dusty hall, whose gloom,

Lined by the statues with their mighty limbs,

Ends in golden-roofèd balcony

Sphering the flowered horizon.
Ere my heart

Hath hushed the panic tumult of its pulses,

I listen, from beyond the horizon’s rim,

A mutter faint as when the far simoom,

Mounting from unknown deserts, opens forth,

Wide as the waste, those wings of torrid night

That shake the doom of cities from their folds,

And musters in its van a thousand winds

That, with disrooted palms for besoms, rise,

And sweep the sands to fury. As the storm,

Approaching, mounts and loudens to the ears

Of them that toil in fields of sesame,

So grows the mutter, and a shadow creeps

Above the gold horizon like a dawn

Of darkness climbing zenith-ward. They come,

The Sabaoth of retribution, drawn

From all dread spheres that knew my trespassing,

And led by vengeful fiends and dire alastors

That owned my sway aforetime! Cockatrice,

Chimera, martichoras, behemoth,

Geryon, and sphinx, and hydra, on my ken

Arise as might some Afrit-builded city

Consummate in the lifting of a lash

With thunderous domes and sounding obelisks

And towers of night and fire alternate! Wings

Of white-hot stone along the hissing wind

Bear up the huge and furnace-hearted beasts

Of hells beyond Rutilicus; and things

Whose lightless length would mete the gyre of moons—

Born from the caverns of a dying sun

Uncoil to the very zenith, half-disclosed

From gulfs below the horizon; octopi

Like blazing moons with countless arms of fire,

Climb from the seas of ever-surging flame

That roll and roar through planets unconsumed,

Beating on coasts of unknown metals; beasts

That range the mighty worlds of Alioth rise,

Afforesting the heavens with mulitudinous horns

Amid whose maze the winds are lost; and borne

On cliff-like brows of plunging scolopendras,

The shell-wrought towers of ocean-witches loom;

And griffin-mounted gods, and demons throned

On-sable dragons, and the cockodrills

That bear the spleenful pygmies on their backs;

And blue-faced wizards from the worlds of Saiph,

On whom Titanic scorpions fawn; and armies

That move with fronts reverted from the foe,

And strike athwart their shoulders at the shapes

The shields reflect in crystal; and eidola

Fashioned within unfathomable caves

By hands of eyeless peoples; and the blind

Worm-shapen monsters of a sunless world,

With krakens from the ultimate abyss,

And Demogorgons of the outer dark,

Arising, shout with dire multisonous clamors,

And threatening me with dooms ineffable

In words whereat the heavens leap to flame,

Advance upon the enchanted palace. Falling

For league on league before, their shadows light

And eat like fire the arnaranthine meads,

Leaving an ashen desert. In the palace

I hear the apes of marble shriek and howl,

And all the women-shapen columns moan,

Babbling with terror. In my tenfold fear,

A monstrous dread unnamed in any hall,

I rise, and flee with the fleeing wind for wings,

And in a trice the wizard palace reefs,

And spring to a single tower of flame,

Goes out, and leaves nor shard nor ember! Flown

Beyond the world upon that fleeing wind

I reach the gulf’s irrespirable verge,

Where fads the strongest storm for breath, and fall,

Supportless, through the nadir-plungèd gloom,

Beyond the scope and vision of the sun,

To other skies and systems.
In a world

Deep-wooded with the multi-colored fungi

That soar to semblance of fantastic palms,

I fall as falls the meteor-stone, and break

A score of trunks to atom powder. Unharmed

I rise, and through the illimitable woods,

Among the trees of flimsy opal, roam,

And see their tops that clamber hour by hour

To touch the suns of iris. Things unseen,

Whose charnel breath informs the tideless air

With spreading pools of fetor, follow me,

Elusive past the ever-changing palms;

And pittering moths with wide and ashen wings

Flit on before, and insects ember-hued,

Descending, hurtle through the gorgeous gloom

And quench themselves in crumbling thickets. Heard

Far off, the gong-like roar of beasts unknown

Resounds at measured intervals of time,

Shaking the riper trees to dust, that falls

In clouds of acrid perfume, stifling me

Beneath an irised pall.
Now the palmettoes

Grow far apart, and lessen momently

To shrubs a dwarf might topple. Over them

I see an empty desert, all ablaze

With ametrysts and rubies, and the dust

Of garnets or carnelians. On I roam,

Treading the gorgeous grit, that dazzles me

With leaping waves of endless rutilance,

Whereby the air is turned to a crimson gloom

Through which I wander blind as any Kobold;

Till underfoot the grinding sands give place

To stone or metal, with a massive ring

More welcome to mine ears than golden bells

Or tinkle of silver fountains. When the gloom

Of crimson lifts, I stand upon the edge

Of a broad black plain of adamant that reaches,

Level as windless water, to the verge

Of all the world; and through the sable plain

A hundred streams of shattered marble run,

And streams of broken steel, and streams of bronze,

Like to the ruin of all the wars of time,

To plunge with clangor of timeless cataracts

Adown the gulfs eternal.
So I follow

Between a river of steel and a river of bronze,

With ripples loud and tuneless as the clash

Of a million lutes; and come to the precipice

From which they fall, and make the mighty sound

Of a million swords that meet a million shields,

Or din of spears and armour in the wars

Of half the worlds and eons. Far beneath

They fall, through gulfs and cycles of the void,

And vanish like a stream of broken stars

into the nether darkness; nor the gods

Of any sun, nor demons of the gulf,

Will dare to know what everlasting sea

Is fed thereby, and mounts forevermore

In one unebbing tide.
What nimbus-cloud

Or night of sudden and supreme eclipse,

Is on the suns opal? At my side

The rivers run with a wan and ghostly gleam

Through darkness falling as the night that falls

From spheres extinguished. Turning, I behold

Betwixt the sable desert and the suns,

The poisèd wings of all the dragon-rout,

Far-flown in black occlusion thousand-fold

Through stars, and deeps, and devastated worlds,

Upon my trail of terror! Griffins, rocs,

And sluggish, dark chimeras, heavy-winged

After the ravin of dispeopled lands,

And harpies, and the vulture-birds of hell,

Hot from abominable feasts, and fain

To cool their beaks and talons in my blood—

All, all have gathered, and the wingless rear,

With rank on rank of foul, colossal Worms,

Makes horrent now the horizon. From the wan

I hear the shriek of wyvers, loud and shrill

As tempests in a broken fane, and roar

Of sphinxes, like relentless toll of bells

From towers infernal. Cloud on hellish cloud

They arch the zenith, and a dreadful wind

Falls from them like the wind before the storm,

And in the wind my riven garment streams

And flutters in the face of all the void,

Even as flows a flaffing spirit, lost

On the pit s undying tempest. Louder grows

The thunder of the streams of stone and bronze—

Redoubled with the roar of torrent wings

Inseparable mingled. Scarce I keep

My footing in the gulfward winds of fear,

And mighty thunders beating to the void

In sea-like waves incessant; and would flee

With them, and prove the nadir-founded night

Where fall the streams of ruin. But when I reach

The verge, and seek through sun-defeating gloom

To measure with my gaze the dread descent,

I see a tiny star within the depths-

A light that stays me while the wings of doom

Convene their thickening thousands: for the star

increases, taking to its hueless orb,

With all the speed of horror-changèd dreams,

The light as of a million million moons;

And floating up through gulfs and glooms eclipsed

It grows and grows, a huge white eyeless Face

That fills the void and fills the universe,

And bloats against the limits of the world

With lips of flame that open . . .

God’s Fool

Sunday Evening…

I have been editing The Invisible College… close now. I have been very busy with business, to the detriment of the magazine, but clients… you know how it goes. Soon though, probably towards the end of this week for the on-line version. We will have 2 versions, the on-line version which is smaller, and the print version, larger. Details to follow in the next few days.
Radio Free Earthrites: Lots of good music going down. Avail yourselves, it is free!
Hope you had a pleasant week-end!
On The Menu:

The Links


God’s Fool

Poetry:Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved (Poetry of Hafiz)

The Links:

Awesome Or Off-Putting: The Mongolian Death Worm

Sleights of Mind

Tara ruins must be preserved – report




God’s Fool

-Kahlil Gibran
Once there came from the desert to the great city of Sharia a man who was a dreamer, and he had naught but his garment and staff.
And as he walked through the streets he gazed with awe and wonder at the temples and towers and palaces, for the city of Sharia was of surpassing beauty. And he spoke often to the passers-by, questioning them about their city – but they understood not his language, nor he their language.
At the noon hour he stopped before a vast inn. It was built of yellow marble, and people were going in and coming out unhindered.
“This must be a shrine,’ he said to himself, and he too went in. But what was his surprise to find himself in a hall of great splendour and a large company of men and women seated about many tables. They were eating and drinking and listening to the musicians.
‘Nay,’ said the dreamer. ‘This is no worshipping. It must be a feast given by the prince to the people, in celebration of a great event.’
At that moment a man, whom he took to be the slave of the prince, approached him, and bade him be seated. And he was served with meat and wine and most excellent sweets.
When he was satisfied, the dreamer rose to depart. At the door he was stopped by a large man magnificently arrayed.
‘Surely this is the prince himself,’ said the dreamer in his heart, and he bowed to him and thanked him.
Then the large man said in the language of the city:
‘Sir, you have not paid for your dinner.’ And the dreamer did not understand, and again thanked him heartily. Then the large man bethought him, and he looked more closely upon the dreamer. And he saw that he was a stranger, clad in but a poor garment, and that indeed he had not wherewith to pay for his meal. Then the large man clapped his hands and called – and there came four watchmen of the city. And they listened to the large man. Then they took the dreamer between them, and they were two on each side of him. And the dreamer noted the ceremoniousness of their dress and of their manner and he looked upon them with delight. ‘These,’ said he, ‘are men of distinction.’
And they walked all together until they came to the House of Judgement and they entered.
The dreamer saw before him, seated upon a throne, a venerable man with flowing beard, robed majestically. And he thought he was the king. And he rejoiced to be brought before him.
Now the watchmen related to the judge, who was the venerable man, the charge against the dreamer, and the judge appointed two advocates, one to present the charge and the other to defend the stranger. And the advocates rose, the one after the other, and delivered each his argument. And the dreamer thought himself to be listening to addresses of welcome, and his heart filled with gratitude to the king and the prince for all that was done for him.
Then sentence was passed upon the dreamer, that upon a tablet about his neck his crime should be written, and that he should ride through the city on a naked horse, with a trumpeter and a drummer before him. And the sentence was carried out forthwith.
Now as the dreamer rode through the city upon the naked horse, with the trumpeter and the drummer before him, the inhabitants of the city came running forth at the sound of the noise, and when they saw him they laughed one and all, and the children ran after him in companies from street to street. And the dreamer’s heart was filled with ecstasy, and his eyes shone upon them. For to him the tablet was a sign of the king’s blessing and the procession was in his honour.
Now as he rode, he saw among the crowd a man who was from the desert like himself and his heart swelled with joy, and he cried out to him with a shout:
‘Friend! Friend! Where are we? What city of the heart’s desire is this? What race of lavish hosts, who feast the chance guest in their palaces, whose princes companion him, whose kings hangs a token upon his breast and opens to him the hospitality of a city descended from heaven?’
And he who was also of the desert replied not. He only smiled and slightly shook his head. And the procession passed on. And the dreamer’s face was uplifted and his eyes were overflowing with light.

Poetry:Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved (Poetry of Hafiz)

Look at This Beauty
The beauty of this poem is beyond words.

Do you need a guide to experience the heat of the sun?
Blessed is the brush of the painter who paints

Such beautiful pictures for his virgin bride.
Look at this beauty. There is no reason for what you see.

Experience its grace. Even in nature there is nothing so fine.
Either this poem is a miracle, or some sort of magic trick.

Guided either by Gabriel or the Invisible Voice, inside.
No one, not even Hafiz, can describe with words the Great Mystery.

No one knows in which shell the priceless pearl does hide.

Writing in Code
O morning breeze, bring your happy face as soon as you can

To the Beloved’s Street!
You are the Messenger of Mystery, and now I know I am on the

Right path. So don’t give me orders, but urge me gently on.
Winebringer, give me some of your reddest wine.

As my soul is slipping from my hands.
Let me tie all my hope to Your woven gold belt.

This diet of reason I’ve been on has led me nowhere.

That waistline of Yours traces a divine subtlety. Now I know.
From where I sit, the sight of Your sword is a sure sign of drought,

So take me captive and slay me with water and buckets of ice.
I have written these words in code, made only for Your eyes.

Please take them, and read them right away!
For Hafiz, speaking Turkish and Arabic are like talking in the same tongue:

He tells Love’s story in every language that he knows!

A rose that isn’t the Beloved’s face is worthless;

A spring that is not made of wine is worthless too.
The fences around the fields and the breeze blowing in gardens

Without the Beloved’s tulip cheek are worth nothing and without grace.
What use are sugary lips and roses that look like God,

Without His kiss or smothering embrace?
The dance of the swaying cypress and the rapture of the rose,

Without the nightingale’s songs, are worthless.
O gardener, every picture that the hands of intellect have drawn

Is useless unless they have traced Your face.
So, if you are drinking wine or sitting in the garden with roses

Instead of seeking the Beloved, then you are wasting time.
Hafiz, your life is nothing more than a tarnished old coin,

Traded again and again for others to deface. Don’t you have

Something better you can do?

-All Poems Translated by Thomas Rain Crowe

A wee bit of Rock…

A few videos and some poetry around the world of rock music. A break from the trance, and world. Some of my favourites, I hope you enjoy,


The Linkage:

8th Circuit upholds ban on in-class Bible distribution

A Boycott Of Israel: Something Has Changed

Out-of-body experience recreated

Druids and witches honour executed girl’s spirit


Music Videos That I like….

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-Weapon Of Choice


Some of our Local Heroes….
The Dandy Warhols- Bohemian like You


Wonderful Sense of Humour….
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots [Live]


BRMC again. Great Band!
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – We’re All in Love


Poetry: Jim Carroll

Paregoric Babies
Clocks blue seconds fold over me

slow as swamp dreams I feel

heavy like metal shade pre-dawn thickness
I sit
in my chair of nods shivering

from a sickness I took years to perfect
dark paddling in the wave membrane

the moneky woman’s dream steams
are places of shy creatures, head infants

I had born on a whim and abandoned…my eye
drips the strain in the sweet March air, frozen

pure as my blood refuses to flow…

stilled, sweat that shines the breath of my poem

Fear And Trembling
To play Segovia

upon waking

is the highest I

might ever aspire to might

even shoot down the pain

dreams these hands

shake colorless they

can’t foreget and

in that way just can’t defend
sun stirred

in coffee

by condensed air spoons
on the bathroom floor on the porcelain there
blue blood
from the terrace the reservoir

evaporates in the violet tubes of

morning air, chokes miniature landscapes…

none of these processes fail me
only the flower
too distant to imagine even…
though you sleep through…
sunken eyes radiate the bed
empties the frost

from the bars and windows
pouting torn bending image
I watch the children you breathe dissolve

I see the plain girl the plain print gown
then I figured out what was real

blue blood
remember? I noticed the morning and its sound
I noticed the scar

on your wrist as

the palms rise

to catch each tear

The Blue Pill

I took the blue pill this morning
I got new angles on the trees across the driveway
Timmie the bear

does his little roll on the rug
and at night

a sound gathers the tiny ambulances

from their homes
it is distant and hollow
a little like the sound

of a perfetly tuned ocarina.

Love Poem (Later)

for Rise
The little bonus

of my hand on your breast

makes a bus seem so useful

when some rain begins to open.
then cloud waves cracked sun shafts

when the sky began to whistle

and I was thinking about it all night

just watching it move from my eye to my hand.
it’s not very meaningless

the changes one makes lying down

it’s almost the way a mountain feels

when it becomes a star

The Holding Pattern…

I have been trying to get to the story about Rowan’s adventures down to Ashland, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival… Almost there, but this is a nice sojourn along the way.
Very busy, working at 3 different locations which is a bit wearing. I hope to get sometime off soon to get up the road to visit with my dad, who at 87 is now having some problems walking about. He is a tough one, but his hips are playing up. I pray I have his drive at his age. Amazing really.
Talked to Mike Crowley today, it was most pleasant. Whilst we were talking a raging mad man came down the road. Mary says he was around last night as well. Wild times on the block…
Craziness this month with communications, etc. Does anyone know what the astrological aspects are?
Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:

The Linkage

A Greek Folktale: The Fox and her Child

Ancient Greek Poetry….

The Linkage:

In Google Earth, a Service for Scanning the Heavens

Egypt footprint ‘could be oldest’

The Worlds’ Oldest Piece of Chewing Gum?

Swatlando… and this is where our tax money goes…

A Greek Folktale: The Fox and her Child
Along time ago there lived deep in a forest a fox and her child. On a cold winter’s night the fox and her child ventured out to find something to eat.
Walking through the forest they fox and her child could find nothing to eat and the mother began to loose hope. What would she feed her child she thought? She feared that soon they would perish.
The fox and her child walked on and on and finally at a far distance they could see a fire and slowly they creped towards it. The mother was hesitant as she knew that it was people who had alit the fire and that could mean danger for her and her child.
Even in her fear the mother wished to play a prank on the child and from the far distance lifted her hands up to warm herself from the fire. The child then looked at the mother and said, “Mother what are you doing?” The mother replied, “I’m warming myself.”
A short while passed an the child then lifted its’ hands as well copying the mother. The mother looking at her child asked, “What are you doing?” to which the child replied “Warming myself”. With its’ actions the child showed that it was just as smart as its’ mother if not smarter. The mother then giggled realizing that her child had replied to her in kind.


Ancient Greek Poetry….

There is a saying about virtue:
She nestles in rough untrodden rocks

And reigns a divine, sacred land.

Not all mortals can see her.

Only those,
whose burning desire in their heart

leads them to the greatest deeds


Rough is the road to happiness
A lot of sweat put the immortal gods

to the forefront of the virtue reaching endeavor.

Long and hard and painful

the road to happiness in the begining.

But when you get there,

it becomes so easy

and pleasant that you forget

all the hardships that preceded.


My lyre sings only songs of love
I, too, wish to sing of heroic deeds

(about the Atreides, and about Kadmus),

but the lyre’s strings

can only produce sounds of love.

Recently, I changed the strings,

and then the lyre itself,

and tried to sing of the feats of Hercules,

but still the lyre kept singing songs of love.

So, fare well, you heroes!

because my lyre sings only songs of love.


In praise of Justice
I praise the all-seeing , shine-faced Dike

who sits beside the throne of Zeus

and from heaven she oversees

the life and conduct of all mankind,

coming upon the unjust as just avenger

and bringing close the opposites

on the basis of truth and equality.

Because not all evil thoughts, urging men

towards acquisition of more in unjust ways,

are easily discernible.
But you, enemy of the wrong doers,

immediately come upon them and punish,

while being good with the righteous.
Come, goddess, be fair with the fair minded

Till the destined end of life comes.

-Orphic hymn


Samsara… Nirvana….

Identity of the world (samsara) and nirvana
Mind is the origin of all things.

Mind is the universal seed,

Both samsara and nirvana spring forth from it.
As is nirvana, so is samsara.

Do not think there is any distinction.

Yet it possesses no single nature

For I know it as quite pure.
Here there is no beginning, no middle, no end,

Neither samsara nor nirvana.

In this state of highest bliss

There is neither self nor other.

Whatever you see, that is it,

In front, behind, in all the ten directions.
One should not think of molecules or atoms;

It is this supreme bliss that pours forth unceasingly as existence.
Do not sit at home, do not go to the forest,

But recognize mind wherever you are.

When one abides in complete and perfect enlightenment,

When samsara and where is nirvana?

Unity of self and other

“This is myself and this is another.”

Be free of this bond which encompasses you about,

and your own self is thereby released.

Everything is Buddha without exception.
Do not discriminate, but see things as one,

Making no distinction of families.
Look and listen, touch and eat,

smell, wander, sit and stand,

Renounce the vanity of discussion,

Abandon thought and be not moved from singleness.

Abandon thought and be just like a child.
Do not then conceive differences in yourself.

When there is no distinction between body, speech and mind,

Then the true nature of the Innate shines forth.
Liberation through indulgence
I have visited in my wanderings shrines and other places of pilgrimage,

But I have not seen another shrine blissful like my own body.
Eat and drink, indulge the senses,

Fill the mandala (with offerings) again and again,

By things like these you’ll gain the world beyond.
Enjoying the world of sense, one is undefiled by the world of sense.

One plucks the lotus without touching the water.

So the yogin who has gone to the root of things

Is not enslaved by the senses although he enjoys them.
Even as water entering water

Has the same savour,

So faults and virtues are accounted the same

As there is no opposition between them.

The supreme bliss of orgasm
There is neither passion nor absence of passion.

Seated beside her own, her mind destroyed,

Thus I have seen the yogini.
That blissful delight that consists between lotus [vagina] and vajra [thunderbolt, ie, penis],

Who does not rejoice there?

This moment may be the bliss of means, or of both wisdom and means . .

It is profound, it is vast.

it is neither self nor other . . .

Even as the moon makes light in black darkness,

So in one moment the supreme bliss removes all defilement.

When the sun of suffering has set,

Then arises this bliss, this lord of the stars.

It creates with continuous creativity,

And of this comes the mandala circle [of the cosmos].

Gain purification in bliss supreme,

For here lies final perfection.
Critique of meditation
Thought bound brings bondage, and released brings release,

there’s no doubt of that.
When bound, it dashes in all directions,

But released, it stays still.

Consider the camel, friend.

I see there a similar paradox.
“One fixes the eyes, obstructs the thought, restrains the breath.

That is the teaching of our lord and master.”

But when the flow of his breath is quite motionless,

And the yogin is dead, what then?
Critique of asceticism
The Jain monks mock the Way with their appearance,

With their long nails and their filthy clothes,

Or naked and dishevelled hair,

Enslaving themselves with their doctrine of release.


The purification of the intellect (Cittavisuddhiprakarana)
As a clear crystal assumes

The colour of another object,

So the jewel of the mind is colored

With the hue of what it imagines.
The jewel of the mind is naturally devoid

Of the colour of these ideas.

Originally pure, unoriginated,

Impersonal, and without stain.
So with all one’s might, one should do

Whatever fools condemn,

And, since one’s mind is pure,

Dwell in union with one’s divinity.
The mystics, pure of mind,

Dally with lovely girls,

Infatuated with the poisonous flame of passion,

That they may be set free from desire . . .
The mystic duly dwells

On the manifold merits of his divinity

He delight in thoughts of passion,

And by the enjoyment of passion is set free.
As a washerman uses dirt

to wash clean a garment,

So, with impurity,

The wise man makes himself pure…

Bicycle… Bicycle…

Saturday Morning… about to take Rowan to his job, and go back to work ourselves… Rowan’s cousin Jake rolled in yesterday around 7:30, having missed his train back to Olympia. He hung with us for the evening (watching ‘The 300′) and I got him down to the station this morning. Jake is growing into a wonderful young man. He arrived back from Hawaii Monday with his dad Peter. They had a nice 3 week stay on the big island….
It seems the world is topsy-turvy lately. This rich are getting bailed out (again) while the not so rich are having to scramble. I wonder how long the arcade of mirrors can keep going?
The whole corn scenario with bio-fuels is such a boondoggle. Food prices up, and really corn will not do the trick. Look at this: The Ethanol Scam: One of America’s Biggest Political Boondoggles (thanks to Peter Webster for pointing this out..)
Bicycles anyone? The World Of Bicycles! Time to get them out if ya got one… and if you don’t have one, get a used one. Good for the environment, good for you, and the world slowssss down.
One Love,
On The Menu:



Bicycle Quotes

Bicycle Poems
Let’s change it together!


My old friend and ex-bandmate Nels Cline playing with:

Wilco – What Light



“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

– Apple Computers, from ‘Think Different’ advertising campaign
“Everyone knew it was impossible, except for one idiot who went ahead and did it”

– Marcel Pagnol, film maker, 1895-1974
“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours”

– Richard Bach, from Illusions
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

– William Hutchinson Murray
“Don’t just have a nice day, Create Yourself a Great Day!”



Bicycle Quotes:
“Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil.”

– President George W Bush, State of the Union, 31 January 2006
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the human race.”

– H G Wells
“On Earth the problem had been with cars. The disadvantages involved in pulling lots of black sticky slime out of the ground where it had been safely hidden out of harm’s way, turning it into tar to cover the land with, smoke to fill the air with and pouring the rest into the sea, all seemed to outweigh the advantages of being able to get more quickly from one place to another — particularly when the place you arrived at has probably become, as a result of this, very similar to the place you had left, i.e., covered with tar, full of smoke, and short of fish.” —

– Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
“People are looking for places where they’re not constantly being confronted with cars. It’s just like non-smokers seeking smoke-free space.”

– Franziska Eichstaedt-Bohlig, German Green Party
“Watch any TV show, listen to any radio program, look through any magazine or newspaper and you will come across ads showing how cars will make you cool, sexy, popular, respected, at one with nature, safe, etc. The car and oil industries spend billions of dollars each year to promote a benign image of driving, but the function of all this is to assure profits and manipulate consumers, and nothing more.”

– Go By Bicycle
“If you see someone you know while riding, it’s easy to stop and say hello. Bicycles create public space, enhance street life and build a sense of community”

– Go By Bicycle

Bicycle Poetry….

“The Endless Ride”
The farm dog runs beside me as I pedal on my way

Redwings chirp above my head, I guess to what they say

Three thousand mile a summer, I’m riding all I can

The sun shines down upon me, it has made my body tan

If I can just keep riding, thru wind and rain and sun

I might return to that special place, where I think that I begun

– Harley Kilby

Circle upon circles,

The cycleman moves,

One pump up and one pump down.

Only orange and yellow butterflies mark his passing.

Sun-day-glo Supreme!

– John Loesch
“I wrote this in my head on a short 3-day tour on my way back home – it was a gorgeous day and at one point I was literally surrounded by a 100 yard cloud of butterflies.”

Bicycle Poem
There were cathedrals falling out of your eyes

And your arms were the handlebars

I held in an abbreviated dream of crushed petals

Strewn across the limpid avenues.
I said, “I have poems for you”

But my words were lost in the wind.

I said, “I love you”

And you drifted into sleep.
And so I said nothing and rode you in and out of the rooms

Where we had stretched the boundaries of the soul

Like an endless sheet

And I felt you waking up between my legs.

– Noelle Kocot

Bicycle Haiku
Pedaling on streets

full with traffic, and drivers,

not always seeing

you on their right, on your steed.

Make no sudden move, or die.

One, bike, two, bikes, three

bikes, more! Six bikes, seven bikes,

my garage can not

hold more! What a huge amount!

Time for an Ebay account!
-Kiril Kundurazieff

Treading Water…

When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there.

– (Takuan Soto)

I have not gotten all the pictures worked on from Rowan’s adventures south…

Lots of projects going, pressed for time. Some nice selections for today, I hope you enjoy!
On The Menu:

The Quotes

Make a Difference

Poetry: William Butler Yeats…
Bright Blessings!

The Quotes:
However young,

The seeker who sets out upon the way

Shines bright over the world.

Without the tao,

Kindness and compassion are replaced by law and justice;

Faith and trust are supplanted by ritual and ceremony.

-(Lao Tzu)
In the history of Chinese civilisation, no significant scientific advances came as a result of Confucian studies. They were scholastics, and a scholastic in those times was one who went by the book, who believed what the ancient text or the ancient scriptures said, and who studied them and became proficient in them like a rabbi or a Christian theologian.
But mystics have never been very interested in theology. Mystics are interested in direct experience, and therefore – although you may laugh at them and say they are not scientific – they are empirical in their approach. And the taoists, being mystics, were the only great group of ancient Chinese people who seriously studied nature. They were interested in its principles from the beginning, and their books are full of analogies between the taoist way of life and the behaviour of natural forces seen in water, wind, or plants and rocks.

-(Alan Watts)
As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the colour and fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world.

– (Buddha)

Make a Difference
Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out,”Good morning! What are you doing?” The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.” “I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?” “The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.” “But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!” The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Poetry: William Butler Yeats…

Crazy Jane On God
That lover of a night

Came when he would,

Went in the dawning light

Whether I would or no;

Men come, men go;

All things remain in God.
Banners choke the sky;

Men-at-arms tread;

Armoured horses neigh

In the narrow pass:

All things remain in God.
Before their eyes a house

That from childhood stood

Uninhabited, ruinous,

Suddenly lit up

From door to top:

All things remain in God.
I had wild Jack for a lover;

Though like a road

That men pass over

My body makes no moan

But sings on:

All things remain in God.

The Gyres
The gyres! the gyres! Old Rocky Face, look forth;

Things thought too long can be no longer thought,

For beauty dies of beauty, worth of worth,

And ancient lineaments are blotted out.

Irrational streams of blood are staining earth;

Empedocles has thrown all things about;

Hector is dead and there’s a light in Troy;

We that look on but laugh in tragic joy.

What matter though numb nightmare ride on top,

And blood and mire the sensitive body stain?

What matter? Heave no sigh, let no tear drop,

A-greater, a more gracious time has gone;

For painted forms or boxes of make-up

In ancient tombs I sighed, but not again;

What matter? Out of cavern comes a voice,

And all it knows is that one word “Rejoice!’

Conduct and work grow coarse, and coarse the soul,

What matter? Those that Rocky Face holds dear,

Lovers of horses and of women, shall,

From marble of a broken sepulchre,

Or dark betwixt the polecat and the owl,

Or any rich, dark nothing disinter

The workman, noble and saint, and all things run

On that unfashionable gyre again.

The Two Trees
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,

The holy tree is growing there;

From joy the holy branches start,

And all the trembling flowers they bear.

The changing colours of its fruit

Have dowered the stars with metry light;

The surety of its hidden root

Has planted quiet in the night;

The shaking of its leafy head

Has given the waves their melody,

And made my lips and music wed,

Murmuring a wizard song for thee.

There the Joves a circle go,

The flaming circle of our days,

Gyring, spiring to and fro

In those great ignorant leafy ways;

Remembering all that shaken hair

And how the winged sandals dart,

Thine eyes grow full of tender care:

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass

The demons, with their subtle guile.

Lift up before us when they pass,

Or only gaze a little while;

For there a fatal image grows

That the stormy night receives,

Roots half hidden under snows,

Broken boughs and blackened leaves.

For ill things turn to barrenness

In the dim glass the demons hold,

The glass of outer weariness,

Made when God slept in times of old.

There, through the broken branches, go

The ravens of unresting thought;

Flying, crying, to and fro,

Cruel claw and hungry throat,

Or else they stand and sniff the wind,

And shake their ragged wings; alas!

Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:

Gaze no more in the bitter glass.

The sage works anonymously,

But does not wait around for praise.

-(Lao Tzu)

Back To The Northlands…

Arrived late yesterday from picking up Rowan from his 2 weeks in Ashland… some 600 miles of driving over the weekend. I-5, does not improve with age… Driving no longer holds much attraction for me. Way to much traffic. We saw 2 terrific accidents; one heading south, and one coming north. People are driving way too fast!
It was nice being back in the Siskiyous… and suffice to say, Rowan came back a transformed young man from his 2 week intensive. (More on this tomorrow) The details are really something…
Bonus: We did get to spend time with our friends Randy & Deidre and their daughter Baylie in the hills above Medford. We all had a most wonderful time! From swimming under the stars, watching the Leonids streak across the sky… to sitting by the outdoor fire pit watching the deer parade back up the hills….
Randy and Deirdre recently moved south from Portland (well, last August) and moved into their new home in March. They have some 5 acres up to the north of Medford along a wonderful ridge line. Supremely quiet, and some of the best views of the Siskiyous to be seen.
Gotta hop, more later. (with Pics!)
On The Menu:

The Links

Relying on Joy

Poetry: Algernon Charles Swinburne
The Links:

How Bronze Age man enjoyed his pint

Ancient forest found in Hungary

She’s behind you!

Relying on Joy

At the time of Buddha, there lived an old beggar woman called “Relying on Joy”. She used to watch the kings, princes, and people making offerings to Buddha and his disciples, and there was nothing she would have liked more than to be able to do the same. So she went out begging, but at the end of a whole day all she had was one small coin. She took it to the oil-merchant to try to buy some oil. He told her that she could not possibly buy anything with so little. But when he heard that she wanted it to make an offering to Buddha, he took pity on her and gave her the oil she wanted. She took it to the monastery, where she lit a lamp. She placed it before Buddha, and made this wish:”I have nothing to offer but this tiny lamp. But through this offering, in the future may I be blessed with the lamp of wisdom. May I free all beings from their darkness. May I purify all their obstructions, and lead them to enlightenment.”

That night the oil in all the other lamps went out. But the beggar woman’s lamp was still burning at dawn, when Buddha’s disciple Maudgalyayana came to collect all the lamps. When he saw that one was still alight, full of oil and with a new wick, he thought,”There’s no reason why this lamp should still be burning in the day time,” and he tried to blow it out. But it kept on burning. He tried to snuff it out with his fingers, but it stayed alight. He tried to smother it with his robe, but still it burned on. The Buddha had been watching all along, and said, “Maudgalyayana, do you want to put out that lamp? You cannot. You cannot even move it, let alone put it out. If you were to pour the water from all ocean over this lamp, it still wouldn’t go out. The water in all the rivers and the lakes of the world could not extinguish it. Why not? Because this lamp was offered with devotion and with purity of heart and mind. And that motivation has made it of tremendous benefit.” When Buddha had said this, the beggar woman approached him, and he made a prophesy that in the future she would become a perfect buddha, call “Light of the Lamp.”

So it is our motivation, good or bad, that determines the fruit of our actions.


Poetry: Algernon Charles Swinburne

For A Picture
That nose is out of drawing. With a gasp,

She pants upon the passionate lips that ache

With the red drain of her own mouth, and make

A monochord of colour. Like an asp,

One lithe lock wriggles in his rutilant grasp.

Her bosom is an oven of myrrh, to bake

Love’s white warm shewbread to a browner cake.

The lock his fingers clench has burst its hasp.

The legs are absolutely abominable.

Ah! what keen overgust of wild-eyed woes

Flags in that bosom, flushes in that nose?

Nay! Death sets riddles for desire to spell,

Responsive. What red hem earth’s passion sews,

But may be ravenously unripped in hell?

O Love! what shall be said of thee?

The son of grief begot by joy?

Being sightless, wilt thou see?

Being sexless, wilt thou be

Maiden or boy?

I dreamed of strange lips yesterday

And cheeks wherein the ambiguous blood

Was like a rose’s–yea,

A rose’s when it lay

Within the bud.

What fields have bred thee, or what groves

Concealed thee, O mysterious flower,

O double rose of Love’s,

With leaves that lure the doves

From bud to bower?

I dare not kiss it, lest my lip

Press harder than an indrawn breath,

And all the sweet life slip

Forth, and the sweet leaves drip,

Bloodlike, in death.

O sole desire of my delight!

O sole delight of my desire!

Mine eyelids and eyesight

Feed on thee day and night

Like lips of fire.

Lean back thy throat of carven pearl,

Lest thy mouth murmur like the dove’s;

Say, Venus hath no girl,

No front of female curl,

Among her Loves.

Thy sweet low bosom, thy close hair,

Thy straight soft flanks and slenderer feet,

Thy virginal strange air,

Are these not over fair

For Love to greet?

How should he greet thee? what new name,

Fit to move all men’s hearts, could move

Thee, deaf to love or shame,

Love’s sister, by the same

Mother as Love?

Ah sweet, the maiden’s mouth is cold,

Her breast-blossoms are simply red,

Her hair mere brown or gold,

Fold over simple fold

Binding her head.

Thy mouth is made of fire and wine,

They barren bosom takes my kiss

And turns my soul to thine

And turns thy lip to mine,

And mine it is.

Thou hast a serpent in thine hair,

In all the curls that close and cling;

And ah, thy breast-flower!

Ah love, thy mouth too fair

To kiss and sting!

Cleave to me, love me, kiss mine eyes,

Satiate thy lips with loving me;

Nay, for thou shalt not rise;

Lie still as Love that dies

For love of thee.

Mine arms are close about thine head,

My lips are fervent on thy face,

And where my kiss hath fed

Thy flower-like blood leaps red

To the kissed place.

O bitterness of things too sweet

O broken singing of the dove!

Love’s wings are over fleet,

And like the panther’s feet

The feet of Love.

Love and Sleep
Lying asleep between the strokes of night

I saw my love lean over my sad bed,

Pale as the duskiest lily’s leaf or head,

Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite,

Too wan for blushing and too warm for white,

But perfect-coloured without white or red.

And her lips opened amorously, and said–

I wist not what, saving one word–Delight.

And all her face was honey to my mouth,

And all her body pasture to mine eyes;

The long lithe arms and hotter hands than fire,

The quivering flanks, hair smelling of the south,

The bright light feet, the splendid supple thighs

And glittering eyelids of my soul’s desire.